You may remember back in April that I cleared some additional gardening space:
What has happened in the intervening 2.5 months?
Turns out that compost is loaded with all kinds of good things which are just waiting for the excuse to grow.
From my initial planting most of my actual things did not take: alfalfa, rye, even wheat all turned out to be busts (I truly blame the fact that I did not plant until April). What I got instead were two kinds of pumpkins, cantelopes, tomatos, and some corn. The actual corn I planted got stunted but is finally coming up (it got overrun by a pumpkin plant). The one true success at this point ssems to be the sweet sorghum, which is that large clump near the back.
You will notice a bare spot in the middle. Yesterday I cleared out the remains of a dying pumpkin plant (pumpkins, in these parts, appear to be up and done by this time of the year - heat, I suppose) and planted three kinds of beans and a couple of okra plants to supplement the few I planted earlier that had been nibbled upon (but are now moving forward). Also doing well but not pictured are two tomato plants and a Jalapeno plant. My final finish in another area was all the Black-eyed peas I could plant. I will try and plant some hot weather greens in a planter and that will be the garden until fall.
Having this new (and suprisingly productive) area is changing my perspective of how I want to garden moving forward. All of a sudden, the back area against the fence - my original garden which is semi-shaded by a neighbor's oak - holds out the promise of becoming my part time grain growing area. I love growing grains but they always bleed into the spring when I should be planting and then the garden bleeds over to the fall when I should be planting. Quite possibly this problems will elminate itself (although I still need to work on what grains I can grow here). This new area - no more than 3' x 23' or 69 sq feet (6.41 sq meters if the old hand calculations still work) - gets every hour that the sun is up in the sky with no concern of trees ever. Square foot gardening indeed. Mel Bartholomew would be proud.
There are still lots of things to play with, of course. Crop mix is a large one - growing here instead of Old Home, I am having to re-educate myself on what grows well and what does not (for the record so far, Black-eyed peas, peppers, okra, pumpkings, and possibly sweet sorghum are winners. Tomatos continue to remain in the "maybe" category). And my apparent success with one smaller area make me thing that some raised beds just downhill of this intial bed may increase my production a great deal.
But one thing at the time. This is by far the most success I have had in six years. Now to just water, weed, watch - and plot for the future.