knee high by the fourth of July

Can OR be used for vegetable gardening?

I started a vegetable garden last year and had mixed results.  This year, I am doing better.  I would be doing great, except that a rabbit has been growing fat on the fruits of my labor.  The rabbits ate my entire crop of beans, melons, and corn.  My corn was not knee high by the fourth of July, as the saying goes–it was non-existent.  I was hoping for Midwest-quality sweet corn, but alas, I will try again next year.  At least my tomatoes are thriving.

This is how I have informally used OR in the garden:

  • scheduling my limited window space to germinate seeds indoors according the required temperature and time needed inside,
  • determining when to safely sow seeds outdoors (based on historical last frost dates and weather forecasts, which was tricky because (a) most sites report the average last frost date where the 95th percentile would be more useful and (b) the range of last frost dates is nearly a month for my area, which was almost useless for decision-making),
  • planning how to use the space in my garden based on plant lifetimes and harvest schedule (my attempts at cool weather vegetables has been disastrous, so I have ended up with plenty of free space early and late in the season),
  • menu planning based on crop yield forecasts.

When I become an uber-gardener, I would also like to expanding my OR-in-the-garden methods to consider optimal companion plantings using the marriage problem (Sadly, I’m not kidding).  That would make a nifty example for one of my classes, as well.  I’ll give this serious thought after I figure out how to handle the rabbit problem.

How do you use OR in the garden?

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