Having learned something about your interests and gardening, you must both be talented gardeners. Imafan', there is quite a contrast between your environment and where I garden. Timing and plant choices differ.
Dave, your comment on the difficulty presented by weeds while I'm trying to think of something helpful to offer Imafan' brought this quote to mind, "You should rather be grateful for the weeds you have in your mind, because eventually they will enrich your practice." ~ Shunryu Suzuki
I'll couple that with another, from Suzuki, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's there are few."
While I have tried to crowd down
my options by focusing on how best to be successful in the garden, I'm apparently faced with climate change. I have begun to suspect that the dominant characteristic of this is "variable conditions."
I'm not sure how much other conditions have changed but weather plays a big role. It's a cliche to say that I learn something new every season but I'll be more humble and say that I'm "taught" something new, every season. I can't always benefit.
As a beginner, I was lucky at times and over several seasons, often lucky. Or, there was that one time of bounty with a particular crop or variety and I have been stubborn in trying to repeat that. What I may not have realized was that change sometimes brings benefit and it doesn't always jerk the rug out from under our feet. Lessons developed skills and knowledge but, at times, they weren't really the best practices outside of that season.
What has been the best lesson learned is not to put all my eggs in one basket. Crowding myself down to narrow choices might work if conditions always stay the same. They don't. It might work if I could take out crop insurance. I can't.
Okay, here is a sports cliche: I need depth to the bench. With lots of players and some experience with most of them, I have better chances of success. The starters may dominate but they are not the only players on the field.
Of course, it is easier for me because I'm both retired (ha!
) and have large gardens. I can experiment in relatively small areas and have a fair amount of a variable approach in the larger areas. New seasons come around and I can start both my champions and promising rookies.
I should have a clipboard. To a very large extent, the forums have been my clipboards
. Thank you Roger for the great search software! Thank you Members for your expertise. Thank you Beginners for requiring me to think about what I am doing and to try to put it in words ... which I can refer back to in upcoming seasons
Succession planting in a single season often involves companion planting. It also involves experience with and knowledge of produce. If value is on a downhill spiral, I'm very willing to recognize the soil-building value of the plants. In other words, they feed the soil microorganisms instead of people. Sure, cover crops may have been less expensive but - Hey, everything can't come down to dollars and cents. Losing all value
isn't the way I like to play the game. Besides, other organisms besides those in the soil, benefit. Companion plants are often not very companionable. New generations need resources of space, water and nutrients. Imposed limitations should not be there just out of casual gardener laziness.
I always think that timing is critically important but I'm only partially in control there. Record-keeping really helps and now I'm coming back full circle to the value of sharing on the forums. Finally, I am aware of my weaknesses and tolerant of my mistakes. If I had nothing at all going on, I'm sure I wouldn't make so many of them
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks