I really, really shouldn’t be angry at the Oklahoma weather. We haven’t had weeks upon weeks of consecutive days over 100 degrees. We aren’t in a drought anymore (at least most of my county isn’t…much of Oklahoma still is.) We’ve had cooler than average temperatures and we’ve had nearly a year’s worth of rain in the first 7 months of the year. I should be thrilled.
The problem is I planted a good ol’ fashioned Oklahoma garden. I used the Oklahoma State factsheets and read up on what varieties of plants to buy for heat, sun, and my USDA hardiness zone. In a normal year, we don’t plant things that take a ton of water, we only plant things that can live in extreme amounts of sun, and we pray the hoppers don’t get it all. How’d that work out?
Well, sun and hoppers haven’t been a problem for me this year. Instead, most of my garden seems to be rotting in the ground:
It has been suggested to me that my tomatoes look this way due to some deficiency in the soil but I’m tempted to blame the rain.
My poor dill seems to have rotted.
Ugh. It’s silly but after the last few years of dryer-than-the-dustbowl conditions, I was prepared not to be able to afford to water this garden all summer. I was ready to watch it shrivel and die in the heat. I wasn’t ready for the dirt to wash away from my onions because it has rained so much.
Hrmpf! (That’s like a grumble. Only more exasperated sounding.)
It’s fine. It’s not like I’d send the rain away. We needed it. The cool weather has been a huge relief after a few summers that were so hot and dry that I wondered why humans dared live in this part of the country ever. At all. Seriously, I was cursing the pioneers.
It’s just that I’m a planner. I thought if I worked hard enough to engineer a garden plan that I could somehow win the weather vs. plants war. Silly, foolish girl. It’s an important lesson that I can’t believe I’m relearning after 29 years of life in Oklahoma – the weather will do whatever it damn well pleases. I’m the girl who stood waiting for the bus at the end of her driveway, ponytail tangled viciously by the wind, refusing to wear a coat because even though it was 45 degrees right at that moment, it would be 70 degrees by the afternoon bus ride. I’m sure it’s much better to have a “take it as it comes” attitude. I’m just not very good at that. Guess I’m getting some practice.
All is not lost. We have peppers!
And the transplanted asparagus is doing well. I’ve harvest several cucumbers. I had grand plans for some low-sodium refrigerator pickles but they turned out to be horrible. Now, since I don’t really care for cucumbers much as non-pickles, I may be overwhelmed. I wish I had planted more lettuce. This was the year for cooler crops. Who knew?
I’ve learned a lot as a basically-first-time gardener. And even though I’ve been somewhat frustrated lately, I’m not giving up. In fact, I had a burst of enthusiasm for next year’s garden when I went to Atwoods to buy a few seeds for my forthcoming fall garden and discovered that all of the seed packets were 10¢ each. I bought 39 packets. Here’s what 39 seed packets looks like.
I know. It’s a little crazy. But I want to try a cutting garden for flowers next year. I also know that most kinds of seeds can stay curled up in a jar in the fridge for several years. 10¢ seemed like a small price to pay for a whole new set of garden adventures next year.
Coming up this fall: beets, squash, possibly cabbage, and some onions (I may have to order sets online.) Wish me just enough moisture (but not too much) and temperatures within the bell curve.