Admitting Defeat

I dropped by the garden yesterday to see the ruins of what was our garden.  Tim had gone by there last weekend and told me that it wasn't going to survive and not even our little watermelon plant was going to make it.  He suggested that I not even go to look, knowing that it would definitely be a storm cloud over my hopes of a bountiful harvest. 

I had to see it for myself.  Every plant was dried up and crispy.  The weeds, who can survive in any drought or any type of soil, had completely overtaken the plot.  You could not even see any proof of the hours we had spent trying desperately to hold those weeds back and protect our little seedlings.  It is time to admit defeat.

In reflection, all is not completely lost.  In fact, I learned quite a bit this summer about plants, how they grow, what they need, and good techniques for gardening (even if we didn't know before we planted how to implement them).  No amount of books or google searches could have taught us what we learned just from experience.

I'm going to log a few things that we are going to do differently here, and I hope they might help you too if you decide to plant next year.

Things to Remember for Garden 2011
  1. Add compost to the soil before planting.
  2. To control weeds, lay a black tarp down over the garden plot and cut out holes only for plants to come through (as described in this article). 
  3. Watering plants in the early morning is more effective than afternoon or evening watering, and can help prevent diseases. 
  4. While a community garden sounds like a fantastic idea, it may be even more of a commitment than a garden in your back yard because of the distance from your house. 
  5. As a beginner gardener, it might be easier to focus on a few types of plants, rather than a big variety.  It's more fun to be successful at a few things, than a failure at many!
*Note:  I'm not a horticulturist, so my suggestions may not apply to everyone.  I'm just a beginner gardener, trying to learn from my mistakes!


  1. So sorry to hear your garden has suffered this fate. I know you were really looking forward to a homegrown bounty. Your tips for 2011 sound most sensible. I went hog wild the summer after I bought my house, turning nearly a third of my backyard into a garden (as an incentive to go with them, my mortgage company gave me a $100 gift certificate to Burpee's Seeds, with which I bought way too many plants for a newbie to keep up with). That experience pretty much did me in, as far as gardening goes, so now I'm more of a shop at the farmers market kind of girl.

    Thanks again for joining in this month's Culinary Smackdown. Details of the one for next month have been announced here:


    We'd love to have you join us again.

    Take care,

  2. Hang in there and just remember your notes - we are on our 4th year gardening in a large format (I have always had a garden as a kid and never remembered it being such hard work.) It is much easier at home we currently have to drive an hour to get there. It will get better as the years go.

  3. Eggy, that does sound like you went wild! I think, this year at least, I'm going to be a farmer's market kind of a girl too!

    Kel, perhaps you will be someone who can pass along some of your bounty ;)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!