A short story by Keith Oliver for all my gardening friends.Now is the time of the year that our gardens are drawing to a close, the last of the tomatoes are coming off, pumpkins and chrysanthemums are now in the height of their growing period. We begin to think about what preparation our soil needs to be fertile for next year’s life sustaining vegetables to yield a bumper crop.
Right now is also a good time for any transplants to be cultivated and put in their designated areas. Just dig to make enough room for them to mature and fertilize the bottom of the transplant area to insure healthy deep roots. Next cover the plants a little further up the main stem than they were planted before with rich loose soil. Lightly water these plants until soil is moist and cover with at least 4" of mulch to retain as much life giving water as possible and to act as a insulating blanket for the root system to properly form.
This spring will be a delightful time to watch the snow melt off of the tops of plants as they start to emerge, WARNING; this is also a time that we will lose many transplants because plants are still tender and need a little more time before they are ready to emerge. We can help our plantings by covering them with a additional layer of organic materiel and a couple more inches of mulch, the added time will give our plants a boost in nutrients and allow for robust rooting.
Don’t be alarmed when the efforts we have put forth don’t exactly "pop" that first year. There is a saying in the gardening world that my Grandmother Helen reminds me of every year as I help her to thin her hostas and expand my own plantings, I can hear her clearly informing me that the first season of growth will "sleep" they wont exactly mature to their best potential and many times they may not flower at all. Not to worry, the following season things will get a little better, all plants properly tended will "creep" beginning to show their flowers more often while their roots will fully develop.
The patience and consistency that you show your garden will be rewarded the following season by the event that all gardeners anticipate, at last your garden will finally "LEAP"!
The harvesting of the leap season in your garden will be truly rewarding. It will not matter that some of the fruits of your labor will be eaten by pestilence. You will find this seasons abundance will more than make up for any losses you may have, furthermore many of us find that our greatest challenge in these seasons of plenty are keeping up with the collection of our mature plantings and enjoying as much fresh nutrients possible before the years close when we begin to think about how we can improve next years harvest.
There are astounding similarities to the development of our lives found in these gardening techniques. If we begin in our proper areas; our most fertile environment and take a little care we can expect to realize the height of our growth potential.
The soil represents our souls or our spirits that need depth enough to make room for robust development. The fertilizer represents the nutrients that we feed our spirits, these nutrients encompass all we hear, see, read, watch, think and speak and if applied appropriately will make a excellent platform for our enrichment. The water represents our bodies, since we are made up of mostly water you can see how when we have our machines properly prepared we will be ready to say yes to our potential blessings and live up to our highest possibilities. The mulch represents our friends and families; the people that we choose to surround ourselves with, they insulate us from the frigid circumstances that life’s winter can sometimes produce while encouraging us to stay healthy in mind and body.
The cycles of development of plants also mimic life.
Before we realize a thing we could be considered to have been asleep, that is stagnant or slow in our maturity.
The practice of patience and consistent care produce the creeping results we find in the garden, meaning that we begin to realize who we are and what we are meant to pursue.
Finally many of us have experienced the blessing of a leap year, a time so abundant in spirit and materiel that we cannot deny our fortunes. Your leap may have developed on a different branch than that of your neighbor, while his professional life may be blooming you’re personal or spiritual or family goals may be in bloom. Take comfort in the knowledge that if properly prepared you can develop blooms on other branches as well.
None of these things are possible without the warmth of the SUN; of course the sun represents GOD. The loving comfort you enjoy when you feel the rays of love shining in your life. The sun gives plants the ability to absorb nutrients from their surroundings and is the bringer of life. Without the Sun we would all clumsily fumble around in the darkness until our inevitable death.
Thank you God for the light you shine into our lives. We acknowledge that without your divine care our efforts would be in vain. Continue to shine your blessings on us and we will tend our gardens well.