Friday, June 25, 2010

The starter garden and lessons we have learned

Lesson 1:
Never underestimate gourd vines. They are competing with our giant tomato plants for space, sun and water. Next year they may get their own little garden corner.

Lesson #2: Get to know your soil. There are some spots where nothing comes to life. Probably a rocky soil and dehydrated by the giant close-by tree.
And if you don't really love okra, don't plant them. I have been watching out forever to see okras
grow on these plants, and I don't even love okras that much.

If you have a pet, you may think about building a nicer fence or start your beds with raised wooden planting boxes while it's still cool, around March preferably. Our provisional fence that we raised at first may just stay there during the whole season and every time I look at it I go "how ugly", but in almost 100F weather, who's got the energy to carpenter?

Planting your first organic garden is fun, and you can't get enough seeds or pre-grown plants. As a novice you think that if at least one third of all your plants will survive and carry fruit, then you did exceptionally well.
Squash and cucumbers grow so much larger than I imagined in my beginner's dream, and half of the seeds would have been plenty. So it's either less plants or more space for the future, but yet again, while the sun is scorching Oklahoma, who will pick up the shovel and relocate all the mature plants? Not me:)

Natural garden sculpture: this giant stump used to be a really giant mulberry tree which endangered the safety of our house. We sadly had to have it cut. What a wonderful shadow it provided to cool the back patio.
The hibiscus tree in the middle was given to me on Mother's Day and it looks a bit wilted in the picture. Even though a tropical tree, I am not sure it will withstand the afternoon heat in the west. Yucca plants from New Mexico in the back. We assumed since they survived in the rough climate of the Oklahoma panhandle it would be a cinch for them to thrive in our yard. Seems like
they are suffering in our soil, what a beautiful garden centerpiece we had anticipated. We'll see if there will be any lesson to this experiment.

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