How did your garden perform for you this year? Were you happy with the results of your labors? Did everything you planted meet or exceed your expectations? Or did you have clearly defined expectations to begin with – other than just a great garden with lots of vegetables?
If you’re not happy with the results from this year’s garden, may I suggest a new approach? Think of yourself as the CEO of Your Household, Inc. One of your functions as CEO is to provide enough nourishing food to feed the employees of Your Household, Inc. (a.k.a. your family). One of your initiatives for next year is to meet part of that food need with fresh fruits and vegetables, and one of your strategies for accomplishing that is to grow, rather than purchase those fresh fruits and vegetables. To make this happen, you have to hire a Director of Fruit and Vegetable Growth (a.k.a. a garden). This Director of Fruit and Vegetable Growth must be able to provide specific kinds of fruit and vegetable outputs to maximize the nutritional needs and the eating pleasure of Your Household, Inc.
How can you be certain that your future Director of Fruit and Vegetable Growth will meet expectations? Just as a company has to interview prospective employees to make sure that they hire the best employees that will perform the functions for which they’ve been hired, you must interview your Director of Fruit and Vegetable Growth to make sure that it will be capable of delivering the aforementioned expected fruit and vegetable outputs.
At this point, you may be thinking, “The Garden Troubadour has truly lost his marbles.” If you haven’t yet figured out what I’m really saying, then allow me to express it in plain English. You’ve got to determine exactly what you want out of your garden – what kinds and cultivars of fruits and vegetables you want to grow. Perhaps you are just starting to garden and you want to begin with the classics – tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Maybe you really have a hankering for fresh corn on the cob, and you want it to be as sugary sweet as can be. If that’s what you want, then in next spring’s garden, you may decide not to plant cucumbers and instead, use that space for corn. Furthermore, you’ll research available cultivars and perhaps choose a sh2 cultivar such as Illini Xtra Sweet, which can retain its sugar content for as long as ten days before that sugar begins to convert to starch.
Maybe all your tomato plants died from verticillium wilt in this season’s garden. Frustrating, no doubt, but you’re not yet ready to give up on tomatoes. So in next year’s garden, you plant a cultivar like Better Boy, which is resistant to verticillium wilt.
By now you get the picture. To have a successful garden, you have to think like a CEO. You have to know what you want your garden to accomplish for you, what fruit and vegetable crops to “hire” to make that happen, and how you’re going to develop them in your organization (a.k.a. garden).
It has been shown time and again that corporations that do not have adequate strategies for growth usually end up going out of business. The same is true of your gardening efforts. If you want your Director of Fruit and Vegetable Growth to succeed (a.k.a. provide you with bumper crops of colorful, flavorful, and nutrition-packed fruits and vegetables), then you have to “hire” the right garden and provide him with the inputs he needs to succeed.