Saturday, May 28, 2016

Learning from Mistakes

A while back I (along with a bunch of garden bloggers) was asked to share with the blog The Creative Vegetable Gardener the biggest gardening mistake I'd ever made.  

 You can find the post HERE with all the interesting diversity of the blunders of many gardeners. 

Since the blog is about vegetable gardeners, I didn't mention mistakes like planting wisteria and English ivy, both of which rapidly get out of hand. Or planting "dwarf" evergreens that soar to great view- blocking heights.

No, my biggest mistake was basic -- letting the weeds get ahead of me . . .  and finally I learned from that mistake.

And now I hoe, weather permitting, early and often, scraping away the weeds when they're no more than pinpricks of green.

There are so many things I've learned in my forty some years of gardening -- covering new-sown corn with chicken wire or plastic mesh to keep the crows off till it's tall enough they can't pluck the tiny blades out and gobble down the seed.

This year I'm trying floating row covers on the cole crops, in hopes of thwarting cabbage worms.

Mulch, lots of mulch. I've tried to use mulch every year and it has contributed greatly to the tilth of the soil. (Isn't tilth a lovely word? It means the condition of the soil as related to the proper consistency for sowing seeds -- crumbly, rich, capable of holding moisture is ideal. )   

Shade cloth to extend the season of the lettuce is another thing I've learned. What a revelation that was!

I also find that the box beds keep things under control  -- or maybe it just seems that way.  They do (somewhat) discourage the dogs from romping through them. 

Of course the first function of the garden is to provide food. But I like to add in some flowers for the pleasure of watching the butterflies at work.  

Some thinkers have opined that gardens are man's way of exerting control over Nature, carving out an orderly tract in the wilderness.

Could be. I know that Nature moves faster that I do. A little inattention and my orderly tract will revert to weeds in no time.  Come late Summer, I'll lay down my hoe and concentrate on getting the harvest into canning jars and freezer containers. And I'll heave a sigh of relief at the first killing frost.


Ms. A said...

Hoping my daughter's love of growing things will result in a few more box beds... if the rain and flooding would just cooperate!

Jime said...

What dedication and love you show towards your garden. Thanks for sharing

Frances said...

Vicki, I thank you for introducing me to Tilth. It is a swell word.
I've learned a lot from your posts, and this one is another gen. I will remember Hoe and Mulch.
Your garden spaces look so good! xo

Anvilcloud said...

You are into this in a very impressive way.