There are many factors that make edible gardening in Oklahoma challenging. Obviously our weather is causing some problems. Plants can usually adapt and endure our very hot summers and even our cold winters, but it’s the drastic changes in short periods of time that seem so hard to take on them.
When temperatures are in the 80s one day and in the 40s the next, it’s tough. And in Oklahoma, that’s no exaggeration!
Another challenge and often even more damaging than the temperatures is the wind. If there’s one thing we don’t lack, it’s wind! In recent years, Oklahoma has been ranked in the top 10 windiest states in the United States.
Wind is a powerful force! Since most edible garden plants are made up of smaller plants (with the exception of fruit trees and berry bushes), they can be damaged very quickly by punishing and drying winds.
Because of this, it is important to consider how you arrange your growing areas so that they are protected. This is a bit more difficult with a traditional terraced garden, but if you use raised beds or containers you have some better options. Planting edibles in existing flower beds around your home or creating a terraced garden near a solid fence or shrubs that have formed a hedge are good options as they can act as a windbreak.
Before building or furnishing your garden area, take a few days to observe and see how the wind affects the areas you are considering. You will likely find that some areas of your garden or patio look like a wind tunnel and others are less windy and better sheltered. You should build in these areas first.
Since edible gardening typically requires six to eight hours of full sun, you must be diligent about not sacrificing the required hours of sunshine just to have a windbreak. In an effort to solve one problem (too much wind), you don’t want to create another problem (too much shade).
You know, wind is an interesting factor. If it’s raining, we can see where it’s coming from by looking up at the clouds and then making adjustments. When it’s scorching hot we can see the source by looking at the sun and again we can adjust things. With wind, we can never say exactly where it originates or where it ends, and it’s always changing. Still, we can certainly see its impact.
In the Bible, the Spirit of God is compared to the wind. He is the third person of the Trinity and very powerful. He is God! According to Acts 2:2, when He was given, He came like a mighty rushing wind.
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a violent gale, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
When the spirit moves we cannot see it with our physical eyes, but we can certainly see the effects of its presence.
Just as we can see the effects of the wind in our gardens through swirling leaves, fallen pots, and bent stems, we can also see the effects of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. These are people who demonstrate the attributes of God and whose lives bear the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
I love this quote from Charles Spurgeon: “It is a remarkable fact, well known to most of you, that in both the Hebrew and Greek languages the same word is used for spirit and for wind… This was undoubtedly an intentional one There must be a very close and familiar parallel between the Spirit of God and the wind, otherwise the great providential ruler who invisibly controlled the confusion of Babylon would not have shaped human language so that the same word should stand for both. Both language and nature illustrate the wisdom of God.”
May the mighty effects of the Oklahoma wind be minimized in your yard and the powerful effects of the Holy Spirit in your life maximized.