Vibha Akkaraju discovered a secret to growing a plentiful harvest that you wouldn’t read in a gardening handbook.
Ten years ago, I gave up my community garden plot right before I was formally evicted. My garden was overrun with crabgrass, pesky squirrels and aphids. I tried keeping these things in check, but they were so much more tenacious than me. So for years, I stopped gardening. In fact, I actively started badmouthing the hobby.
Turns out I wasn’t alone. My friend Diana also couldn’t manage her garden. There was just too much weeding, watering, and upkeep.
Then early this spring, Diana had an idea: why don’t we try it together? We can share a plot and the responsibilities and the harvest. I had fears of repeat failure — but said, “All right…why not.”
The joint venture was fun from the get go. We went plant shopping together, each of us energized by the other’s enthusiasm. She attended gardening tutorials. I got the mulch. We prepped the soil together and planted arugula, lettuce, parsley, peppers, basil, tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes.