Sow: a scare

I almost killed the entire Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm on Sunday night.

About 30 minutes before we went to bed, Bruce, good husband that he is, said  “Hey, aren’t you covering the garden tonight?” I was nice and warm, enjoying my chilled out evening and really didn’t want to go outside. After consulting my handy-dandy iPhone and one of the four weather apps I have, I said, “No, it’s not getting cold enough tonight.”

Well, I was wrong. Damn you weather apps!

After the sun came up, I went outside around 7:30 to see what I had done. I knew what I’d see because when we walked the 3G Network at 5:30, the ground was white and sparkly. Of course, our next-door neighbor “Muumuu” had her sprinklers going. (I hope that one day she doesn’t want to come outside early in the morning because she’ll end up taking a spill on that instant skating rink of a sidewalk her sprinklers create for her. You’d think a real estate agent would know better than to water off schedule and to learn how to turn the timer off.)

And my heart sunk. I tried not to think about it since the morning walk can have many exciting woodland creatures that all the members of the 3G Network think they’d like to meet. Best to stay alert. So despite not being a morning person AT ALL and being sad about my flash frozen plants, I needed to focus.

We only saw several bunnies and a very few cars. Our runner pals must have wisely decided that wearing a balaclava for the morning jog isn’t a great idea in our neighborhood (Texans are, for the most part, armed, and there have been some car break-ins in the area). Godiva happily walked on the curbs. George and Guinness had their usual male tree/telephone pole/hydrant/large clumps of weeds contest.

We got home. I wrote yesterday’s post about goofy George and his oral fixations. I puttered about and packed lunches. Finally I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to see the results of my horrible mistake.

Everything looked so sparkly and pretty. And ruined. The beautiful palm tree like Nero kale had brittle leaves. The cilantro looked like it melted. The lettuce which I had lovingly worked on that very day to get rid of dead leaves, all looked as if it should be pulled out. The chard which was coming back after the Christmas Eve snowstorm, stopped in its tracks. The carrot greens looked like George took a nap in the middle of them. The Brussels sprouts were limp as was the broccoli. Maybe the fennel is ok, but the collard and mustard greens didn’t look very happy. Even my little washtub on wheels filled with mesculin sprouts and mache looked crispy. I could go on, but I won’t. It was just too awful to think about. And completely my fault.

The before of the washtub on wheels

The before of the washtub on wheels

I spent my commute racked with guilt instead of singing along with the radio like I usually do. Once in my office, I attempted to unburden myself by updating my Facebook status to “Made a grave error not covering the gardens last night and everything is toast. On the positive side, I’ll have a completely blank slate for 2013 spring seed planting.”

My sweet friend Lynne responded to my anguished Facebook post with a reminder of the bounty I could provide a compost heap and that making it through to January was pretty awesome. My coworker Lisa who also enjoys digging in the dirt just sat in silence as she listened to my tale of woe (her 2 labs ate her 2012 garden so she was very sympathetic).

Cool print-it-yourself garden planner journal from

Cool print-it-yourself garden planner journal from

But as the day passed, I rebounded. At lunch, I pulled out my new 2013 garden planner (Christmas gift from Lisa) and started cataloging the seeds I bought. I thought about what I’d need to do to clear the raised beds and stock tanks and prep them for the spring crops. On Saturday, there is a seed starting class at my favorite garden center and since I purchased so many envelopes of seeds already, I should go and learn what I can (and pick up some seed starting containers and soil).

I went about the rest of my day. Bruce and I went back to the gym for a weight workout for the first time in months (I think our last one in 2012 was in September). When we got home, I had a look at the washtub on wheels of greens—I couldn’t believe my eyes! The little salad sprouts were all ok!

After that, I could wait no longer. I put on my trusty headlamp (nerd alert) and headed out to the raised beds and stock tanks. It looked like all of the cold weather crops were ok! Whew. I covered everything up for the night. And this morning I was greeted by 48° F when we walked the 3G Network. Warmer temperatures are on the way. Looks like lots of rain is coming too.

Hopefully some of those seeds can still also go outside…as long as I remember to cover them each night. I can handle that for a month; average last frost for our area is mid-February.


4 thoughts on “Sow: a scare

  1. See. Just when you think all is lost, it isn’t. Life lesson here. By the way, don’t beat yourself up. We’re human. We make mistakes.


    • It’s amazing how attached you get to plants of all things. I feel very responsible for them. I’d love to get chickens but if anything happened to them, I’d feel terrible. Besides, I’m not sure that the Gs petsitter would be ok with chickens to watch too!


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