When someone asks me what gardening method I follow I can’t give a simple answer. I use a mish mash of gardening techniques: square foot gardening, succession gardening, raised bed gardening, and companion gardening. Taking from each what will best help me in my circumstances. Last night I was thumbing through Weather-Wise Gardening and while reading I discovered the term that best describes me: The Determined Gardener. The determined gardener is described as one who is trying to “find a way to “cheat the season, ” either by lengthening it, making it warmer or cooler, wetter or drier, or by providing protection from the wind.” In the past I have shown you how I have cheated the rabbits and the cold, as well as extended the growing season. Next week I will show you a couple of ways that I am “cheating” the wind and the summer sun. The first peas are almost ready! I can already taste them cooked with green onions and basil. Wow, I just realized that all of the ingredients for Peas with Basil will come from my garden except for the butter! And like Blue Ridge Mountain Mama I am not about to get cows, well, at least not until I move somewhere where gardening is not so time consuming.
The rabbits ate the gooseberries down to the ground this spring, but they have come back. They have finally grown thorns, which should provide them with protection from here on out. They have acclimated well to the fierce dessert sun, doing much better than the blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Evidence that the wind did not blow off all of the pear blossoms! One of the things I am trying to do is create a wind break to provide protection for my fruit trees. I have planted more non-fruit trees on the northwest side of the property, but it will be a while before I enjoy the benefits they will provide. Our short growing season not only affects our garden, it also slows the growth on most decidous trees.
The apple trees blossomed later than the pears, so they missed out on our wind storms. I have not thinned the apples because I can usually count on the birds and the wind to do that for me.