We are reaching the point of our Spring here that it is time to start thinking about what is going to go into this year's garden.
My garden concepts have changed since we arrived in this house four years ago. Originally I tried for a much larger area, but found that the water and shade situation was such that it would be more effective if I concentrated on a smaller area. I tried container gardening but between the water situation (it is either too much or not enough and dries too quickly) and the squirrels (who seem to view this as an alternate location for acorns) this also seems to be a less than desirable option. This leaves me with a stretch of ground about 2' wide and 14' long (0.6 x 4.2 m) - which I am actually okay with: it is close to the water, has an largely unshaded daily sun exposure but does get some shade (helps when the temperatures breach 100 F here in the summer), and allows me to lavish my composts and rabbit droppings in a small space (the larger area, which receives a great deal more sun in the Winter, turns out to make a very adequate bed for growing Winter and Spring grains). It also makes the concept of square foot gardening made famous by Mel Bartholomew a great thing.
But what to grow? Spacing wise, I already have 4 square feet dedicated to garlic and onions and another four to the remnants of grains that survived our freeze this Winter. That leaves me something like 20 square feet.
I know that peppers grow well here and they take up not much room at all (at least the small hot ones I like). I have some summer greens like Aztec Spinach and Egyptian Spinach, which are supposed to be able to weather the heat. My okra did well two years ago but not last year, so that is worth another try. I can always get beans and black eyed peas, so long as I manage to keep the rabbits away.
And then what? I should be able to grow wonderful onions - we get 12 hours of sun at least in the summer, but that never seems to pan out. I have tried for tomatoes every years since we moved and have failed miserably every year (7 years running). Corn is another one that grew well in Old Home but never here - small and spindly. Do I dare risk it?
I have to find something new to try - I try to order something new every year from Bountiful Gardens, partially because I like trying something new and partially because I want to keep getting their catalog? But what? Hopefully, something that (once again) I will not be disappointed in when it fails to produce.