Greenhorn gardening fail

Well, nothing is quite as hilariously devastating as finding out from a stranger  that you weren’t just mistaken but so completely wrong that you almost ruined your whole project.

Luckily, Ace really IS the helpful place and rather than laughing at me (well, technically I don’t know what he did once my back was turned 🙂 ), an associate clearly and nicely described what I should do to make corrections. Right away.

So, here’s the thing: vegetables are annuals! Never having gardened before, I was assuming that (like a fruit tree), you plant them and season after season they give you produce. Um, apparently not. They definitely made an “ass” out of me. Luckily, they are just vegetables so 1)it’s so not a big deal and 2)I think my rookie mistake was caught early enough to be 100% fixed.

As I shared, I planted my first veggie garden in October. My original plan was to container garden until I could pick a more permanent place in the yard. I planted four saplings into each two-gallon pot with the intention of transplanting them into the ground in the spring.

However, in October, my lettuce looked like this:

But lately, they look like this!

Monster crowding by Dec. 3.

So, when I went up to the my local Ace Hardware store to buy bigger pots and extra soil, I just happened to ask the nice guy who brought me a cart if he thought the five-gallon pots would be big enough because my veggies were really getting big and I didn’t know if they’d wait until spring to be planted permanently.

Of course, he looked at me kinda surprised and said, “you know, once you get their crop they’ll be done. You’ll probably have them through the winter but then that’ll be it.” And then the rest of the conversation unfolded and it blew my mind as I realized how my original plan would’ve meant almost no veggies and a very disappointed Adriane in the spring.

So, I picked a place in the yard that has the most chance at sunlight and just went for it.

This back mulch bed had no idea what was coming.

I used a planting guide from the Extension Office to measure out how much space was needed between plants. Then, I raked all the mulch from that area and cut out the weed liner (it wasn’t doing the best job anyway as you can see above).

Looking very interesting. Loose and sandy Florida dirt.

I used a hand tiller to take up the many roots I have hidden under the dirt and then stomped down all the dirt like a madwoman to remove all the air/mole-made pockets. I know my neighbors laughed if they saw me.

Then I laid down plenty of good, organic planting soil and mixed it in.

That's more like it!

From there, it was easy to space it out and dig my holes.

Future homes. And, I actually added more good soil in each hole.

I planted four red cabbage plants, four Brussels sprout plants, four broccoli plants and four butter lettuce plants. I left the tomato and golden bell pepper in their five-gallon pots so I could carry them into the garage if temperatures get too low. Besides, they seem to be quite happy there.

The tomato has these two babies and four or so flowers.

The pepper has gotten quite large but is still very green. I’m just waiting!

Sergeant pepper 🙂

And now the whole thing looks like this:

It's like a real garden!

I’m hoping that makes them happy and they can spread those roots and grow. I’m also planning on adding a pretty border but want to see about expanding for future crops before I do. Good intentions are really just half the battle, folks. I’m so glad I asked!

Who knew I'd be a cheerleader for a cabbage plant one day?

Wishing you a great week filled with growth. 🙂 I should probably start thinking about Christmas decorations now, hmmm? What are you trying this week?

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One response to “Greenhorn gardening fail

  1. Ure vegetable patch looks very good I think ure green pepper is ready to be got at unless it’s supposed to be red lol all the best with ure future endeavours happy Christmas!! 🙂

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