It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, though it’s still hovering around a chilly 80 degrees here in Texas, and Pinterest is all aflutter with moms who are better than you at everything, but mostly gardening. You need a garden, because grocery store carrots are basically little orange poison sticks, it’s cheaper than store-bought produce, and gardening is a great conversation starter. At least, I am assuming that last statement is true, based on my experience of not being able to get people who garden to shut up about it. If you suck at gardening, please offer my condolences to your children, who are the real victims here, and follow along as I take you through the steps of how to plant a colorful and nutritious Pinterest ready garden.
Step One: Find A Plot
You need some dirt to plant your garden, preferably 5 foot by 5 foot for novice gardeners. I don’t know if this is actually an appropriate size for a garden, but you don’t know any better, right? If you have an apartment, I’m sorry. You should have thought of that before you procreated. Just kidding. Get some pots. Or like, a bucket or something. Fill them with dirt.
Step Two: Prep The Soil
Soil needs to breathe, according to Martha Stewart, so go ahead and start hacking at your back yard until it’s mostly brown instead of green. You could be a cheater and buy a planting box, but food tastes better when you toil. So toil.
Step Three: Give Up on Soil Prep
Yeah, we’re done with that. I guess your garden is going to be 5 foot by 6 inches instead because holy crap, digging? No. Just No.
Step Four: Plant Some Seeds
Yay! The fun part. There are instructions on the back of seed packets that tell you the best depth to plant the seeds, the pH of the soil they need, and their sun requirements. This is boring and confusing, so ignore them. Just dump some seeds in the ground and swipe some dirt on top.
Step Five: Water and Wait
Water those little seeds and then field questions from your kids about if they can eat the strawberries yet with a “We just planted them, DOI!”
Step Six: Plant the Seeds Again Four Weeks Later
You done messed up. Birds ate your seeds. That’s why there’s no strawberries. Instead of paying attention to the instructions this time around, just bury them deeper and build a very slicey-looking chickenwire fence.
Step Seven: Manage the Carnage
It looks like a squirrel got mangled in your poorly constructed fence. Better take care of that! Put him in the garden and “deal with it later”. Then don’t deal with it and tell yourself the squirrel is fertilizer. Push some leaves over him so you don’t have to look.
Step Eight: Nourish Your Plants
Oh look! A scraggly vine that’s not a weed! That’s progress. Now’s the time to get to the Garden Center and purchase non-squirrel fertilizer, expensive organic-compliant “pest discourager”, a fancy rainfall hose attachment, and some nice gardening accessories.
Step Nine: Count Your Savings.
After the multiple seed packets, all of your accessories, and the chickenwire, you’ve already saved about -$386.59. Savvy!
Step Ten: Maintain Your Crop
Take note of any watering restrictions in your neighborhood, and then promise to water on those days next week because you forgot this week. Pull some weeds. You forgot where the squirrel is buried, so just eyeball it the general area and weed around it so your hands don’t get all corpsey.
Step Eleven: Eat Your Strawberries
That you bought at the store because your kids will NOT stop asking about the damn strawberries in your garden.
Step Twelve: Harvest Your Bounty
By now, you’re a few weeks in so get ready to reap what you sowed. Collect the one wrinkled strawberry that hasn’t been eaten by worms, the squirrel carcass, and the multiple lego men that are buried in your plot. Throw all of it away. Lie if your kid asks if you’ve seen her lego men.
Step Thirteen: Presentation
Go to the store, buy produce, rip the stickers off, and photograph them. Then sneak into the gated community and snap pictures of a garden that isn’t yours. Run them all through a filter, upload them to Pinterest, and add some hashtags: #fruitfulbounty #greenliving #hardworkbutworthit, #anythingformykids #momlife