Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Give Up

You might remember my epic battle with aphids on my pepper seedlings while they were still under the grow light. The aphids seemed to only have a taste for the peppers and mercifully spared my tomatoes. Only a few hot and sweet peppers did not suffer from significant damage after the attack(s). (By significant damage, I mean that 90% of 90% of the leaves were completely sucked dry.) I mourned the loss of my babies, convinced they were well beyond The Point Of No Return.

But my dear, consoling, I-hate-yardwork husband assured me they were just fine; they would be alright. I didn't believe him. I mean, without leaves, how could my babies make food? He just would look at them and then at me and say, almost confidently, "They'll be fine." He wouldn't let me throw them away.

When winter started to end, we still had almost leaf-less, very pathetic looking pepper plants. I bought some starts from a nursery and tried again to throw away the ones I started from seed. He wouldn't let me. Fine. I took them outside and set them, pot and all, in our fenced raised beds. I refused, however, to plant them convinced I would just be forced to watch them further decline. My husband reiterated: "They'll be fine." But, seriously, what did he know? He doesn't read gardening books, blogs and magazines at all, let alone the quantity I had! Also, he's never grown *anything* before!

After the peppers had survived, mostly neglected, outside for over a month (still in the pots I started them in), my husband took them and planted them in a most unsuitable spot: a pot on the other side of the house that gets MAYBE four hours of direct sun (morning at that!) a day. I told him they would definitely not survive, not there! "I'll take care of them, then," he replied.

Now, my husband, bless is heart, isn't terribly good at remembering things like watering plants. These peppers would go unwatered unless we had rain (which there was a lot of in the spring) or he happened to walk by them (which was rare). They would sulk and he would water only to find them sulking again next time he passed by.

But, my husband didn't give up. Recently, I've been re-landscaping the forgotten side of our house where he planted those peppers and saw this:

I have to say it: He was right. They are fine. And I was a bit melodramatic and foolish giving up on them. This is my lesson learned: In a garden, there's always a hope of success even if you don't always water or don't know exactly what you're doing or stupid aphid attack. If you don't try, you certainly can't succeed. I won't give up so easily next time.


  1. Awesome! Most of my pepper and eggplant seedlings succumbed to aphids--or, rather, I got rid of them so the aphids wouldn't spread. My aphids also didn't care about the tomatoes once they had the pepers and eggplants. But now? I have some little peppers growing, and finally a flower on my eggplant. I am uberexcited!

  2. This is such a life lesson!