8 Mistakes I made in the Garden this year

I confess… I have multiple mistakes I made in the Garden this year!

8 mistakes I made in the Garden this yearI had a great vegetable garden this year and we are still eating from it today… we had delicious green beans with dinner tonight in fact!  But there are some mistakes I made in the garden this year.  I am a tad ashamed to admit a few of them, especially after growing for so long, but I want everyone to know this blog is for real and I think talking about these things might help others.  So here we go… in no particular order!

  1. As the carrots in the featured image shows… I didn’t harvest some veggies when I should have.   I went out today as there was a frost a few days ago and I checked the carrots.  They all still looked great, but I started noticing some were pushing themselves out of the ground so I decided to pull those ones.  Well, this huge carrot was one of them.  Its about 4-5 inches across at the top!  I should have pulled it earlier as it likely wont be very tender.  But I will still cook it… likely my honey roasted carrot recipe (yum) and I will report later how it tasted!
  2. Not preserving things before they spoiled.  This mistake some might deem a sin because its wasteful and I feel bad when it happens.  But there are times when I harvest and then just don’t have the time to can, freeze or do whatever I need to do.  A good example of this is Great size cube tray for preservingtoday I had to throw away a nice big gallon size bag of basil I had harvested, washed, and was ready to freeze.  I just didn’t get around to it.  I couldn’t find the ice cube trays I needed to freeze them in.  This is different than the excess cucumbers or tomatoes I often have on the that rot because I have too many.  So, to try and avoid this problem in the future I bought some new ice cube trays (3 so I can’t misplace all of them right?) that I think will be perfect for my household of 2 people.  They are small round sizes and have silicone on the bottom so its easy to push out whatever is inside.  Good for herbs, pestos, freezing shopped garlic or onions.
  3. Planting what I don’t eat – I planted cucamelons this year because they just looked so darn cute!  Like miniature watermelons.  And they grew really well.  But… I didn’t like them.  They were too small to do a whole lot with other than eat whole.  I tried pickling them and the skins were too hard for my tastes.  Someone suggested I could add them to salsa as they do
    Cucamelons and ground cheeries
    Cucamelons and ground cherries (inside the little paper like shell)

    have a lime  taste to them.  I also grew ground cherries… and I wasn’t thrilled with them either even though they are so cool looking! Last year it was swiss chard I grew in abundance but didn’t eat much of… I did slip some into salads and this year I did plant some and tried to harvest for salads when the leaves were young.  I still think swiss chard is the most beautiful plant and will plant s few for the color of the stalks.

  4. Not planting seeds at the right time.  There are some things I like to have in abundance.  Onions, bell peppers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, white cucumbers.  I tried growing some peppers real early and they just didn’t take well.  The are a real heat loving plant from the very start.  Next year I will try early again because they are such an important crop for me, but I will make sure they are in the warmest part of the greenhouse… as I do have heat mats and grow lights.  Or I may bring them inside the house and make an inside grow lamp area so there isn’t a danger of significant evening temperature drops.  On the other hand I did start my tomatoes early and they grew great.  But they got most of the heat.
  5. Tall plants in the wrong place – I know that tall plants need to not shadow out the smaller ones and so I plant my cucumbers and beans on trellis wires towards the outside.  But this year I had carrots I planted in the spring that grew like gang busters.  I left them in all summer but the only space I could plant my basil in July was next to the carrots… but the basil didn’t start going crazy until late summer and ended up getting too much shade early on from the carrots.
  6. Not planning right for space… I try hard to plan for successive crops.  I usually

    Raised bed with fence
    Part of my garden showing the new fence (and even the old black iron fence panes). I have a lot more room now and the chickens cant get in!

    try to always have lettuce for salads, carrots that can sit in the ground much of the fall/winter, harvesting my garlic in July and replacing it with peppers and heat loving crops.  But we added a fence around my vegetable garden this year and didn’t get around to oiling it for quite a while… so I wasn’t able to plant in one particular area real well as I was concerned about getting oil on the plants so this threw off my planning.  That may be a tad of an excuse…

  7. Planting too many varieties when I’ve pretty much decided what varieties I like.   I KNOW my tomatoes and which ones I love.  But this year I planted three varieties of cucumbers… a lemon, a slicer, and a miniature white.  But I don’t really like the lemon as they are hard to peel and pickling a round cucumber isn’t my preference either.  The slicers were okay, but since its just the two of us one good size slicer would rot before we ate it all, and they weren’t great to pickle even when small.  The bottom line is I like the miniature white the best.  They taste great … mu husband thinks they

    Miniature white cucumber
    Miniature white cucumber – seeds from Baker Creek.

    taste like a mix of watermelon and cucumbers.  They pickle well, have crisp skins, and look great in a jar.  They are small but fit well in my hand when peeling.  So although I do believe in experimentation, I also think that once you’ve found what you really love, just stick with it.  There’s plenty of other things you can experiment with!

  8. Not fertilizing enough.  I grow a lot in big containers and raised bed.  I typically reuse the soil.  When I plant I do add compost and some fertilizer depending on the plant.  But I neglected my tomato’s needs this year for mid-summer fertilizing.  I had a number of tomato disease issues this year and I think they needed more calcium.

So there are my confessions for mistakes I made in the garden this year.  But I learned so much this year I can’t complain about these mistakes…  what mistakes did you make this year???  And how are you going to avoid doing them again next year???  Let us all know in the comments below!

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