There is talk...

...that nothing much grows in my yard. That's true. Very little does. If you're a plant and you want to grow in my little backyard, there are a few rules.

  1. You will not be mollycoddled.
  2. You will get water when the skies deign it fit. The zone is semi-arid. Learn to deal with it.
  3. The soil is clay, lumpy and rock hard.
  4. I don't spray my plants with pesticides. So if your tender leaves are a meal for those nasty bugs, so be it.
  5. My yard has very damaging exposure to the sun.
  6. I am lazy. I have a bad back.
  7. He is lazier. He works for a start-up.
So, as a plant who wants to be seen in my yard, you need at the very least to be
  • drought-resistant
  • squirrel-resistant
  • rabbit-resistant
  • and a perennial
for us to have a love-love relationship.

I planted an entire packet of Echinacea purpurea late last spring. A whole packet. Echinacea purpurea is all of the above and the coneflower is one of my favorites. I nurtured them, talked to them, watered them...against all my better instincts. Out of the zillions that germinated, only four young saplings survived. When I transplanted them to their final home, the leaves were attacked by pests almost immediately and before old man winter showed up, there was nothing there. But come spring, three little shoots made a brave appearance. And now I have this:

So some things do grow in my yard...just not anything anyone would want to cook with.


Kitt said...

I'll bet you have purslane and lamb's quarters you could cook with!

Anita said...

Hope springs!
If you don't spray pesticides, then you can cook with the dandelion leaves that grow in your yard...and you were too busy whining about other pests to use your amazing bumper crop of pretty roses! Excuses...excuses...and no recipes...again!

Anita said...

And yes, like Kitt says, purslane - use that ...if you can tell it from the other weeds!:D

Sree said...

Hey Manisha!,

You are tagged, for not one but TWO memes:D
Plz check my blog for the questions. Tanks!


bee said...

hmmm.... we live in the desert with blazing sun. but i live with a farmer.

try growing lavender. it likes arid. russian sage too.

Rachna said...

haaa, mollycoddled....haaa, i wish i had a tiny bit of yard.....

Shilpa said...

:) Hmm...thats difficult then. Did you try growing something in pots?

I didn't want to hog Bee's comment I will answer your question here :p.

I did grow some plants this year (against my better judgment and my mom's repeated reminders about last year's disaster).
- Basil in two pots. One pot did very well. In the second one, bugs ate all the leaves. I didn't want to use pesticides and after asking about it to few friends, I decided I should not use them. So I threw everything frm that pot and planted again.
- Few eggplants. 3 tiny plants have come up and again, bug problem. Don't know what to do.
- Some cherry tomatoes. Few plants showed up. But they are the same level for last 1 week or so. No idea if they will survive.

Now problem is, in each pot, there are many plants. So I used my old yogurt containers for few of them. I have thinned down the plants in few pots but i still think they are crowded.
I had bought 3 small mud pots(I donno what they are actually called). and looks like nothing grows in them. My attempt to grow coriander in them was a failure and now I have transferred some basil to them and the plants are not in good condition.

Finally after all this....
- We will be moving to a new place in next one month or so depending on our jobs and I have no idea what to do abt these plants. There are so many of them and getting them moved to new place will cost us a fortune.
- I think I started with them too late, so still they are very small. So I donno if they will grow within next few days :(. Even if we continue living in Kansas, I am not sure they will produce any veggies before snowfall..hehe

TheCooker said...

Arrey nothing grows in my backyard either.
For the very same reasons you listed.

Beyond Curries said...

That was one hilarious post Manisha. I really liked your style of writing.

Alpa said...

I don't use any pesticides or chemicals either and my plants/trees/grass do suffer, but hey - they're organic.

You might try hunting down a neem tree, besides all the medicinal benefits, it is also an excellent pest deterrent. You take some of the leaves in a bucket of water and let it sit overnite and then water your plants with it. It works like magic. I also plant dandelions and lantana everywhere to keep bugs and mosquitoes away.

Maybe succulents????

Anita said...

Grow agave - they are no fuss, and doubt if any bug can bug them! ...and then maybe you can make your own agave nectar or even some... he he... tequila?!

Anita said...

Did I tell you that that picture above was breathtaking? ;-) Seriously...the miracle of life.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Kitt, I will have to look for purslane and lamb's quarters. In the event that I don't find either, I will just cook lamb instead.

Anita, I do need to qualify that pesticides statement a tad. I do spray my dandelions but that is it. We tried yanking them out but then we were left with humongous holes instead of a lawn. And yes, I was in no mood when my roses were in full bloom. My neighbors roses are still in bloom but mine are all gone. Why?

Sree, I love you, I really do. But I am terrible with memes. What if I keep this in my to-do folder and address it in October when I do the NaBloWriMo?

Bee, does J know?!

Rachna, you can have mine. I, too, longed for a yard when all I had was the strips of flower beds around my townhome. Little did I know...

Shilpa, don't be shy to use Bee's comment space. Only good things happen! See how I am getting lavender flowers! If I didn't know better, I might have thought that those were the same flowers that are on my Russian sage bush. I planted basil last year and they, too, all died before I coul deven consider transplanting them.

Plastic containers are a no-no. They heat up and dry out the soil quickly. This affects the health of the root ball. It's better to use terracotta pots or ceramic pots. Remember how water is stored in earthenware pots in India? Same principal.

Give away your plants to a friend or a colleague when you move. And keep me updated about your plans!

TC, you are my bosom buddy. I think we could have been langotiyaars if you weren't so much younger to me! :-D

Madhuram, thank you and welcome to the fun at IFR!

Alpa, you grow dandelions? Do you cook the leaves? I <3 dandelion leaves. The mosquitoes here are very difficult to drive away. I wonder if lantana would work in my gardening zone. Xeriscaping is the answer but you need to work towards it. All in good time. And yes,succulents will work but you can't cook with them for GYO, now can you? Unless I buy the Mexican cactus, stick it in the ground, cut off a cactus leaf(?) and proclaim that it cameth from my garden.

Anita, agave I will grow. It is in my plans. But only to poke unwanted guests and keep away critters. Tell you what, I will grow the agave, you come and make the nectar.

And no, this is the first you or anyone makes mention of that absolutely gorgeous picture. It has cotton that the cottonwood has been spewing since May entwined in its petals. And there is some really cool bokeh as the sunlight is caught in those fibers. But yeah, what the heck. It's just a picture.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Right now, I have a small bare balcony on the second floor.
Otherwise I have this cyclics patternbehaviour with plants (only with plants, may I say, before you think I'm some nut). Either I lavish them with affection or else kill them with neglect.
Right now, I miss my garden!:(

bee said...

yeah, yeah. he does.

Indian Food Rocks said...

Aparna, moving and settling down is not easy. Give it time and you will soon have a garden in your balcony. Because you live in paradise and the soil is very fertile there!

Bee, I had Russian sage. It flourishes because it is drought hardy. What do I cook with it for GYO? Oh and I forgot completely - I have mint. Everywhere. I just hope those lavender flowers don't make me feel like I am chomping on some potpourri. It will take me back to the time when our kiranewala had stored pohe right next to 555 soap. We knew something was amiss when the pohe cooked and when we ate it, it was literally like eating soap. And, you know how 555 has that terrible odor, right? :-D

Dee said...

this fits us perfectly, though he is travelling and lazy and I can kill a plant with my way of watering, the only plant ever survived is basil... and I dont use pesticides either.. I hope it keeps growing. I am looking forward to your recipe with lavender though :)

Anita said...

Go ahead and plant first...they take a long time to mature!
Lantana might grow where you are..they are very hardy, but whether they can take your winter - dunno.

Pelicano said...

"...against all my better instincts." You very funny ha ha! Poor little planties...

Laavanya said...

What a funny post :) - so it would have to be one tough plant that grows in your yard...

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Are you sure we are not long lost twins? Although I have a few herbs that grow in my backyard - yes mint and lavender too but almost everything else is like you were describing me.

I guess we have other qualities!