When You Know You’re Hooked (On Gardening)

| April 15, 2014 | 12 Replies

When you know you’re hooked on gardening is something I’ve been wondering a lot about in my third year of this glorious endeavor. Am I hooked? Could I walk away from it? Quit it cold turkey? Am I addicted? Yesterday, I got my answer.

An actor had brought a bag of grapefruit and tangerines from his trees to share at a recent rehearsal for an upcoming staged reading. I am one of the actors in the cast. (I’ve been an actress for over thirty years.) I picked up one grapefruit and three tangerines. They sat in my kitchen window for a few days and first I ate the grapefruit, well, it was so juicy I squeezed it for my breakfast. Yesterday, I squeezed the three impossibly juicy, thin-skinned tangerines and out came deeply orange juice. Now, recollecting drinking that down (I actually stirred in a whopping tablespoon of raw cow’s cream), makes my mouth water afresh.

When You Know You're Hooked-seeds

Tangerine seeds on napkin

My first thought was, I’ve got to contact the actor and find out the variety, then look for a tree in a nursery, hoping against hoping that I could find one that produced such juicy and sweet fruit. Immediately, that thought was erased by realizing I had the very seeds waiting in my hand juicer! There were 48 seeds from three tangerines! I stared at them for a moment. They almost spoke to me. Then, without hesitation, I carefully laid them out on a napkin and ran for the used, freshly-sunned Diatomaceous Earth granules in my garden shed, and then the mad scramble for some planting cells ensued.

I had just recycled the cells from all my trays, which I’d used three times and were falling apart. After potting up over 170 seedlings into Solo cups the last month, I’ve been telling myself, emphatically, that I would NOT be starting ANY seeds till at least October, and to ensure that, had tossed them all in the recycle bin.

When You Know You're Hooked-tomatoes

Kaye’s 126 tomato plants

“Not even ONE?” I kept repeating as I searched my large, growing pile on the driveway, or “operating area,” I call it, of bags of amendments, many sizes of pots, loads of my clay dirt waiting for the day I will screen it and fluff it up and add it back to it’s rightful place in my yard, and general disarray. No, there wasn’t a single tray of small cells. But, I found two trays of larger cells! My mind raced ahead doing the math, eight cells, two seeds each, take the largest 16 seeds! Yes! I could plant these seeds! And save the rest to share. If I got more than one good seedling, I should share those! (Of course, I could have mixed up some potting medium, but, I’m hooked on starting seeds in D.E. now. Oops, there’s that word “hooked” again.)

Check out:

40+ Amazing Diatomaceous Earth Uses For Health, Home And Garden

When You Know You're Hooked-cells

Planting seeds in cells of DE

Within 30 minutes of swallowing that memorable juice, I had planted seeds and the waiting had begun. Then, it occurred to me. I AM HOOKED. *UPDATE 2017. I have learned since writing this that you will never get the taste of the fruit by planting a seed from it. The tree must be grafted. Please watch my recent video “How to Graft Citrus”.

There are many, many other examples, but I’d much rather hear from YOU! I’d like to do an update on this post with an article compiling reader’s comments (you may leave comments on LBS on Facebook, also). Please leave a comment about when YOU knew YOU were hooked on gardening, as pertains to growing food. When did it hit you, how did it hit you, has it hit you, yet? Please share with friends! This could be interesting! I look forward to hearing from you! – Kaye

P.S. If you aren’t using diatomaceous earth in your gardening practice, learn about it in this in-depth article by Paul Wheaton.

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Category: Citrus, Community, Garden Musings, Urban Gardening

Comments (12)

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  1. Linda McNary says:

    Kaye that was awesome. I think it is nice you can grow those there. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  2. lisa lynn says:

    Hi Kaye,
    I’m not sure that it ever occurred to me that I might NOT be hooked on gardening 🙂 I started at the age of 3 or 4 with my Dad and have continued to plant throughout my adult life. My Dad is 73 and his garden is about 8 times the size of mine, though 😉

  3. Diane says:

    Oh, Kaye, you ARE hooked!

    • I think you’re right, Diane. Are you? When did YOU know you were? Please contribute. Thanks!

      • Diane says:

        Well, I’m a late bloomer like you, and have been gardening for about 3 years. In that time, I’ve gone from 6 pots of tomatoes, herbs and peppers on the back porch, to a garden similar in size to yours… I keep having to find new space because I keep finding more things I want to grow! But I’d say I knew I was hooked the day I turned my eye to the shrub area leading up to the front door, and thought to myself, “you know what would look good as a border there? Some rainbow chard and globe carrots! ” So in addition to my “garden”, I now have various food plants (chard, beans, corn, collards, kale, and more) disbursed EVERYWHERE! I haven’t been able to convince hubby to let me rip up his grass yet, but I’m working on it. And until I do, there’ll be strawberries under the azaleas, kale and collards around the hot tub deck, and chard in the flower beds! My goal is to design the landscaping so that everywhere I look, there’s food and flowers growing on! Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m hooked…

  4. Eugene Arceneaux says:

    I thought I had given up on large gardening 12 years ago I planted a number of tomato plants, a plague of Biblical proportional can just ate everything. They ate everything…. If there were more they would still be eating them.
    I married and moved into an apartment grew a few small plants… Recently move into a house I am trying again with a new vigor. Check out the on DE thanks

    • Thank you, Gene! Your corn has probably tripled in size since I posted your photo last week on com/LateBloomerShow/photos/a.300084933400302.70084.299256650149797/630445220364270/?type=1&theater. Happy Earth Day! – Kaye

  5. Site looks great Kaye … Noticed you put the subscribe box in the top right hand corner good choice that increases your subscribe rate…

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