What is Pragmatic Gardening?

When you look out across the internet, you run into a bushel of different garden styles. Each proponent swears to righteousness and effectiveness of their chosen method. Here is the truth. Almost everything single one of them works. Each is a different mix of priorities and ideologies that reach the same goal. Which style should you use. That is easy. The best gardening style for you is the one that works best for you. I know, kind of useless but it is the truth. So this leads into my little contribution to the gardening world, Pragmatic Gardening.

Pragmatic Gardening

So what is Pragmatic Gardening? It is the acceptance that best style of gardening is the style that keeps you gardening. If it delivers results, it is a valid gardening style. It is an acceptance that humans are tool builder and we don’t close ourselves off from effective tools. We try to follow the research and common sense to create good harvests. If we can follow nature, we do it, because it means the garden is less likely to fight against us.

The why of pragmatic gardening is tied to where I grow. I live in Oklahoma, in the 7a zone. If you want tough then I got you covered. Our winters can get cold. Like this year, 2021, when it got so stupid cold that my pipes froze while dripping them. Our winters regularly drop down to low double or single digits. As a result, we can’t grow lots of tropical things that 100 miles further south probably could.

While we can get cold, hot is our normal condition. It is not uncommon to have a summer full of 115 F days in summer at least once a decade and regularly have days in the high nineties and low hundreds. We are too hot for many crops and too cold for many more. Cooking is the normal condition for my plants but yet, I can get a decent yield from them, virtually every single year.

Why the site?

One of the major reasons for creating this site, is too many garden sites are based out of Southern California. There is no doubt there are issues with growing really cold weather loving things there. The fact they are a mildly tropical climate means they have it easy to create big, healthy gardens since most plants are super cold loving. When your temps never go above 85 or below 40 for any extended period, you can have a fabulous garden too. For us that have wild mood swings of temperature, we can’t always do it that way. What I focus on are results. Results in some of the harshest land in the country. Results you can take that will improve your garden. Pragmatic Gardening is gardening without judgement. Its judge are its results.

Nitty gritty

So we want to get into the details of Pragmatic Gardening. My base approach is organic gardening. There is method to my madness to why it is the base. I want to fight with my garden as little as I can. I want to provide as little input into it as I can. Generally, organic gardening will allow natural processes to do most of the heavy lifting. However, a garden is not nature. Sometimes, we run into a problem caused by the fact that a garden is not a balance natural system.

This is where the pragmatic part comes in. When we run into a problem, we want to figure out the least draconian solution to the problem. It can come from inorganic solutions, modifications of other organic techniques or tools we create.

This is about stepping away from the ideology that various techniques demand from their followers. It’s about getting food from our garden and not proving the holiness of methods.

As a result, we focus on university research. We rely on our own histories. In conclusion, we rely on the best resources we have. Information will sometimes seem contradictory but more often it is tied to the greater philosophy of the source. We will reckon what works and keep pushing ahead, experimenting and modifying our approach every season.

All that is what Pragmatic Gardening actually is.

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