4 Major Gardening Mistakes I Made Last Year

March 8, 2019

One time in college, my mom gave me one of her spider plants. As I hesitantly accepted the plant, she looked at me and said, “don’t worry, it’s really hard to kill a spider plant”. Fast forward about two months, and the thing looked like I had doused it in gasoline. Luckily over time, my gardening skills have somewhat improved and my black thumb has started to turn green. Well… more like olive green. I’m still a work in progress. 

Last year was a major accomplishment in my life because it was my very first time having a garden of my own! And I actually grew stuff. I know, I can’t believe it either. Maybe Sean secretly tossed some Miracle-Gro on the garden or something. But either way, I was pretty damn proud of myself. I did make a number of mistakes however, and I thought I’d share those today.

Mistake number 1

A little ways into the season, the tomato plants were starting to get big and bushy. Plus, our garden was on the narrow side, so the plants were beginning to crowd each other. Sean had suggested I put those wire rings around the tomato plants but I shrugged and said, “nah, they’ll be fine!” 

They were not fine. 

Pretty soon, the left side of our garden was a tangled mess of tomatoes. I couldn’t even tell which tomato belonged to which plant! And on top of that, they couldn’t support the weight of the fruit and they started drooping. So I had to spend an entire day carefully untangling them and propping them up with sticks. I lost a few tomatoes in the battle but was able to salvage most of them. Lesson learned!

Mistake number 2

Sean had suggested we put a fence around the garden to ward off the deer but again I said, “no, it’ll be fine!”

Again, it was not fine.

After the deer had chomped on a few of the pepper plants, Sean put up a fence and our garden was saved!

Mistake number 3

I was really excited to plant some cucumbers because I wanted to try making my own pickles (I love pickles). So one afternoon, I made two big mounds of dirt and stuck a bunch of cucumber seeds in there. Then Sean and I skipped off to go camping for the weekend. That weekend happened to be super hot and I had forgot to water the garden before we left. Not one measly cucumber grew all summer and all we had were two sad piles of dirt.

Mistake number 4

Last year, I started a handful of seeds indoors. Apparently, during the process, I thought I had developed a photographic memory because I didn’t think I needed to label them. I thought I’d be able to remember and tell the difference once they started growing but sadly I could not. I had a whole tray of various flowers and had no clue what I was looking at once they started growing. This made transplanting them very tricky because I didn’t know which ones needed direct sunlight and which ones needed only partial sunlight. Needless to say, none of my flowers bloomed.

So as you can see, I learned a few things along the way. Now you’d think I’d take it easy this time around seeing as I’m clearly no master gardener. But no siree Bob. This year, I decided to crank it up a notch! Our garden will be about twice the size as last year so hopefully I can handle it. I feel pretty confident at this point but there’s about five feet of snow on the ground right now so we’ll see how I feel once spring gets here. Wish me luck!