The Garden Calls

I’m semi-serious about gardening here in western Oregon – and I’d be totally serious if my body allowed me to be! I’m totally enthused, and totally motivated, but some gardening tasks, like when I use the tiller, forces me to take two or three days off for healing purposes – this cuts into one’s enthusiasm.

I’m sure most of the world thinks gardening in Oregon is about as good as it gets – I’m not among ’em. I think the pioneers thought Oregon was so great because they just couldn’t go any further west, and because they’d just come through hell to get here! Why wouldn’t they think this was heaven?


What’s wrong with gardening in Oregon? Well, for starters, I’ve had my tomatoes in the ground for almost a month, and they are still almost as small as when they went in – why? – Because we’ve had many nights in the mid forties, and not much sun each day either. Might be better if we had had some good rains during the last month, but nope, just drizzle and clouds, with frequent cold winds. But July is almost upon us, and when it comes, so does the constant sun – the rains stop completely, and my clay garden soil bakes into concrete (unless, that is, I pour on thousands of gallons of water.). And then the race is on – will we get any ripe tomatoes- or any other heat loving crop -before the rains and frost return? Maybe–Maybe not.  Often you hear local gardeners expressing the dilemma in simple terms – a good year is a tomato year, a bad year is a cabbage year – you get the idea.

But there is one thing right now that is cheering me up – after sitting half finished for about two years, my Rube Goldberg greenhouse is finished – it’s a beauty, isn’t it?


Well, these homemade babies aren’t supposed to be beautiful, they’re supposed to be practical. Mine will accomplish three major things which I haven’t had to date – I’ll be able to grow some things which simply won’t grow outdoors in the mild (relatively!) Oregon winters – things like lettuce, some greens, and other frost tolerant plants, these plants don’t die during an Oregon winter due to cold, but rather, they drown! So, they will do fine in my ugly greenhouse – they’ll love it.

The greenhouse will also provide a safe depository for some of my “marginally hardy” potted plants, which I’ve been dragging inside for the past several years – and there’s really no room for them in the house – but the greenhouse will give them enough protection to avoid suffering frostbite, and at the same time, give them a maximum amount of sun (maybe “light” is a better term).

But perhaps most of all, I want a greenhouse so I can start my garden transplants in February and March, when they deserve to be growing – Yes, I’ve tried to grow these indoors for as many years as we’ve been living here! For any number of reasons, it just doesn’t work – but in a greenhouse, with all its natural light, they’ll perform well – and then I’ll get them up and ready on their ideal schedule. It irks me to no end when I have to go to town and first, look over their god-awful selection of starts, and then -biggest hurt of all- pay some ridiculous price for something less than ideal anyway. It annoys me just telling you about it!

But my new baby will solve those problems, and bring me great fun in the process – Oh, I’m not completely ignorant of the fact that along with all that fun, the new greenhouse will also bring new problems – Yeah, I know this, but mentally, I’m ready for them – I think.

We’ll see – now, the sun is out, the weeds are growing, and there’s a ton of maintenance to be done out in the garden – I’ll see y’all later.


About drfugawe

I'm a guy with enough time to do as I please, and that my resources allow. The problem(s) are: I have 100s of interests; I have a short attention span; I have instant expectations; I'm lazy; and I'm broke. But I'm OK with all that, 'cause otherwise I'd be so busy, I'd be dead in a year.
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4 Responses to The Garden Calls

  1. nick says:

    I guess this is why my father makes me till/move wheel barrels full of dirt around every year while he drinks beer and tells me what to do!

    GL with the new crop (and you’ll get your tomatoes, perhaps not until September, though).

  2. drfugawe says:

    It’s finally getting a bit warmer – although it’s still only in the mid forties at night – but I think I can see signs of hope – now, if only I can keep the deer away from the tomatoes …

  3. nick says:

    Not sure what your budget looks like, but there are motion activated sprinkler systems out there to deter just such behavior – though I’ve heard in the long run the deer learn not to fear the water and just eat up all the plants anyway.

    My friend Geoff’s grandfather uses gunpowder (and a slew of extremely loud cursing) to dissuade them from eating his garden. The upkeep on this method is extreme, but being retired he has all the time in the world to devote to the calling.

  4. drfugawe says:

    My experience is that, short of sturdy fence, there is almost nothing that will consistently keep the deer away – and we suffer as well from neighbors who regularly feed the deer by hand – this leads to deer who are tame enough to come up on your deck to eat roses.

    Apparently though, they must not be feeding them enough, ’cause the deer ate ALL my cabbages over the weekend.

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