10 Reasons to Not Have a Garden
I grew up in New Jersey, and while we had a small tomato garden in the backyard, my grandparents had a massive garden in theirs. It was multiple beds, each one stretching further than my little ten-year-old eyes could stretch. They grew carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and plenty of other fresh vegetables. Along a stretch of fence, they had a flower garden, and along the other stretch of fence, they had raspberry bushes. Everything a kid could want.
Now that I have the time and room, I decided to grow a garden of my own. But it wasn’t quite what I expected. In fact, now I know why it’s a good idea to avoid having a garden.
One – caterpillars
Tomato hornworms were not something I signed up for. The caterpillars are totally creepy looking, and they really hang on to those branches. I sure don’t want to have to fight them off my tomatoes, but if they don’t get yanked off and thrown to the birds, they will eat all the leaves and tomatoes you have. You can spray your garden for them, but if you’re trying to keep pesticide free, it might be hard to do with these not so little bugs.
Two – cost
Starting a garden isn’t cheap. Since our soil here isn’t soil – it’s clay – we had to go with raised beds. The beds cost about $40, plus the dirt, plus the starter plants. Then we needed all sorts of other things, like stakes, gloves, and even a new head for the hose.
Three - overabundance
There’s the old joke about planting zucchini and then having to sneak it into neighbor’s homes and cars because there is just too much of it. Well, that can happen. You don’t want to waste food, but sometimes the garden is just producing and producing, and there’s only so much you can eat. You can share it, but sometimes you can’t find enough people to give it to.
Four – water
Gardens need water. It’s best to water the garden in the early morning or the early evening, so you have to remember to be out there every day, making sure that the garden gets enough, but not too much, water. And going back to cost – water isn’t free, either. While it might not make a huge increase in your water bill, you will notice it going up a bit.
Five – responsibility
You have to take care of your garden. It’s a living thing. It needs care and feeding, literally. You need to water it, fertilize it, pull off those caterpillars, and keep an eye on its growth.
Six – did I mention responsibility?
You need to water it, you need to add new stakes when the plants get too big, you need to get rid of bugs and fend off bunnies. It might all sound little, but if you were to just ignore your garden, it would quickly run to ruin or overgrowth. Fruit rotting on the vine isn’t exactly pleasant.
Seven – bees
Bees are good, I know. They help pollinate things, and with the current problems with bee decimation and colonies being destroyed from both inside and out, it’s good to see bees in the garden. But, now I don’t know about you, I am not fond of bees. They fly around and buzz, and I’m always just waiting for them to sting me. I know that they probably won’t, and I’ve been right next to them to pick some tomatoes, but something in me wants to snap each time I see one, and I immediately want to run away screaming like a little girl.
Eight – space
My garden is pretty small, but it still takes up a good amount of space. Each plot is four feet by four feet. It took some planning to figure out where to put that in the backyard, especially in the current age of postage-stamp sized plots of lands. Yes, we had the space, but not everyone does.
Nine – really, did I mention responsibility?
I feel like I may be harping on this point, but it’s an important one. It is a lot of responsibility, even just a small plot like I have. When I think back to my grandparents’ garden, I realize how much time and effort it really was. They grew their plants from seedlings, and they kept it going all summer long, providing us with fresh vegetables, but at a cost of a lot of their time and effort.
Ten – weeding
I had to include this one because I don’t know anyone who thinks, “Wow, what a great way to spend a hot Saturday afternoon! Bent over, digging weeds out of the dirt!” Even if my back didn’t get sore, and even if I wasn’t squeamish about finding those caterpillars, weeding would be at the top of the list of reasons to avoid a garden.
Do you have - or want to have - a garden?
Okay, so maybe those are ten reasons not to have a garden, but you only need one reason to have one, and it counteracts all of those. Growing and eating your very own vegetables makes it all worthwhile. Nothing tastes as good as a fresh tomato that you grew and plucked yourself.