Here we are again, ending yet another summer with a bountiful crop of nothing but weeds in my vegetable garden. The torpedo grass really impressed me with its vigor, too! It has been so prolific in crowding out the pepper plants that I’d need an old-fashioned scythe to harvest it myself, and even then there would still be a wealth of its wiry roots and rhizomes beneath the foundation of my house. I will never run out of this dependable and wonderful… what’s that you say? Torpedo grass is a useless and terrible weed? Ah, yes. I suppose it is.

Sometimes the garden can be ugly.

And sometimes the garden can be pretty.

Well, I’m stuck with that torpedo grass. I’m stuck with inland sea oats and a slough of other weeds that aren’t even worth the trouble of researching so that I can give you their correct names. Besides, the names I’ve already picked out for my weeds, while profane, are a lot more appropriate, given their tenacity and insistence on ruining my vegetable garden. I essentially have to start from square one and dig two feet deep around those wire-like rhizomes yet again before I plant new vegetables. And even when I DO beat the weeds into submission, many vegetables (looking at you, tomatoes and squashes) do so poorly that I have to choose between plucking out weeds and caterpillars every morning or letting my plants succumb to death by nematodes or rot. Growing vegetables in this side yard is grueling, frustrating, and at times, completely and utterly impossible.

Sometimes the weeds insist upon ruining your garden.

Never forget about the pretty parts of your garden.

That said, I look forward to trying again for yet another season. I really do! Because just as there will always be ugliness in the garden, there will always be ugliness in this life; so why should those weeds prevent me from enjoying the good parts? Why would I deny myself the joy of gardening just because I know that some days will be difficult? A lot of gardeners have the same experience as I, yet they give up gardening entirely because they assume that their difficulty with tomatoes means that they’re just terrible gardeners. Well, I’m here to say that an ugly, weedy patch of the garden in no way diminishes from that pretty container combination on your porch or the pleasure you receive from getting your hands dirty and watching a little plant grow up, if only for a little while?
Besides, we always have a choice. Are we to continue growing what is clearly the wrong plant in the wrong place, or should we move on and try something else? Sure, I know that I could easily crowd out those weeds with layers of newspaper, mulch and a thick planting of groundcovers. I could make that sideyard absolutely stunning by this time next year! But I, for one, will try again. I am not doing this gardening thing to achieve perfection; I’m growing plants for the experience of doing just that. To grow.

Sweet potatoes are a log eaiser than tomatoes

My orchid can broke off, so I planted it in the mulch