Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More is not always better

Its that time again...time to be thinking about our garden and planning out what we will grow this year.

Last year we totally overdid it with squash plants. We put in 4 each of zucchini squash, yellow summer squash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash. They took over. We had more squash than we knew what to do with. We gave away boxes and barrels of the darn things, frozen them and ate them and STILL have a big box of them sitting in the basement.

We had WAY too much squash.

This year I'm trying to plan things a bit better. There will only be TWO plants each of zucchini and yellow squash (OK, maybe three) and none of the others. This year I'll be branching out to include new things I've never grown before: okra, cabbage, and broccoli along with the usual standbys of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. I also hope to grow a few melons.

But the sad truth is, I'm a fair weather gardener. I LOVE getting my hands in the dirt in early spring. I enjoy the smell of the fresh tilled earth. I get great joy from sorting out all my little seed packets and dreaming of my future harvest bounty.

When those first plantings start to pop up out of the ground in hopeful new baby plants it makes me want to do a happy dance.

However, I know me. I'm not likely to be willing to drag hoses to water in the summer heat and come July I could care less about weeding or being vigilant about potential bugs.

So I'm lucky my husband is creative and willing to put the time in to set up a fairly low maintenance garden spot for me each year. I'll have an automatic watering system set on a timer. My plants will be nestled safely in the protection of landscape fabric that will keep out most of the weeds. As for bugs? So far I've just been plain lucky. I have not sprayed or done any other kind of intervention. Last year's garden grew like gang busters with narry a beetle or slug.

I'm hoping we'll have the same good fortune this year. I really REALLY don't want to put poison on my garden. But I'm not so committed to organic principles that I'm likely to tolerate insects eating up my plants.

We will have four 50 ft rows this year, expanding from the three we did last summer. Also I will be repeating my hanging tomatoes. There's just nothing like fresh produce straight from the garden. Beyond that, I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from watching things grow, even if we do take more than a few shortcuts. However there will DEFINITELY be less squash. When it comes to my garden I'm trying to really embrace the phrase that says "less is more."


Jen said...

We are doing more cool weather crops this year because I am the same way come July!

My parents are in Oregon and they went way overboard this year with tomatoes. It was at the point where my mom was considering putting veggies on the roadside for people to take! My garden last year was practically a bust because I had stupid stupid dogs to contend with breaking in to eat the manure! Gross. Anyway my garden was destroyed at least three times, and I think (hope!) this year will be better.

Belladonna said...

Ah, Jen, you DO understand. Nope, nowhere close to Albany. I have an appointment for a place in Pendleton on Tuesday. I know several people who go there who all assure me it will be good. I've got my fingers crossed!

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