We each are on this earth for just a brief flicker of time so be kind to one another and live your life. Don’t let others tell you what is and isn’t possible. Explore. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t be afraid to be different. And just because a book, or research center, or professor say’s this is the way something should be done doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. It doesn’t mean it’s the only way.
I’m told quite often that the way I garden just doesn’t work. Yet, it works for me. In the picture above you’ll find hyssop, winter squash, tomatoes, and a hint of marigold. Look how nicely they’re getting along. We’ve had temperatures well above 90 degrees fahrenheit for over 30 days. And while it’s rained all around us, we’ve had very little. It has been hot, dry, and humid. Yet the plants in this picture look happy. Guess which ones I planted? The hyssop and marigold. The rest are volunteers.
This year our bell peppers are producing. Bell peppers can be temperamental. I think they like growing with the volunteer tomatoes. The foliage shades the soil, keeps it from drying out and helps to keep it cooler than if exposed to the intense heat we’ve been having.
The zucchini above has produced more than I ever thought possible. We’ve eaten it fresh, pickled, and in bread. We also have it grated and frozen for use throughout the winter. I pulled it out Sunday. It was time. The center had long since been devoured by squash borers and I wanted to clean up the area for a fall crop. What’s that? Yes, we had squash borers. But we had a bumper crop despite them.
I wish I had planted more green beans. We’ve had enough to eat but not enough at any one time to can. The beans planted this spring are slowing down but still producing. The ones in the picture above are about two weeks old. It won’t be long and they will flower and produce more beans for the dinner table. Next year I’ll plant more so we have some to can and enjoy over the winter.
The asian long beans got off to a slow start but once the ground and nighttime temperatures had warmed they took off and were very prolific. Unfortunately, they were not a hit on the dinner table. I gave quite a few away and let the rest go to seed. The pods are being shelled and we will try them in a soup. The vines have been pulled and the bed is ready for a winter crop. The sweet pepper above is wonderful. It’s our first time growing it and I can’t say enough about it. There’s just one problem. I have no idea what the variety is. Time to pull out the catalog.
The way I garden works for me. But I’ve been gardening most of my life. Overtime you develop an instinct, a sense for what’s needed. If you’re new to gardening learn the basics. But most importantly learn why something is done. If you understand ‘why’ then you’ll know when you can improvise or come up with another way to accomplish the goal. If you choose to garden without chemical fertilizers learn patience. It takes time to build a soil capable of supporting vegetables without purchased fertilizers or amendments. And remember the goal is to have a garden that is productive not one totally free from pests or disease.
Life is short. Don’t let the naysayers stop you from living your life, trying new things and having the garden you know is possible.