5 Gardening Mistakes

March 27, 2017

As a child, I remember spending rare slow afternoons in the field and in the garden with my grandparents, pulling weeds and picking cucumbers under the hot sun with the sound of bugs and beetles around me. Maybe this is where my desire to grow my own vegetables comes from, or maybe this is the childhood is wish my children could experience.

This is my first year vegetable gardening, with an actual piece of ground and my hands and knees in the dirt. I've planted many things before, tulips, hostas, sunflowers and have tried my hand at a couple different herbs with much success. The only vegetable I have actually been able to grow to harvest is green beans.

Anyone can grow green beans.

This blog isn't meant to be filled with how-to's and full of 'know it all' knowledge. I intend to share stories of why we want to be homesteaders and our plan to go off the grid and living in a small home, our experiences, successes and failures along the way. So today, I'm going to share all my hilarious screw ups when it comes to gardening.

Labels, ya'll.. Labels.

One of our homeschool nature study experiences was to visit the forest and many gardens in the community and gather seeds to examine; I also wanted these seeds to grow medicinal flowers and herbs at home. We gathered lavender and echinacea seeds, among many others to examine, popped them into envelopes, finished our study and put them away for the fall. 

Spring has sprung and I have no idea which, is which! They all ended up in the trash and we had to pick some up at the local greenhouse. If you want to practice vintage gardening skills like seed-saving, label them!

Labels, yep! Again with the Labels!

You would think after having several different kinds of un-labelled seeds, I would have learned my lesson. Nope! Once I planted the seeds I had to pick up from the greenhouse, I should have labelled the pots, cause once everything started sprouting, I had no clue which, was which! Label your seedlings, too!

Too eager!

I still struggle with this one. Once February rolls around I am thrilled for spring, I shop for my seeds and start them way to early. A month too early. Once they are big enough to plant outside it isn't warm enough. Last year, I lots several pickling cucumber plants because I was too eager. This year, with a little self restraint, and this free seed planting schedule I've created, I am only two weeks early! Not bad, eh?

Keeping my plants in the dark!

I thought to myself as I dropped the tiny helpless seeds into the soil, "How did they grow seeds before we had grow lights? They probably just planted them and they did fine..." My plants grew thin and long leggy stems before falling over to their death.. So sad. We now have grow lights to prevent future seedling massacres. 

Now, I realize before we had grow lights, they probably direct sowed those seeds when their climate permitted but our society today promotes the 'bigger, better and faster' logic which is why we want to start our seeds sooner and need artificial light. 

Abandoning my seedling babies!?

It should be a crime. Now that we have those toasty and bright grow lights, I have to remember to turn them on. AND OFF! I also take two week long hiatus vacations from the province and cross my fingers they'll survive. 

I know seedlings need attention, love and care. But life happens, a lot. And, if all fails, just throw them right in the garden and let mother nature decide your fate.

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