Vegetables and Fruit forum: Mistakes, missteps and blunders...

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Aug 15, 2012 3:29 PM CST
Thought about this today while I was out in the garden...like most days, I suppose. Big Grin I thought it might be fun for us to share our favorites.


My biggest mistake when beginning a veggie garden for the first time was in thinking that it had to look perfect.

First, I basically starved the garden so weeds wouldn't grow faster than I could keep up with them. Whistling Then, I spent countless hours and a huge amount of effort into digging out each and every weed that happened to show itself - even the big ones that somehow managed to keep on growing over the course of winter's non-gardening months. I expected that weed-free meant just that, not one weed in sight.

Then, because I had nothing handy to mulch with, I spent even more time and effort into bringing in mulching materials.


What I've since learned is, to embrace those faster-growing, and oftentimes larger-leaved bullies and put them to good use.

Large leaf plants get torn off and used as a mulch base around the plants I want to grow. Then the smaller ones that I've pulled out by the roots get laid out thinly on top of these, so they don't re-root but instead dry out and die.

No more time, effort or cash invested in obtaining mulch! Hurray! I just tear, pull and toss a few every time I venture into the gardens. Easy.

This is how I grow my fruiting vines...now.
Thumb of 2012-08-15/chelle/2b543a

Of course, I do try to limit the use of seed bearing weeds around them, but weeds will happen....regardless. Whistling



What are some of your memorably mistaken moments? I'm all ears!


Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 15, 2012 7:46 PM CST
I like your approach to weeds! I just mulch heavily here. Either with fall leaves or straw that I buy in bales. If I didn't mulch I could never manage my garden.

Well, big mistake I made this year is the trellis netting I put up for my cucumber vines. Apparently it is not strong enough for them. So the cucumber vines have fallen down and are sprawled on the ground now instead of going up the way I want them to be. Not happy at all about this. Thumbs down
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Aug 15, 2012 8:20 PM CST
What type of netting was it, Rita?



Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 15, 2012 8:41 PM CST
Some type of netting I bought from Burpee. Now I have ordered extra strength netting but can't see how I can fix it anymore. Going to have to get some strong twine and see if I can string the old stuff and the cucumber vines back up.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 16, 2012 4:40 AM CST
My biggest, and somewhat on going mistake, is that I think I need 10 plants when 3 or 4 would be enough. So then I'm harvesting way more of everyting and finding people to take the extra's. I just love growing the stuff, but really, I need to get a handle on this. I have reduced my garden size a lot over the years, to force me to make better choices about how much I grow, but it's an on-going problem for me. The local food pantry loves me though! Lovey dubby
This problem extends to my orchard too. I have 5 Apple trees, when one would do me just fine, 3 cherry trees, 4 Apricot trees, 2 peach trees, and one pear tree. I have another peach coming this fall. I NEED HELP!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2012 11:09 AM CST
I don't see any problem. If you have the room just keep on planting! nodding Green Grin!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2012 2:31 PM CST
Ok, here are the fallen down cucumbers.

Thumb of 2012-08-16/Newyorkrita/270d44

Thumb of 2012-08-16/Newyorkrita/9c477d

The ones on the right are on another trellis which is just strung wuth jute garden twine and they are fine.

Thumb of 2012-08-16/Newyorkrita/921adc

I was looking at the cukes today and those immediately on the left and front are in really sorry shape. All mildew and the leaves are yellow and rust colored. I think I will just tear them out. Not sure.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 16, 2012 5:24 PM CST
I planted what were marked as bush cucumbers, cause I didn't want tons of them, and I planted them where they would have had just enough room, Well they turned out to be the vining kind anyway, so I have vines all over my potatoes and egg plant. If I had known that I would have put them over by the other vining plants.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2012 5:33 PM CST
Bush cucumbers vine but they only have short vines. I grow my bush cucumbers in a planter pot. Works great. Green Grin!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Aug 16, 2012 6:42 PM CST
I agree , just shorter vines.


Rita, mine always get that way late in the season, too. I wonder if they wouldn't if I grew them on a trellis? It'd be great to know how yours do in comparison. Big Grin

I planted a second row about three weeks after the first ones went in; I'm trying to extend my cucumber season.



>>Which leads us to another of my mistaken notions. Hilarious!

For some reason (and it was quite a few years worth of doing the same thing wrong Whistling ), I had an urge to plant like crazy in the veggie patch, and planted the whole thing at once. I had no room left for succession crops, and if something went wrong it went wrong with the whole shebang.

Now, I'm a leisurely planter. Once I'm certain that my tomato sprouts are going to be fine, I usually plant out seeds a little at a time.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 16, 2012 6:50 PM CST
The cucumbers on the right (still up) are doing great. The others look horrid!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Nov 12, 2012 1:17 PM CST
Lately, I've been weeding, clearing out and adding compost to the veggie patch...sounds fairly normal so far, right?

Well, I just now figured out that I've been pulling and tossing aside my scatter-sown-in-a-seed-greens-mix arugula! Rolling on the floor laughing It was something that I grew for the first time this year, and it looked like a baby tansy rosette to me! Hilarious! Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing

Direct sowing is good, but only if you know what all of your plants look like, I guess! Rolling on the floor laughing

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Nov 12, 2012 6:27 PM CST
I can't believe I haven't seen this thread before---this describes my gardening quite well, as I've had as many of these as I've had successes, I'm sure.

Rita--I trellis my cukes using that string-type netting, and it does work, but it needs to be REALLY well-secured. I tend to nail mine to a wooden frame (I use the side of my swing arbor as my cuke trellis).

I do not believe there is such a thing as a weed-free garden (Unless you have a gardening staff, perhaps).

I also spent at least 2 seasons pulling what looked like baby Canada thistle plants--turned out it was my winter-sown poppies. I could never figure out why the darned things never grew Whistling
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Nov 12, 2012 6:46 PM CST
mom2goldens said:

I also spent at least 2 seasons pulling what looked like baby Canada thistle plants--turned out it was my winter-sown poppies. I could never figure out why the darned things never grew Whistling


Oh, yeah! nodding

I pulled a fair share of those, too.


Another oops I managed this year was connecting the top of my curved rabbit fence pea support to the side fencing...and then flexing it - after the plants were attached to it. Rolling on the floor laughing Lost a few plants with that fine maneuver!

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Nov 13, 2012 5:19 AM CST
I'm with Tom ... my big mistake was planting too many of a variety . It's amazing how prolific most of the veggies can be. nodding
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Nov 13, 2012 7:06 AM CST
Which one(s), Tee?

We certainly didn't run into that problem this year; I think there just wasn't enough water.

I'm now re-thinking one of my past blunders. In the early years, I had trouble with disease if I watered at night, but I'm now thinking that was caused more from the combination of cooler late-summer-into-fall nights and wet plants. A local fella that I know had a great veggie garden through the awful drought, and he said that he overhead watered through the heat of summer during the night. I saw no signs of any kind of problems in his garden, so I may try this next year. I'd rather have drip lines, but who knows if I'll actually get those set up for next year. Whistling
I certainly need to do something...
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Nov 13, 2012 9:02 AM CST
Early on, just about everything I planted was overdone. Rolling my eyes. Now my grandparents had big vegetable gardens so I don't know why I didn't remember, but my grandmother also canned and preserved a huge amount ... so she probably did fine with whatever amount was planted.

That's interesting about the watering. Kinda goes against some of the expert advice ... but I'm going to try it next year too if we're dry. We were only dry for about four weeks this past summer and then there was plenty of rain throughout the rest summer.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
[Last edited by SongofJoy - Nov 13, 2012 9:02 AM (+)]
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Apr 24, 2014 6:36 PM CST
I'm doing my part to bring this very interesting topic to the top of the posts again. My worst gardening mistake is listening to anything my garden expert spouse recommends.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: cheshirekat
New Mexico, USA Zone 8 (Zone 8a)
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ckatNM
Apr 25, 2014 12:42 AM CST
texaskitty111 said:I'm doing my part to bring this very interesting topic to the top of the posts again. My worst gardening mistake is listening to anything my garden expert spouse recommends.


Hehehehehehehehe.

texaskitty, Thanks so much for the big laughs! I think we all know one or two people who are not the experts they think they are. And some are experts with one thing, but not necessarily getting many brain cells fired with other things.

When I'm out working in the garden, I talk to myself and the plants. It seems to help me stay focused and really give my garden the attention it needs, along with a bit of pampering. I used to spread myself too thin and start, but not finish, too many things at once.

One of my goals this year is to have a bigger variety to harvest because last year was so pitiful. This means no more trying to get an entire row of okra to grow. Like others, I only need a few plants. No need to plant a few more okra seeds so the rows are even. Empty spots where seeds don't germinate are perfect for adding a few herbs and companion plants.

Such a big mistake, I should be ashamed to admit this. This is NOT zone 5! Seriously! I could probably save on my energy bill by cooking outside in the summer. I could save myself a lot of discomfort by slowing down the hard work in the dead of summer. To this end, mulch is my friend because it means less weeds, less time spent watering and watching it dry up just as fast, and less seeing sheets of my good soil traveling down the street in wind storms. Plus, I get the benefit of the straw I chose for mulch breaking down and improving the soil as it ages. And mulch keeps the bare spots from becoming a jungle of weeds - just toss on the mulch while I'm trying to decide what to plant there.

It's a mistake not to use the garden charts I made and haven't studied enough. This one is self-explanitory and obvious if you habitually manage to stay organized and focused on the task at hand. I have a lot of head-scratching moments because I don't want to stop and get my chart, but instead have the insane idea that I will remember a deviation from my plans.

I'm sure there is more, but my psyche won't let me dig up all those bones.
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anonymous
Name: Franklin Troiso
Rutland, MA (Zone 5b)
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herbie43
Apr 25, 2014 5:53 AM CST
My biggest mistake is insisting that I start everything from seed even though I no longer have the room to do it but this will be the last year for that. From now on I buy the plants.


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