Friday, June 10, 2011

"What is she up to now?"

sign in my yard
See this sign in my yard?  The neighbors likely think it's an apt description.  They are probably thinking, "What is she up to now?".  With all of our extreme heat and lack of rain and seeing how it is still early in the season, I have decided to hedge my garden production bets by planting additional sweet potatoes and okra.  Sweet potatoes and okra, generally impervious to drought and heat, and even insect infestation.  Old standby basics of a southern garden.  The only problem is my vegetable garden is already planted up with squash, beans, tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplants -- limping along in this heat, it is true.  But I still have hopes and am not ready to give in and pull them out yet.  I squeezed in the sweet potatoes where the now defunct sugar snaps, radishes and lettuce were.  But where and how to plant more okra?  The only virgin soil left in the yard is in the front -- in the median between the sidewalk and street, where the purple tomato pots are.  I took a claw thing and tried to break up some soil and get out the remaining bermuda grass -- but it was as hard as the concrete it lies between.  So, I did this:

Talk about lazy gardening!  I got this idea from Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens.  I laid down some cardboard and newspaper right on the spot I wanted to plant.  Then I hauled over some bags of garden soil/top soil and laid them on top.  I sliced a big rectangle out of the top of each bag, leaving about a 2 inch frame of plastic, and took a large screwdriver and rammed it through the soil and the bags to punch drainage holes.  Then I planted my okra seeds directly in the bags.  Okra can take a lot of neglect and doesn't need the richest soil by any means, so hopefully they will sprout up and do fine.  I soaked the seed overnight, which helps germination.  After the growing season I can rip out the plants and dump the soil right in the same spot where the cardboard and newspaper will have decomposed and smothered out the weeds and grass underneath, and have good soil to plant in next year.  At least that's the plan.

Linked to Tuesday Garden Party at Oregon Cottage


Anonymous said...

Oh the girls and I making easy beds, we will try this!! Clarice

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

This is a great idea even of just to gain some extra planting space. I have a few areas I could try this in.

Shelley said...

Hi! Found you at Tuesday garden party... This is a great idea! I've done this before with great results and also something similar with a straw bale and bagged soil :)

ps. I'm a mom of 4 homeschoolers (2 at home still) too!!

Marlee said...

What an interesting concept. Our soil is so poor in our yard that I grow most everything in containers. I may have to try this.

Athena at Minerva's Garden said...

I love the blue bottles on the tree by your sign--very cool! The potting soil in bags-idea is a good one--I have seen hanging planters made of plastic bags that are filled with soil, planted with things that drape like strawberries and hung up. The only thing with that is that it is likely hard to keep the thing really well watered, but on the ground as you have them it should be fine.