Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 Garden: You Have To Start Sometime

So yesterday I started my 2015 Spring Garden.

I have been delaying, to be honest.  Two reasons really:  one is that I have a tendency to plan too early (or with my luck, too late - but that is a separate issue entirely).  The second is a challenge that I face with many of the projects that I have going on:  I convince myself that it will be such an onerous task that it will take too much time to do it unless I have a large block of time to invest.

But I have had to deal with the fact (at least for reason two) that large blocks of time simply do not exist and I will have to take the bite size chunks that I have, even if that means I only plant one vegetable a day for two weeks.  So yesterday was my first carving out of time.

Today was grain day.  I have actually come to enjoy grains a great deal:  they are satisfying to grow, can be used in a variety of ways, and add a certain beauty to any garden.  The actual cutting and threshing are no more difficult than  working with most other items in a garden - with a couple of buckets, an electric fan, an aluminum bat, and a drying pan one is ready to go.

Today I planted four kinds of grains:  Alfalfa (for nitrogen), a Gazelle rye, Sonoran Wheat (also fast growing) and Sweet Sorghum.  All of these are an experiment for me in one way or another:  the Alfalfa is to put nitrogen back into soil (and maybe get a little hay for the rabbits - who knows?), the rye and wheat are my attempt to find a grain that will grow in the short spring and early summer we have here (water conservation and potential quick turnover of the real estate is the goal here), and the Sorghum is an experiment in trying to grow an alternative to commercially available sugar (if the stuff actually grows, I will have to quickly develop a method of extracting the syrup - another potential adventure waiting to happen).

I never know if  I plant it right - I am too impatient to make straight rows so I just hand sprinkle (or, as turns out, seed packets work even better!), cover with soil, and water.

We will see how it goes - I always temper my enthusiasm with the acceptance that many of the things I plant do not make it and really I am just trying to understand what I can grow at this point.  Still, grain is one of the more forgiving of garden items: give it enough sun and rain and something is sure to grow.

So for better or worse, the gardening season is upon us.  Huzzah!


  1. Have you thought about Millet for a grain? Supposedly it is very drought tolerant and fast growing. I won't even start the garden until May as our last frost date is actually May 15th. some years I can start in April and be fine but it has bitten me a few times so I just hold off now.

    Good luck with everything you are growing!!!

    1. I actually (accidentally) have grown millet a couple of times thanks to squirrels and birds dropping them in my garden space. It is remarkably drought tolerant, but I have not (as yet) found a real use for it as a food.

      Thanks for the good wishes. For me, gardening is always a bit of an adventure as I never really know what will make it in any given year.


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