Anyway, here is what I have learned about our garden adventure so far:
1. The soil is really thick, meaning dense, compact...you can see it in the photo of the bush bean below. We actively chose not to amend the soil, thinking we wanted things to grow in the "natural" environment.
2. We knew before we started that a garden requires lots of direct sun. Following some research, I learned that lettuce type plants need at least 4 hours, root type vegetables need at least 6 hours, and fruiting things (tomatoes, zucchini, etc) need at least 8 but prefer 10 - 12 hours. We knew we had a lot of trees shading the garden and square garden boxes, so we tried to plant accordingly. We thought we had enough open space, but we are learning otherwise. Of course, the sun moves over time, so what we thought was good planting spots for each type of vegetable, changed over time.
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I was a lumberjack, when we cut several small trees to open up some space. But I fear it is not nearly enough, and we need much more sun in order for our garden to be as fruitful as possible. This photo was taken at 4:30PM today, no direct sun left! You can see sun to the right of the garden, but the trees to the north are blocking the sun to my precious sprouts!
This frustration with lack of direct sunlight is compounded by...
3. ...the fact that we live in a temperate rainforest, which means lots and lots of rain, and I believe this year is a little above normal, and though I have no scientific proof of that, I have mountain folk proof! Having a large amount of rain with limited sunshine in between storms has a thickening impact on the already dense, compact soil (I can make a mud ball out of it that will stick together and dry that way!). While I really enjoy the rain and storms, and I'd rather have more rain than less, it increases the need to maximize the amount of sun we direct toward our garden.
Now for some simple appreciations:)...
4. There are lots of worms here, excellent for the garden and a good hearty, juicy breakfast for the birds:), like Mr. Robin Red Breast, looks like he can use some fattening up!
5. There are many beautiful butterflies, I keep seeing new ones...
The above two are Aphrodite Fritillaries
This Mourning Cloak Brushfoot butterfly was in my path but flew away before I could take a close up picture...looks like it has furry edges!
I encountered this little guy on my way to the mailbox, he also flew away too quickly for me.
I've learned to appreciate the simple things in life...and they flutter by unexpectedly!
And so you have it...I must learn to be patient and let nature takes it's course. I am tucking away each little learning so I can put them into action next time, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I shall work harder at appreciating the simple things:)
Thank you for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,
Lots of things in life are learned by trial and error. It will take a few years before you get your garden the way you like it. I plant lots of things, but I just like to watch them grow. I don't want to have to pick them and/or cook them. Last year I carefully planted seeds with the correct amount of spacing and the weather was bad, so not much grew well. This year I just scattered a bunch of seeds in rows and I have more peas, turnips and radishes than I want or need. I don't want them to go to waste, so now I feel pressured to think of ways to use or preserve them. So see....we're all a litttle crazy!
Mitch, I love the random planting concept, I think I figured our sticking to a more naturalistic approach would have the same effect, and who knows, maybe I am just too impatient! Today we are thinning out our seedlings, and going to talk about thinning trees again too!
Ha ha, maybe you will make lots of new friends if you start giving your produce away! Or you could put a stand on the corner of your yard and sell them! You did say we were all a little crazy, right?
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