Garden in the Morning
In the Central Valley of California work your garden in the morning like the experts. Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden is a working garden. You will find structure parts and plants and structures in various stages of growth here. Gardening is an adventure. But don’t get lazy, or you might get a timeout like the poor fellow in the background.
On June 18th before the temperature reached 250 degrees, Monica Pizura and I headed to the Woodlake Botanical Gardens for a walk to see the blueberries and blackberries. We picked a bucket full of delicious blackberries, thanks to Olga Jimenez.
Then we wandered into the garden off the beaten path. You can see the main path in the background.
Grow Your Own Shade in Three Weeks
Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden is like a secret garden. You can see that Puppy Girl loves this little TP-type structure made of bamboo poles covered in morning-glory. This particular structure features three varieties of Mexican/Central American Morning Glory; President Tyler, Heavenly Blue, and Grandpa Ott.
This secret garden is Woodlake Pride’s Botanical Garden. It’s a showcase for unusual species and annuals. You can only go into this part of the garden if the gate is unlocked and Manuel is in it.
Crooked Rows? Try this.
Manuel Jimenez plants thousands of seeds a year. It takes about 40,000 seedlings to grow his garden. High school students and other volunteers help him plant the tiny seedlings.
Others he plants directly into the prepared soil. It would take thousands of hours to plant them on his hands and knees as I do. So he simplifies his life with this nifty hand-held seed planter.
Since my rows are usually (always) imperfect, he suggested that I get a seed planter. Pardon my sunglasses for photobombing my video that explains how it works.
Plant Multiple Crops Together
Here Manuel planted papaya next to peppers, something short that we can’t see here, then a beautiful red canna in the background.
Here’s a better picture of the canna.
Have Fun, Grow What You Love
You’ve noticed that Manuel isn’t stingy with the flowers in his vegetable and fruit gardens. The vivid colors pamper the eyes and make gardening a delight.
I’m not creative with gourds but I have friends who make gorgeous decorative objects from them. These grow along a row that has 2×2 wooden posts with string on both sides of the posts to hold up the vines. You can see the post here better than the gourds.
They are ornamental but hard to spot among the foliage.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short piece of gardening advice.
If you haven’t visited the garden recently, take a stroll and check out the wonderful changing gardens. My friend, Manuel Jimenez is the Small Farm Advisor (emeritus) for the University of California, Davis. He is a world renown expert on berries, especially blueberries and row crops. His wife, Olga inspired him to create the beautiful gardens we enjoy in Woodlake, CA.