This past weekend, as I planted seeds and put them into my little greenhouse, my grandpa was on my mind. Memories of his garden flooded my mind. I can remember some seedlings on his back porch that was full of windows and sunlight. I swear I also remember a cold frame outside by the shed that used old windows to let sunlight in and keep the cold out while seedlings began their life inside. My grandpa worked at Ford Motor company, and he was a gardener. If it was summertime and you visited Grandpa and Grandma's house, he would walk you out to his garden and tell you all about it. It was a very large garden, probably a half-acre or so! Sometimes as a child, we would help in the garden, picking tomatoes or beans and then canning in the kitchen with Grandma.
It seems simple, you plant a seed and water it, then it grows. I have learned that there is much more to it than that. Crop rotation, fertilizer, frost dates, start this seed indoors while this one can go straight into the ground, harvest dates, bugs and pests, the list goes on and on. Two summers ago, I switched to raised beds for two reasons. One, I have rocky soil and it was had to till. The second reason...it was getting harder and harder to bend down! My grandpa gardened well into his eighties; I have no idea how he did it.
Last summer, I had tomato hornworms for the first time. Again, I thought back to grandpa and remembered he had them too, and we had to pull them off the tomato plants. So, I started pulling them off, and for the life of me, I couldn't remember what he did with the worms after removing them. Since I couldn't ask him, Google provided the answer. Chickens love to eat worms and were very happy for the treats that I gave them.
I have so many questions, and I would love to ask him about gardening, I wish I could have a few minutes to talk to my grandpa. Oh, how I would love to take him by the hand and walk him around my garden.