This is the garden that almost wasn’t. By my count, this garden has survived six or seven adverse weather events in Oklahoma. First, it was the frost that lasted until the second week of May. That’s almost unheard of in my state. Second, it was the tornadoes. (By the way, I consider myself very fortunate that my only great concern was my vegetable garden. It would be a small price to pay compared to the devastation most people experienced. My thoughts are still very much with the victims of these violent storms.). The wind, rain, and hail completely thrashed this little plot of land. The picture above shows the revised garden. We originally had two kinds of radish, and sorrel starts. Those were pounded into the ground. So we replaced them with bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and arugula. It’s definitely not the end of the world. But nevertheless, frustrating when you work to grow things…..from seed.
Now we’re having these violent thunderstorms that almost look like rain bands in a hurricane. The other night, the wind was blowing so hard, the rain was coming in sideways. I woke up (which is a very rare occurrence during a storm) at 4am, thinking “there goes the garden”. Once your plants are large enough, they are in danger of sustaining mass amounts of damage. We had thinned our tomato plants out by at least twenty five percent due to broken stalks as a result of the last tornado. They couldn’t take another hit.
Today, I finally made it out there to assess any damage. Amazingly, everything is in tact. The only exception was a tomato limb on one plant. I couldn’t bring myself to cut it off, so I tied it up to the cage. Sometimes, plants survive anyway. We’re finally at the point where the plants can continue to grow, and produce fruit (weather permitting).
After all the hard work and stress, I still wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think everyone should at least try growing their own herbs. You do build up a lot of sweat equity. But, you waste less, eat cheap, and produce a better quality of fruit. Our bed is a monster, twelve feet by twelve feet. Most beds don’t need to be that large. You can start with a four by six, or even large pots. Right now, we’re also growing watermelon and basil in large aluminum pots. As long as you have some sort of rubber barrier around the edge, vining plants like cucumber, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon will grow over and fruit.
I will continue to post on the progress of the garden. I’m very passionate about plants. I love to grow them, and am happy to share my success with other people. If you’re a gardening novice, start with your USDA Hardiness Zone. Once you know that, you can research veggies and fruit that will grow in your area. If you’re local, the zones for Oklahoma are 7a and 7b. Things like lettuce, radish, kohrabi, corn, spinach, kale (Dwarf Siberian is the only one that will really grow here), beans, etc. are typically planted in the fall. Tomatoes, cucumber, squash, melon, asparagus, peppers, herbs, etc. are typically planted in the spring.
I hope this inspires you to try it out. The work you put in is very much worth the product you receive in return.