Growing the Desert Garden

Welcome to the Desert Garden, with garden coach Tyler Storey, where we talk about everything having to do with gardening and landscaping in the Desert Southwest. From composting to Cercidium and agaves to arugula — we'll cover everything you want to know to grow your own beautiful Desert Garden.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stop-Action Broad Bean: Episode 7

Fava and Cilantro ©Tyler Storey

We haven't visited our Broad Bean for a while now, because it literally stopped action. Of all the Broad Bean plants growing here at The Ranch, it's now clear that this one really is the runt of the litter. The next smallest of the plants is at least twice as tall as our chosen one, and many are blooming already; you may not be able to tell in the picture, but our Fava plant is smaller than the cilantro growing in front of it, an embarrassing position for a Broad Bean to find itself in.

Being interested and inquisitive and eager to learn, we of course want to know why this plant is lagging behind. And we want to know if there is any way we can fix it, or any way to avoid this problem in the future. Was it something we did or something we failed to do? Poor seed selection? bad soil preparation? lack of water? poor plant placement? lack of fertilizer? fire? flood? frost?

Fava Flower at Dusk ©Tyler StoreyBut this particular plant is growing in the company of a bunch of other plants, all of which are doing just fine.

Which eventually leads us to the truth that plants, being living things, sometimes just don't do well, or don't do well according to our expectations, no matter how hard we try. Our job in the garden is simply and always to do our best; the eventual outcome is beyond our control.

In the meanwhile, here's a photo of a Broad Bean flower from one of the other nearby plants; it's a very pretty flower, isn't it?

Tyler

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