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How Will My Garden Grow?

Last year's garden produced some yummy stuff, but the early heat killed off my cold-weather veggies.  Then the mid-July "help" from my neighbor--bless his heart--resulted in most of the remaining stuff rotting out in the middle of drought.

This year I've decided to do away completely with neat rows and divided patches.  I'm going to try for a "wild" garden that's low-maintenance, seemingly overgrown, and sustainable.

The theory behind it is based less on successful gardening methods and more on natural growing conditions.  Nature doesn't like bare soil.  What we call weeds are nature's easiest means of soil enrichment and erosion control.  (Thistles are a great example.)  If the soil is good, and things are growing well in it, weeds aren't needed.

By mixing crops and staggering planting times, using a combination of seeds and seedlings, little bare soil should be exposed to sunlight for long.  Once an early crop like cabbage is harvested, a later crop like melons should already be encroaching on that space.  Broccoli should give way to okra, and lettuce to tomatoes.  Near the end of summer, the opposite should occur--peppers dying back for spinach, summer squash making way for winter squash.  Radishes, small onions, carrots and new seedlings will fill in the blanks as they open.

Throughout the growing season, some plants are allowed to go to seed.  Not only does this encourage pollinating insects to frequent the garden, it permits the soil to choose what it can best sustain.

Though it'll look messy and wild, the idea is to produce usable food with minimal work and intervention.  it's about creating a sustainable ecosystem that needs little human intervention to regulate itself.

That's the theory.  We shall see how it works.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Mar. 10th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
How big will your garden be?
blairmacg
Mar. 10th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
It's about 20 x 20 right now, and I can't imagine needing anything bigger. :)
queenoftheskies
Mar. 10th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you're going to grow so many good things! I think I told you last year how difficult it is to find okra out here. So awesome that you can grow it!

Question. Does Nature's Sunshine always ship as quickly as it shipped the last supplements? I'm going to need some more B-12 soon and I'm wondering how far in advance I need to order it to make sure I don't run out.
blairmacg
Mar. 10th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Really surprises me about the okra--not that it isn't in stores, but that not even someone at farmer's market is growing it.

Usually the shipping is three business days, but I'd order a week out. Just let me know! :)
queenoftheskies
Mar. 10th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
I'm still looking around at farmers' markets, but it's too early yet for okra. Right now, there are berries, citrus fruits of all varieties, and the standards like broccoli and cauliflower. Lots of potatoes and veggies used in Chinese dishes. I don't think I've even seen tomatoes yet.

I can't really order any more until I get paid on the 15th is why I was asking if delivery is fast. I'm hoping I won't run out before then.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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