Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An Unhappy Garden

When you live the majority of your life in one climate and later move to a different one there are many changes to deal with. Aside from culture shock, the most significant thing that I have experienced is a disconnect from what has always been a very intrinsic awareness of seasons. Planning, seed starting, planting, fertilizing, and harvesting all happen at relatively the same time each year.

When you move to a different planting zone, all of those times change.  Over the past 10 years I've learned to compensate for that through trial and very unfortunate error.  However, this year has brought with it a challenge that I haven't faced before and the solution is going to have to be dramatic. 

My raised beds get too much sun!  Crazy talk, right?!  Impossible!  But...it's so true!  Do you see this?  This is a VERY unhappy garden:
When you plant a garden in Zone 4, which is the zone that my people grow in, the season is short and there is a need for as much sun as possible.  When I planned this garden space I reveled in the fact that it would get full sun almost all day long.  I neglected to take into consideration that this is Zone7.  7b in fact.  It's a hot mother out there!  Full sun is not going to cut it when you're on the top of a mountain in the soul crushing heat that is an Arkansas summer!
My poor plants are paying the price for my oversight and I've been making plans to remedy that.  I knew that I'd have to replace the raised beds in the next few years because I made them with repurposed lumber that has definitely seen better days.  I'm still planning on exactly what I'm going to replace them with but I do know that they will be irrigated this time as well as having some pvc hoops that I can put a sun screen on in the hottest part of the year.  That and the addition of some fruit trees should make a huge difference.

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