52January 9, 2020

Have you taken some time to figure out what went wrong and what worked out right in all the gardening things that you did this past year? Now that things have slowed down, it would be a good time to make some notes on the good and not so good things that happened in your gardens.

Growing your own vegetables is all the rage. It doesn’t make a lot of difference if you grew vegetable plants in containers or if you had 1,000 square feet of in the ground vegetable plants; some things probably did really well and some things not so well.

I grew up in a household of 11 people. We always had a huge garden in the backyard. Most years, everything grew well. Occasionally, there were bad years for growing tomatoes or some other vegetable. We did the vegetable garden for so many years that we had it down to a science.

Once I went off on my own, it was second nature to have a vegetable garden. As it would turn out, one of the few vegetables that I didn’t have good luck with was green peppers. No matter where I put them in the garden, they only produced a few peppers. One year I finally gave up on growing peppers.

At spousal request, I finally caved in and grew a few in containers. As it turned out, I could grow peppers successfully as long as I grew the peppers in containers. I think we all have a nemesis vegetable plant that grows but doesn’t produce that well. If you know that you are having trouble growing something, ask any friends or neighbors if they are having good luck growing that plant – and how they are doing it. Ultimately, an “Ahah!” moment will happen and you will be able to grow that plant.

You may find that the lessons that you learned, either good or bad, should be committed to memory or to a set of garden notes so that come the spring, you will have the knowledge to do things correctly. You may find that last year was the year that you made the commitment to fertilize your plants on a regular schedule and the results were that all your plants had a glorious growing season. On the other hand, if you weren’t diligent at keeping the plants fed, you may not have had such a good year.

As the old saying goes, we all learn from our mistakes. Take some time to think about how everything in your gardens grew and whether it was good or bad, make sure to make changes in 2020. If you start writing things down now and do some research on what went wrong, you will have a better gardening experience in 2020 and beyond.

Come the spring of 2020, you should start taking notes immediately on when you planted, how you planted, when you pruned plants…etc. You will find that there is an app for garden notes. If you are the type of person who likes to write things in a notebook, that is fine too. The whole idea is to take notes on what you did in the garden and how it worked out for you. Eventually all those notes are going to make you a better gardener. Now would be a good time to start on making you a better gardener.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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