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Thursday, April 11, 2013

On Being a Patient Gardener

As I've mentioned in the past, we moved to our new home last November.  When we moved, we brought our raised beds and the dirt that we had been using in them with us.  It wasn't easy.  It would have simplified our move if we had just left it all behind and started fresh.  However, as you will see in a moment, a gardener's dirt can be worth an awful lot.  

The dirt that we brought with us had been used in the beds for a little less than three years.  Of course we have added to the dirt each season, (For more on that, check out the post I did on garden amendments.)  but the base of the garden was started around that time. 

After moving the dirt and refilling the gardens, we found that our longest bed was only able to be half filled.  So, I filled one side of it up to the top and left the other half empty.  We then went and got compost, filled the second half, and mixed in some soil and fertilizer from Home Depot.  I then planted the garden.  I put in squash, sunflowers, beans, and chard.  I planted the whole thing at once.  Here is what the first half (with the dirt from the old house) looks like now:


And here is what the second half looks like (with the "new" dirt):



Remember, all of these plants were planted at the same time.  They are watered the same.  The only difference is the soil.  As I've gardened over the years, I've notice this phenomenon but this is the best illustration of it that I've seen.  To sum it up, dirt/soil needs at least one, often more, season to be good.  I don't know how else to describe it.  I'm not a soil scientist.  All I can say, is that as a gardener, there are so many ways in which we need to be patient and one of those ways is being patient through seasons that might not be as productive as we want them to be.  I doubt I'll get much this season from the second half of the garden but the first half is already giving me produce.  

As they say, patience is a virtue.  It is so true when it comes to gardening.  The moral is, give your gardens time and don't give up.  If you don't have the results that you want this season, try again next season.  Eventually you'll get to where you want to be. 


A picture taken from the left side of the garden.  You can see the itty bitty plants at the other end. 


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