Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Lazy Garden

I love a good experiment.  I think most gardeners do.  For the most part, we don't get our egos wrapped up too much in the successes and failures.  We try just to try.  The real success is learning along the way.  Such is the case with the lazy garden.

For a long time, I have wanted to try a lasagna garden.  I have perused articles and books and even scoured Atlanta for the right ingredients per an article I read in Organic Gardening.  You try going down to the local feed store and asking them if their alfalfa hay is herbicide-free.  Let me know ahead of time when you plan to make your way down there.  I could go for some entertainment.  (In all fairness, the guys are great and they are working hard to stock organic items.  I appreciate what they are trying to do.)

At any rate, eventually, I decided it just wasn't something I could do this year.  Then, my daughter came home with three or four pumpkin seedlings she had grown in school.  She was beaming.  This was big!  See, for years, while my son has approached gardening with an interest level bordering on alarming, my daughter has shown only mild interest.  When I say that what I mean is that she will stand at the edge of the garden and read a book while I tend to the business of gardening.  The pumpkin seedlings changed that.  She was beaming with pride at what she had grown.  She was telling stories of why she chose pumpkins over flowers and sunflowers.  She told me her methods for watering and ensuring it got enough light.  This was the moment.  I could sense it.  I wasn't going to waste it. 

And so, the lasagna lazy garden came to be.  The lazy garden is a modified lasagna garden done the lazy gardener way. In the lazy garden, you skip measurements and commit to using what you have so you don't have to run around finding ingredients.  Everything is very loose.  You throw in a little of this and a little of that, top it with some soil/compost, plant and pray. If you absolutely have to have something, this is not the method to use! That said, I have, in the past, had some mighty fine things grow straight out of the compost pile and this is a similar concept.  

In our lazy garden, we are growing the three sisters.  We have sunflowers, beans and summer and winter squash.  And, I am going to toss in a few tomato plants at the back just for fun.  Oh, and we have a decomposing Jarrahdale Blue pumpkin in a brown Whole Foods bag thrown in for giggles.  We'll see what comes of that.  Most importantly, we are growing a gardener with our lazy garden.  Even if this lazy garden fails and we don't get a single bloom or a single vegetable out of it, if it succeeds at growing the gardener, then I say the lazy garden will have been a huge success.

The pumpkin seedlings that started it all.

Full view of the lazy garden.
Sunflowers sown directly in the garden.
Summer squash transplanted from the main garden.
These two squash plants were removed from the main garden because they were the weaker seedlings.  They incurred quite a bit of shock during that process and dropped almost all their leaves.  They have recovered nicely.
Inside this bag is a rotting Jarrahdale Blue pumpkin.  We'll just see what happens with that.  I'll either have a pile of seeds to dust off and save for next year or we'll have pumpkin vines and (fingers crossed!) pumpkins.

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