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Old 12-12-2018, 01:35 PM
Location: too far from the sea
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To me, gardening has nothing to do with manicured lawns, which I think are quite silly. Manicured lawns work in places like England which have a moderate climate and usually don't suffer from droughts. (This past summer was an exception concerning droughts.)
To me, gardening is not about lawns. In fact, I embrace the trend of replacing lawns with mulch or stones, or as I had at my last house, boulders, rhododendrons, azaleas, and low spreading juniper.

Vegetable gardening may not save money, but seeds are cheap, you make compost and improve your soil so you're not buying soil,. You can end up with quite a water bill, that's all.

Gardening is good aerobic exercise and gives you something to look forward to every day. Besides, it's a whole lot more convenient to walk out the door and pick a tomato than driving to the store or even to the farmers market that here, is only on the weekend. I love it!
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:52 PM
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Also, many cities and counties offer free top soil, mulch, and compost. Check for local government website.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:30 PM
Location: SoCal
13,209 posts, read 6,313,926 times
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Every year, my pleasure in getting seeds catalog. They often have wonderful pictures, give me tons of ideas of what to plan in my garden. Best yet, my ability to dream of things I could plan next year. You can tell, I just got a seeds catalog from Burpee.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:10 PM
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,153,447 times
Reputation: 5472
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
This sort of topic typically will only attract those who are interested in the activity. I thought I would post a balancing point of view. I really dislike gardening and all sorts of yard work.
Vegetable gardening is a very expensive, time consuming endeavor. Years ago I thought I could save some money growing vegetables. Anyone who has tried it knows better.

There are those who want the manicured lawns, shrubbery and flower gardens. In fact about half of the yards are well manicured. Few homeowners do it themselves but there are endless numbers of "landscapers" coming and going on a daily basis.

Instead of gardening, I do other activities instead, including lots of travel.

I find your post wrong on many levels!!!

First the OP asked "Who is gardening in retirement?", she did not ask for a debate on the merit of gardening. I have no ideas why you felt compelled to post a 'balancing point of view". If you hate gardening and yard works, why did you bother to read and post in this thread??

Secondly, no previous posters including the OP mentioned anything about the economic aspect of having a garden. There are some people who can save money by growing vegetables but I very much doubt that it is the reason for people to have a garden. If you hate gardening but did it ONLY to save money, it's not a surprise that you were disappointed.

People enjoy gardening for many reasons: enjoying nature, chance to be outdoor, staying healthy (both from the physical activities and eating wholesome organic produce), satisfying their nurture instincts, feeling a sense of accomplishment, enjoying seeing the fruits of their labor, enjoying creating a beautiful landscape/habitat both for themselves and other creatures (birds, bees, butterflies etc.).

Many avid gardeners don't have a manicured lawn. My mother and sister ripped up their lawn and converted their 1A property to amazing flower and vegetable gardens. Tending the garden keeps them healthy. The garden is also their source of pride and joy. Their garden is a favorite stop for the local senior garden bus tour every spring and summer. True gardeners also do all or most of the work themselves. The people who hire a troop of landscapers are more like proud homeowners than proud gardeners.

Gardening does not prevent gardeners from enjoying or doing other life activities. Unless one live in a year-around mild climate, gardening is very seasonal usually from April to September or early October. One usually spends no more than a week or two during the busy time of spring planting or fall harvesting. The sun and rain or sprinkler system will do the rest of the work. The flowers and vegetables grow by themselves!

My recollection is that you have several hobbies like archery, painting and photography besides traveling. I assume that you have to spend quite a bit of time on your hobbies. You also don't spend all your day perfecting your archery or painting skills. What make you think that gardeners don't travel or doing other things????

Last edited by BellaDL; 12-12-2018 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:24 PM
Location: Midwest
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I bought my wife three different tomato plants for mother's day. We planted them, three months later we've had yooj crops of tomatoes that finally quit when the freezes hit about a month ago.

No comparison to store-bought, none. Easy care, water them and stake them and eat them. YUM!
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:28 PM
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,624 posts, read 19,947,296 times
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Originally Posted by Dwatted Wabbit View Post
I bought my wife three different tomato plants for mother's day. We planted them, three months later we've had yooj crops of tomatoes that finally quit when the freezes hit about a month ago.

No comparison to store-bought, none. Easy care, water them and stake them and eat them. YUM!
The only way I can get a decent tomato here is to grow it, or spend 5.99 a pound for heirlooms.
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Old 12-12-2018, 08:41 PM
Location: S.W. Florida
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Iím just two years into living in Florida so Iím learning the ropes about how itís done here vs. Ohio. I will say that propagation of plants is very easy here in the heat and humidity.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:12 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,382 posts, read 21,223,392 times
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Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
tjlover, when I have plants not thriving, I move them to another location in the yard. My son was the one who told me I just hadnít found the right spot for a plant and needed to move it. I was stuck on making a plant work where I wanted it to be, not where it needed to be.
I planted 2 Red Fair Dusters (the bees love them) side by side, within 3 feet of each other, one took off like a rocket, the other just sat there and did nothing. I moved it to a sunnier locale and it still didn't do anything. I planted 5 vinca plants 1 foot away from the other, 3 took off, the other 2 died off. I also planted 2 beautiful yellow flowers a foot apart, same soil, same watering, one is as happy as can be, the other died off soon after.

Lots of unsolved mysteries with plants!
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:21 PM
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 765,264 times
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I hate almost everything to do with yard work and gardening. However my wife likes the garden. We have just shy of 1 1/2 acres and I put in a 24X24 fenced in area in the backyard for her. I bought a small rototiller last year but never got around to turning it over for her (I had surgery). My goal is to get myself back there in the spring and get the garden ready for wifey.

For what it's worth this is one of the most agricultural counties in the entire state of NY. Several of our neighbors have really nice gardens.
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:26 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,083 posts, read 22,934,448 times
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I just have a balcony now, and I also have two large totes inside with grow lights over them. Inside, one tote has 3 types of basil in it, and the other has microgreens right now and cilantro and oregano.

On the balcony right now, I have snow peas and other just ornamental plants. This last summer I had cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears, so sweet!

OP, by hardy veggies, do you mean short-season types of options? When I lived in the PNW, I was able to grow baby corn varieties, so you might try that. Think of the little corns in Chinese food. Mine grew a lot bigger than the little ones I'm used to in Chinese food, but they were much smaller than regular sweet corn ears, and were really tasty, and they ripened in the short season.

Cherry tomatoes should work for you. Snow peas can be grown year-round in cool weather. And I know you have cucumbers covered, but I used to grow the lemon cucumbers, as they would ripen more quickly. I love them because the skins are really thin and you can just eat the whole thing without peeling.

Anyway, if I understand your limitations correctly, try looking for short-season options like people have to grow in the mountains in the PNW.

Congrats on your cucs!

Oh, and for traveling, check these out. I use these Hydro-Spikes for plants that are up high on shelves that I don't want to have to climb up to water all the time. You just fill up the little ceramic thing, and make sure the bottom of the tube is lower than the ceramic thing. Then, the plant will draw the water when it needs it. Makes them self-watering.

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