Friday, June 10, 2011

C’est la Vie Garden

image source
That there to the right? Yeah, that’s my weather. Thankfully we live at the top of a very large hill, so we’re not going to get flooded out. (if the river ever rose that high, we’d have a lot more to deal with than our house flooding, like zombies or something)

This makes for crappy difficult gardening. During two recent dry spells I’ve managed to get both gardens in. Kinda.

My home bed was first. I tilled under the foot-high weeds that have been in their glory with all this rain (think insta-humus). The next day my little helper and I put in 20 tomato plants and seeded the beets and carrots. Maybe two hours total over two days, and done! (He was so fricken cute, BTW – he was separating tomato cages and throwing them in the garden for me! And he weeded one edge, including five tulips, lol)

Then, there’s the community garden plot. This, I’ve decided, is my C’est la Vie garden.

Full of our county’s trademark clay, my 20’x20’ plot has been under water for most of the spring, and when it does dry out it is rock hard. It had a layer of straw covering it which kept the weeds out (the only good point). A few weeks ago I dug trenches in the mud every four feet, leaving me with four 4’x20’ relatively dry rows. Wednesday it was hot and dry – no transplants that day, the trowel wouldn’t stand a chance. I spread two bales of hay over three of the rows, and spread three wheelbarrows of compost on top. (That’s not a lot of compost, but when the pile is 75 feet away and all you have is a shovel and a wheelbarrow, you do what you can.) At that point I was sooo done for the day, but I had to get those seeds in.

As I watched the neighbor rototill his garden and envied his fluffy soil (the community garden opted against rototilling this year, grumble grumble), I looked at my carefully drawn out plan, and said, “screw it.” (or something along those lines, probably involving expletives as I wiped drips of sweat out of my eyes) I sprinkled the entire contents of all my seed packets in the approximate areas outlined on my plan, ruffled the compost with my hands to get the seeds more or less covered, and called it a day. Once my transplants are big enough to stand the elements I’ll bring them over for row four.

I’ve decided that this garden is going to have to mostly fend for itself. The seeds are in so late in the season (as are everyone else’s) that many likely won’t even sprout. My potatoes, which are supposed to be hard to kill, only sprouted 6 out of 40 starts. But with the hundreds of seeds I scattered, if I get a 10% growth rate from my seeds I should be ok. Not great, but no one can expect great with weather like this. (except for my grandmother, she can grow anything anywhere in any weather)

My c’est la vie garden = scatter pattern plantings and a shrug attitude.

How’s your gardening going?


LuLu Kellogg said...

Everything here is dead and crunchy! We have had no rain and 98 degree weather. Send some rain my way!


Jessie said...

I would LOVE to! :)