Gardening Isn’t for Wimps

Gardening isn’t for wimps. It’s hard work. Real hard. If you have a garden, this you already know. It needs constant care and attention which, after the end of a long workday, can sometimes seem exhausting. If you have a garden, I also don’t  need to tell you that the work you put into it is so much worth the effort, if not for the “almost” free food you grow yourself, but for the sheer joy of tending to living things that thank you with their bounty in return.  
     
I love my garden, and if it were my only job to tend to it eight hours a day, seven days a week I would have beautiful plants, no weeds, no bugs and healthy vegetables. This year, I am having a hard time keeping up. I know I’m going to have more cucumbers and zucchini than I could ever eat, and the pleasure of eating fried green tomatoes every night for a month if I want.  But there is one plant, just one tiny plant that isn’t doing well. It’s the one plant that I wanted to thrive the most. It’s my hot banana pepper plant. Early on, it had all sorts of blossoms ready to sprout a dozen yummy peppers. Then one day I forgot to water it and it wilted, and the flowers dropped off. I have barely been able to keep it alive, let alone thriving, since then.
 
Now it is my mission to see that this tiny little plant gets the water and nutrients it needs to be a healthy, living, productive thing. I’m an organic gardener, so I’m not going to pump it full of miracle material to achieve results. I’m just going to give it lots of water, keep the weeds away, and look in on it every day to make sure it is happy. It will be my success story of the summer to have dozens of banana peppers by the end of August. I will make it happen if it kills me . . . or at least until it gives me that “gardener ache” every night when I go to bed. That ache, to me, says a job well done, regardless of the results.