New Castle News

June 18, 2013

Gary Church: Don’t tell my wife, but I’m talking dirty today

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I often hear my wife questioning my sanity.

There are things I do sometimes that make me question it myself.

Since my day job is being a garden writer, companies send me free plants to grow, and perhaps I write about them.

In this year's collection, I received a dozen assorted tomatoes to try.

I would guess the value of the tomatoes I received to be around $5.

Rototilling is not something that I care to do anymore.

To test these plants, I decided to grow them in containers.

It's a challenge to my manhood to grow the best tomatoes possible, so I start with the best soil.

I have been in the growing business for a long time. Because of this, I won't use the soil you find on pallets at the big box stores.

The package is pretty, the commercials on TV are inspiring, but I don't care for whatever kind of muck they have inside the bag.

My preference is Sunshine Mix. This is what most greenhouses grow their plants in.

The cost per bag is around $9.

I used 14-inch pots for the tomatoes, which took a half a bag of soil each.

In total, the 12 pots took six bags of Sunshine Mix potting soil.

I was never good at math but, six bags at $9 a bag should come to $54, plus tax.

Do you realize how many tomatoes I could have bought at a local farm market for $54?

From watching the ads on TV, I could have fed a family in some foreign country for two years.

I blew the money on dirt.

That's the soil that I wanted, though, and I have the fun of testing new tomato plants for several companies, and giving them my opinion.

They are actually waiting to see what I have to say.

Perhaps you might keep it under your hats as to how much I spent on soil.

I didn't share this vital information with my wife.

She would think I needed to invest that kind of money into something dull, like new underwear.

I have a plan to recoup that $54.

A few blocks and a couple of boards and — voila! — a stand in the front yard for my wife to go into the tomato business.

Of course, I get to keep all the profits.

Bring your own bag, though.

Since I spent so much on the soil, I can't afford them.