I would try positive thinking, but I don’t think it will work.
My zucchini plants are a real life example. I spent about $140 on stuff for my garden, $60 of it on dirt. “What, Mom?! You’re BUYING dirt?” Oh yes, kids. It’s very good dirt. It has cow poop in it.
So this year, I thought I’d add zucchini. When I was growing up (in a different climate from here), it seemed like there was too much zucchini. Someone was always giving away the extras from their garden. So, I figured, it must be easy to grow. Always one step behind, I began researching zucchini after I bought the plants and brought them home.
According to my local gardening book, the species of squash that includes zucchini is “the most easily killed by squash vine borer.” And, “most organic efforts to thwart borers have proved failures.” In spite of all this, I went through the hassle of making a 12″ deep, 24″ diameter hole and layering it with fertilizer and building a hill for each plant. Well, maybe I cheated a little on the 24″ diameter.
I considered giving up, and just sticking them in the dirt without all the trouble of preparing the hill. But then it struck me how optimism and pessimism are self-fulfilling. If I believed the zucchini would fail, then I wouldn’t make the effort, thus causing them to fail. But if I had faith in my little zucchini and made the effort, they might survive.
I’m still not convinced they will hold out, but at least they have a chance. My little hills are sort of a symbol of hope. I don’t suppose a person can be a gardener or farmer without some optimism. And I’m counting on my kids to look for the tiny vine borer eggs, so that my designer dirt doesn’t go to waste.
Note: For a great Houston gardening book, check out Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro Houston, by Bob Randall, Ph.D.