Dumb Garden Mistakes

Megan Venturella
Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

I was so excited to start a new garden this year, and with all my enthusiasm I made some mistakes I thought I’d share. Sometimes good gardeners make bad decisions, right?

  1. I read that pigs would be perfect to till and fertilize my garden. This is sort of true. They certainly denuded the ground and generously fertilized one corner, but if you leave them on too long trampled clay becomes hard as a rock. When I planted corn I had to use a pick to make every hole in the ground. I didn’t plant much corn- my back couldn’t take it. Also, as naked and bare as the ground was, weeds came back pretty quickly, even on the hard ground I couldn’t plant in.
  2. I thought I’d make a marvelous Charles Dowding style raised bed, but when someone recycled all my cardboard, I just went ahead and put my compost down. I thought it would be thick enough to prevent weeds since the pigs had eaten everything anyway. I was SO WRONG.
  3. My last big mistake was planting deeper than the compost. The clay I turned over I mixed into the compost. It was full of weeds. Another big mistake.

If I get around to it, I may post pictures so you can see hard evidence of the error of my ways. However, the garden is still beautiful and productive, just much weedier than I anticipated. And I love all of it!


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella If its producing food its still a win!

    I have a saying. your not a gardener until you have killed a ot of plants. I still kill plants and probably always will

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a lots of Whoopsies, but this year the first one I see confronts me every morning. I threw a melon into one of my raised beds and ALL of the seeds inside grew. They are taking over the bed. I just can't thin them - I feel like such a killer! Well, I comfort myself by thinking it's nature's game of "survival of the fittest." Next year..........

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @frogvalley That’s so funny! That reminds me of the year ALL the radish seeds sprouted and I couldn’t bear to thin them. I spent hours in the hot sun transplanting them only for them to die- you can thin radish seedlings, but you can’t transplant them. Silly me!

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella thanks for sharing your learning opportunities! I make tons of mistakes in my garden. It seems to be how I learn best. I am getting better at learning from observation of others. I will tuck your points in the back of my mind so that I might avoid doing something similar.

    I agree with the ideas expressed by @Monek Marie about killing plants. It seems the more plants that I kill the more successful I am down the road.

    I also made a similar mistake as @frogvalley with her melon except mine was cucumbers 3 years ago. I still find them coming up by the dozens!

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am a true believer that gardening and cooking are just big experiments which for me is part of the fun.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,452 admin

    @Megan Venturella you are a really a confident and courageous gardener. Sharing mistakes is not as common as sharing success. I am speaking also of myself. I like sharing my success. But one learns most from mistakes. This is what I have learned: do not weed the garden if a hot and dry period is ahead. My vegetable beds look like wild mixtures of plants. I am still waiting for some rain before I start weeding. Hopefully I will find there the vegetables I planted. I hope that the weeds protect my plants from heat and dryness. @Monek Marie I know what you mean by killing plants. I have done a lot of that and am still experimenting 😊

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @jowitt.europe Do you wait because the ground gets so hard when it’s dry? Makes sense. I haven’t had time to do much weeding in a few weeks and like you said, I hope I can find the vegetables in there somewhere by the weekend!

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have an area with a berm at the side of my property I am planning to cut down all the brush and weeds. Cover the whole thing with cardboards for awhile and hopefully before winter get a loader or something in here to know out the stumps that are there and turn some of it over. We have very little topsoil or dirt, mainly a thin layer of topsoil, about a foot of clay then gravel. Once it it turned and the top is somewhat leveled off I will spread a mixture of (purchased) topsoil and compost from our chickens. The I want to plant berry bushes the whole length of it. I have several raspberry, a few currants, some haskaps and hopefully will have wild blueberry to put in there as well. Then surround and cover the whole thing with hardware cloth to keep the birds out of it.

    Over the winter I want to cover it with cardboard again, come spring let the weeds have a week or so to get sprouted then rake the whole thing to remove as much as I can before planting my berry bushes there.

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