So, I’m stuck with dangerously bad soil, it’s too late to plant anyway, and I don’t know where I get good sun. When confronted with this sort of situation, most ADHDers (my past self included,) would have done one of two things. Felt overwhelmed by what needed to be done and given up on the garden all together or ignored these pesky details and charged right ahead with a garden anyway. Believe me, both options crossed my mind.
Here’s what I did instead. I set to work figuring out what I needed to do to fix the soil, did research on when to plant in New England for the following year, and started a self-designed “sun study.”
The sun study was the easiest, so I’ll start with that. I am up early with my son on Saturdays anyway, so I set an alarm to go outside once an hour and took pictures around the house to see where I was getting sun. I did this two or three times about a month apart until I got a sense of where and when the sun was shining.
The what and when to plant was a little tougher. The books I read suggested that I started most of what I wanted to plant inside weeks before I could bring them out. That seemed like a lot of pressure to then get everything in the ground at the right time, to harden them off appropriately, etc. I made a decision that the book probably represented the absolutely perfect way to grow stuff. I was willing to compromise and see what happened.
I feel like this is a really important side point. As ADHDers who try to plan, we can very often get overwhelmed by try to plan to perfection. And as many of us know, perfectionism leads to inaction. Yes, we have to plan to get what we want, but there is always an element of uncertainty too. We have to do the best we can to be prepared and accept that we can only rarely be perfectly prepared. Sometimes that is the only way to learn what we need to know.
Anyway, I decided not to make a decision about whether to plant inside or not just yet. I knew I had to deal with the soil first. So, my research indicated that to really fix the soil, I needed to spend about $30K to totally replace all of it. That was not going to happen. I broke the process into two objectives. I needed to make the yard safe for my son. And I had to figure out how to make a garden where I could grow lovely golden beets.
I’ll pick it up here in Part III. Here’s a picture of our death trap of a garage and the least charming corner of an altogether charmless yard from when we moved in.