I planted radishes yesterday. I spent a lot of time reading about gardening plans on various gardening blogs, and I read a lot about how sowing seeds in rows is just so totally not trendy in the gardening world today. Instead, says the GardenGuru, you are supposed to sow in boxes. And then the GardenGuru went on and on for lines and lines of text that unnecessarily pained my eyeballs to talk about how the only reason we ever planted in rows in the first place was because of traditional mechanical farming, and it was easier to harvest then, blah blah blah, he’s thought of this super innovative (BUZZWORD! Last year’s buzzword was sustainable) method that gets around all the waste and inefficiency, etc, etc. Well, I get out to the garden, all set to do my box planting, when I realize I have no idea what GardenGuru is talking about. The directions on the back of my Burpee radish seed packet say to “sow in rows, approximately 6 inches apart.” Sow in rows? But I thought that was so not trendy. Surely Burpee, the leader in seed packets everywhere (I went to a specialty, local gardening store to buy my seed packets, but later that day I stopped by Food Lion and they had the exact same seed packets in their produce section. It was kind of cool, standing next to carrots for eating and looking at the carrot seeds for planting) must know what is trendy. Although they probably haven’t changed the text on their packets in about seventy years. And, granted, what kind of a trendy name is Burpee anyway?
So I’m out there, in the garden, totally bewildered as to how to reconcile the directions on the packet with this new trendy style of box gardening, when I notice that the packet has further instructions for me. Apparently, after your seedlings come up, you have to go back out to the garden and do more work. Yes. This is correct. They expect you to go back out and “thin” the seedlings to 2” apart. Well, fuck that. If I sowed in rows, and spaced my rows 6” apart, then I’d have all that wasted space in between my rows. And I also would have wasted all that energy dropping seeds into rows that I’ll just have to pull out and…and…what? Murder them? Put them in the compost pile? No way. That’s like killing a baby after it comes out of the womb. I’d much rather just prevent conception. So instead, I just defied all of the instructions and made a grid, kind of like the dot box game we all played in elementary school when we were little (and that I actually played right through college, and right through my masters degree), and dropped a seed or two into each hole. For the holes where two seeds went in (I really tried to limit it to only one seed per hole, but my fingers are big and seeds are small and sometimes two little guys ended up in the hole), I pictured the little seeds grappling together, either like sperm fighting to get to the egg first, or like twins in the womb, clamoring for their undernourished crack addict mother’s vitamins that pass through the placenta. I’m not sure which image is more fitting. Probably the placental one. And I’m the radish seeds’ equivalent of the crack addict mother. Or, even better, the radish seeds’ equivalent of the crack addict cannibalistic mother, since I’m planning on eating the shit out of them when they come out of the ground.
So I came back in, all proud of my innovative new method of gardening, when I realized that I actually just did the box garden thing. Its just, box garden is a stupid name. It should be grid gardening. Or excel sheet gardening, since that was how I originally planned the whole thing anyway.
And, did you know, my radishes will be ready to eat in 22 days? 22 DAYS! That’s insane!