Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gardening: Growing Something New



   I know me...I tend to 'garden in a rut'. Know what I mean? Grow the same standard crop year after year, row after row without any thought or consideration to the millions of seeds just begging for a chance to grow. My grandparents were 'rut gardeners' too; they grew the same crops and canned the same produce year after year...because it worked; it was reliable. Sometimes, you just need to 'give seeds a chance'.
   Once of my girls participated in the Master Gardener Apprentice program a few years ago. She would come home with tales of arugula, kale, chard and bok choy... raised beds and intensive plantings. This opened a door for new ideas in the garden..things I would have never considered. While the thoughts may have been stirring, the action was slow...I am not one to jump on new patterns..it takes time.
   Little by little we ventured into new seeds and things; it wasn't easy..I am not a fan of change. These days kholorabi and kale are regulars along side purple beans and strange squash breeds. It didn't happen all at once, but it did happen..however, not all things that made an appearance stayed. I still can't wrap my mind around bok choy; it's debut in the garden was short lived!
   When considering new garden crops, no matter how eager or hesitant we may be, there are a few things we do before hoeing a row:

   1. Do we know someone who has grown it? I ask around and seek others who have some experience with a new crop. Sometimes it just helps to have an experienced person to talk to.
   2. Do I like this? Sometimes a gardener will share some of their harvest with you. Get a taste of the thing before you dedicate precious garden space to it.
   3. Do I have the space for it? If not, don't bother unless you have tasted it first. If so, it can always go to the flock or the stock when you get sick of it.
   4. Does it work in my area? If it's not your zone, leave it alone!

   Some new things are excellent; some are just a fail, but if you never step out you'll never know. Who would have thought kale would be an addictive garden addition? Not me!!

   What new things are you trying in this year's garden?  

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Like you, this year I am trying something new. I am doing trash can potatoes. You should be able to get 50 to 60 pounds of potatoes out of one trash can. Wish me luck.

Clint Baker said...

Thats always good to try different things. Just trust and they will all grow. God Bless!

Simply Scaife Family said...

@Michele, I have never done potatoes in a trash can, but did grow them quite well in tire stacks. Hope to hear how your venture goes!
@Clint, thank you..new is good; I am trying to step out on adventure a bit more every year!!
Thanks, ya'll for visiting!!

Mrs. Farmer said...

We haven't been doing this long enough to be in a rut... LOL We're still trying to figure out what works. Your advice is good for that, too!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I tried Kale, creamed kale, after I received the Danish cookbook. It was good! Even better the 2nd day.

Heidi said...

Good advice. I am trying herbs and florals for my new honeybees. I have grown the kitchen pot herb garden before, but I have never given herbs a space in my veggie garden before. I was motivated by the price of fresh dill last summer. Michelle and I had all these great plans to can pickles only to find a small bunch of dill was $5. Yikes. I hope that we can dry lots of herbs for later too.

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House said...

It's easy to get in a rut and do the same ole' thing... but so fun to try new things too! I'm trying my hand at cut flower farming in my backyard this year! I love the idea of trash can taters! Might have to give that a go too! Thanks for the inspiration.