Sunday, June 01, 2014

And my garden

Photo of first knitted item finished will come tonight. I think perhaps I will write posts in the evening for the next day - seeing as I teach 2, 75-minute classes and need to take the hour before them to prep quickly.

My garden survived the break pretty well. I had a sprinkler on a timer but it may not have needed it; it seems we got a fair amount of rain. I think tomorrow or so I can harvest the first beans (yeah!). And I have three beets that germinated and grew. (The seeds were a year old, that may be why germination was so poor). My tomato plants are large and healthy and several of them have small green tomatoes on them.

I did do a bit of weeding in between mowings of the backyard (I had to mow it twice to get everything. Even at that it's not perfect, but it's better than it was). However, everything's so densely planted that I got fewer weeds than normally. I had worried about competition - I have the tomatoes in with the beets, and I planted a couple tomato plants in the bean plots, and planted some herbs in with other tomatoes - but as I have deep raised beds, maybe they have enough rooting volume. (I suppose it would be clever to look up the different rooting depths of common garden plants and plant a deep rooted one alongside a shallow rooted one...)

I'm excited the tomatoes look so well. Of course, now it's supposed to get super hot, which isn't so good for them, so I'll have to see. A friend at church suggested using shadecloth during the hottest part of the summer, I may have to try that.

I do wish I had more time to garden, it's lots of fun and rewarding to grow some of your own vegetables. (If I lived in a cooler climate I'd try to do lettuces, but here it gets so hot so fast you can't count on much of a crop before it bolts.) If I had more space I'd even try sweetcorn, but you need a lot of room for that and you need to be able to water it regularly in this climate. (So far we've never had restrictions on watering a garden since I've lived here, just restrictions on lawn-watering. I suppose if I really wanted to I could catch the greywater from my washing machine and use that, if it ever gets to the point of real restrictions. I use a biodegradable soap....)

I'm going to try to do a fall crop of beets and maybe one of beans this year, if I can make the time. I still haven't really learned the vegetable schedule for this part of the country: I knew it well for Ohio and Illinois, and here it always seems different.

1 comment:

Chris Laning said...

Re: lettuce
In California, crops like snap peas, spinach, and lettuce are winter crops, planted in fall, which more or less avoids the early bolting problem.

During the couple of years I ran a community garden here, you could always tell when someone had come from an Eastern US area because they would try to plant lettuce in April. Of course it bolts almost immediately.

You might look around for Oklahoma's Cooperative Extension program online to see whether they have suggested planting schedules. Many states have programs like Master Gardeners -- trained volunteers who can help with such questions. (I work for the branch of the University of California that does the same out here.)