Why I’m behind on putting in my fall garden

I have reasons for being so lax in posting to my blog recently, and reasons why my fall garden isn’t completely in yet.

My plot at the new community garden, photo taken July 4 2011. Edison says that my nice redwood borders have to go.

First of all, my lovely redwood bed borders at the community garden have to come out. We are gardening underneath Southern California Edison power lines, and they have decided that while our outer bed borders that delineate each plot can stay, the inner beds must go. They will allow plastic edging, but not wooden bed borders. Many of us have spent an average of $1500 putting in raised beds and filling them with amendments. Too bad. Those wooden beds have to be out by December 31. I’m harvesting my summer crops and letting the ground go fallow so I will have room to rework the soil and put in new borders. Arg, more expense. I’m growing $100 carrots.

My plot at the community garden, looking NE.

The plastic chicken net fence that you see above was completely ineffective at keeping out rabbits. My first fence was a nice wire rabbit fence that kept out the rabbits, but Edison made us remove all metal from the gardens. I had a bunny living in my garden all summer long, eating my crops whenever it wanted. It chewed holes in this plastic netting as fast as I patched them. I’ve since added some white plastic trellis fencing, but I’m not finished with that project.

Each time I have to do another construction project at the garden, it eats into the time available to actually grow crops. What an utter nuisance this community garden has become. It seems that every single thing I bought for it had to be replaced with something inferior to meet their rules and regs, which changed AFTER we put things in. I can’t really express here how frustrated I am, but a lot of nasty four-letter words come to mind. At this point, I’ve put so much money into my plot that I don’t dare give it up. I just have to hope that this process of sinking cash into the ground is coming to an end, and that I can get to actual GARDENING soon, not just spending more time and money on something else that has to be replaced.

OK, enough ranting. Now on to the other reason why my gardening time has become limited.

Our son Scott with his new son, Mike

Our son Scott and his wife Nicole have presented us with our first grandson. After five precious granddaughters from our two sons, we’re happy to have a grandson. We all expect Mike to be our last grandchild, which makes him all the more precious.

Baby Mike, one day old

His three older sisters, five-year-old twins Allison and Lauren and three-year-old Megan, think he’s just adorable. And so do the rest of us.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in San Diego, not in my garden. While his mom and dad take care of baby Mike, the other Nana and I are taking care of the three little girls. I take Megan to preschool, music class and gymnasium, while Nana Maria gets them all dressed, does an unbelievable amount of laundry, takes the twins to kindergarten and helps out with the little one as well. Nana Maria is actually doing most of the work. I just schlep Megan here and there and play with the girls, but that’s important too. Papa Vic helps out with cooking and cleaning on weekends. It takes a village!

Megan loves to cook. So far we've made banana bread and pecan-raisin-pumpkin bread together. I measure and she mixes.

Megan said that she wanted to remember how to make the quick breads, so she wanted to “write down the recipe.” Since she’s only three, she can’t read or write yet. Naturally, I wondered how she planned to do that. No problem for her. She drew pictures of eggs, a stick of butter, a cup of water and the box of mix. Pretty clever.

Megan at gymnastics class

Allison on the balance beam at gymnastics class.

Lauren on the balance beam at gymnastics class.

So I’m busy helping raise grandkids in addition to my garden. One of these days I’ll get the rest of my fall crops in. Somehow.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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One Response to Why I’m behind on putting in my fall garden

  1. Congratulations! Your grandson is adorable 🙂

    I can’t believe you have to take out those raised beds. Good grief. The expense is one thing, but all the work to put them in, and then take them out again? How frustrating!

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