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My eight mistakes of 2011

1: Not digging deep enoughDepp Bed

We have thick clay ground here, determined to dig the bed by hand I took the turf of which we used to make walls and dug one spade deep and turned it over.
The result was that the roots of many plants could not go deep enough so the plants stayed small and produced not enough.
Solution: Deep bed digging

2: Planting out too soon

After such a great pre-spring my seedlings were growing like crazy on our veranda so at the beginning of May I enthusiastically planted them out. Then one morning I woke up to a white world of frozen grass. I ran outside, which is kind of pointless because there was nothing to be done about my dead seedlings but sigh and get the seed packages out and start all over again.
Solution: Do as your neighbours do (at least when it comes to gardening…)

3: Not protecting my plants against bugs

I read about those pesky caterpillars that eat your brassica seedlings umpteen times I went out and inspected my broccoli and brussels sprouts. After a while I got distracted and focused on other things going on in the garden and forgot to check for a few days. Result: a few broccoli plants completely covered in little caterpillars, even inside the green crown of the broccoli.
Solution: netting the plants

4: Sowing too much in one goCourgette

Enthusiastically I sowed five courgette plants at the same time which resulted in too many courgettes and for weeks we had courgettes coming out of our ears.
Solution: Sow a few seeds at a time with a few weeks between sowings

 5: Planting seedlings too close to each other

I have a tendency to do that. I did it last year and for some reason again this year. It is related to sowing too much in one go. I don’t want to waste any seedlings so put them in the ground too close to each other which produces small plants, like my brussels sprouts.
Solution: Don’t plant too many and too close to each other (duh!)

6: Not writing down which seeds are sown whereSummer garden

As well as vegetable seeds, I sowed flower seeds to attract beneficial insects.
It would have been a good idea to write down which flower seeds I had sown where because I couldn’t differentiate between weeds and flowers.
Solution: make a garden sketch or use labels

7: Not watering enough

This pre-spring we had a drought that lasted for weeks.  We didn’t have a rain barrel at that time so at one point my spinach almost started bolting right after I put the seedlings in.
Solution: collect as much rainwater as you can, it is free and there will be times when you will need to water your plant s

8: Adding too much green to the compost mix

I find composting one of the hardest things. I have read lots of books about it and know about the mixing greens and browns. Now, with our expanse of grassland I have lots of greens. So my compost heap became a stinking heap of black slime.
After searching on the net about what I did wrong, I read that it was because of too much wet grass which suffocates the heap.
Solution: Don’t be stubborn like me and put equal parts of greens and browns on the heap

2 thoughts on “My eight mistakes of 2011

  1. We never finish learning!! That’s what makes growing so enjoyable. You can read all the books you like but the best way is to experiment and learn from our mistakes…

    1. So true! I am pretty sure I will make other mistakes next year….

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