After I took refuge in the house to avoid being stricken by lightning and endured a house-shaking thunder clap, I waited for the sun to come out and resume my planting. I set out 72 petunia plants, two dozen marigolds, a cucumber, a zucchini, and an indefinite number of tomato plants. We have just a small space both in back and in front of our condo lined by a concrete curb to do our own planting. The tomato plant thing is a bit iffy because all winter my wife has said at least once a week, "We are NOT going to set out more than two or three tomato plants next summer." This negative attitude springs from three summers ago when I bought a flat of tomato plants for a bargain and set them all out. Of course, I suspected that the only thing that would grow would be leaves, and that is what happened--a green tomato vine jungle, but no tomatoes. I think there were at least 12 or 15 plants.
Last year we planted a zucchini and a cucumber plant but our gardeners, who do not speak English, hoed them out as weeds despite the fact they each had a protective garden white cap on top of them. We'll try again this year, with instructions to the gardeners to not touch our own little area and mind their own business.
My wife keeps reminding me that I have a degree in agriculture and that I should know stuff about gardening. I keep telling her that agriculture at the University of Wyoming meant range (sagebrush) management, sugar beet and grain production, alfalfa hay, and weeds. I didn't pay much attention to any of that because I knew by then that farming would be way too much hard work and my experience in milking cows at home and working at the University dairy in Laramie taught me that the only good kind of milk comes in a (then glass, now plastic) carton and I never want to get close to another cow under any circumstances. Hey, this isn't New Jersey truck gardening out here, what we do is count the number of range plants per square something or other before the cows chew them all up and then count them again afterward. Not something that caught my attention since I did not intend to spend my life out where the deer and the antelope play, not by a long shot.
So I must confess I did stick a few tomato plants in amongst the petunias. This horticultural accomplishment was in furtherance of a scientific experiment to see if petunias would enhance tomato growth and vice versa. My wife suspects that is what I did, and I will have to check in the morning to see if she whacked them out. She has no confidence whatsoever in my gardening ability, or for that matter, any other home improvement or outside improvement skills, and I know she feels she could not waste her time all winter threatening me not to plant more than two or three tomato plants and then realize she just wasted all that energy. But the plants were left over. What was I to do? Throw them out? I'll keep you up to date later in the summer in case anything survives and grows.