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.