No Garden This Year

Reader Contribution by April Freeman
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I am beginning to accept the fact that I may not get an official garden this year. Now that we have the time do get it in, we’ve had so much rain that we can’t get into the garden spot. Turning over mud just means that it’ll bake hard in the sun when you have so much clay in the dirt.

The big problem is what to do with the plants that I sprouted from seed. I’ve been tucking them here and there in my beds near the house. I can’t grow them too close the house because we treated the house for termites. But there are several places where I could stick some plants and not fear that the veggies will have some weird poison in them. I did the same with my sweet potato plants. The vines do look pretty and maybe I’ll get lucky and get a few sweet potatoes from the plants.

Out in the yard, I have two small oval beds where I grow spring veggies. Lettuces and sugar snap peas mostly. I dug up one of these beds with a shovel a few weeks ago (the tiller is still broken) and put in a tomato plant, planted some bush beans, bell peppers, okra, and some pole beans too. This bed looks pretty good. I hope the plants do well, but there’s a lot growing in a small space. I guess we’ll see. I’m hopeful that the generous application of partly composted manure that I applied before turning it over will help feed this abundance of veggies.

I have another bed that’s overgrown with weeds. This week, I plan on planting the remainder of my tomato plants there and my pepper plants. It’s going to be slow going. This morning I got out and dug it with a shovel. The ground is so wet and heavy that I only made it through about a third of it before I had to call it quits. Maybe in the cool of the evening I can tackle another portion of it.

I put the most desperate-looking plants out this morning. They are aching for a bit of dirt in which they can spread their roots and really GROW.

I’m saving the center of the bed to put in some more pole beans. The idea is that the pole beans can grow up above the other, lower growing plants, and the other tomatoes and peppers can snuggle together and smother out weeds. It seems to be working fairly well in the other bed. I think it’s sort of an adaptation of the square foot gardening idea.

I’ll still miss out on the cucumbers, melons, and sweet corn, but I suppose you gotta do what you gotta do. This way, at least I’ll get some garden produce.

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