Why My Garden Was a Bust

Back in April I built two garden beds with dreams of free produce and delusions of grandeur. In May I planted what I thought would be the perfect mix of greens and fresh vegetables. In June I had some beautiful pictures of my garden and still I thought I could handle it. We live and we learn I guess.

I ended up with out of control tomato plants that took over an entire half of my garden. They got to a point where they were crowding each other out and they completed murdered my green beans. The worst part was I just didn’t understand the process of harvesting them. I would wait to long to pick the tomatoes and they would split, making them useless to me. The few that I was able to pick in time were used, or for the most part, composted.

The Zucchini had no problem growing. I planted two zucchini plants and ended up with enough zucchini bread to give all of my neighbors at least one, if not more loaves. I still have two loaves in my freezer. That doesn’t include the enormous zucchini’s I had to trash because they were bigger than a 1 yr old child.

What I Did Wrong

  1. My eyes were bigger than my stomach. I just planted too much. I couldn’t use what I had when it was ripe. I could use some of it, just not all of it.
  2. Poor planning.  I picked plants I thought I would like to have, I didn’t really think through what plants I actually would use. Romaine is great lettuce but it didn’t work out so great in my garden.
  3. I didn’t understand when to harvest. My spinach was awesome, I just didn’t use it when it was ready. I let it get too big and wasn’t any good anymore.
  4. I overcrowded the important stuff. The one thing I really wanted to get was green beans. My tomatoes overtook the green beans and they never really caught on.

How I Plan to Improve

  1. Less is More and More is Less. Less tomatoes and less zucchini will get me where I want to be. More green beans will get me something I will actually use.
  2. Better planning. I plan to do more research and get better at knowing when to harvest my crops. It doesn’t do me any good to grow stuff and watch it rot on the vine.
  3. Only grow what I think I can use. I don’t mean less food, I just need to grow the right food.

The Two Things I Have Done Right

  1. Blueberries. My blueberry bush is growing great and I have great expectations for next year.
  2. Blackberries. I have a massive blackberry bush growing that I planted and an even larger thicket of wild blackberries.

Overall my garden was a bust because I wasted more than half of it. I plan to do better next year, I don’t expect it to be perfect but I hope it is more successful.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason Wier September 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

A garden is never a bust. If it got you off you but and out of doors it was good. I planted 15 blueberry bushes at the end of Summer. Our raspberries are still going and I am looking forward to what they will do next year. The horses next door ate our 12 foot sunflowers, but it is still good. Our tomatoes are for fun and did okay. Cucumbers are too much, onions and green peppers were great. Oh and the beats are also great. Best part is weeding and being out there with the family.

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2 Matt SF September 30, 2009 at 11:51 am

I wouldn’t worry about it your first time out. My grandparents always said growing a garden is more art than science.

Especially with tomatoes… by far the hardest plant to grow and successfully harvest.

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3 sandra September 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

May I just say….never had luck with green beans growing up a pole:). I recommend doing rows in the dirt. And the best green bean to use is Jade Green Beans. Im telling you what…they are long and crisp and LOTS of them. I had two rows the first year I had my garden and I was giving them away because there were so many:). A plant or two is plenty of tomatoes unless you plan to can them….like my mom and I did this season here. Im excited to start my own garden here next year. Sure did miss not being able to finish my garden in TN….Im guessing the new owners won’t garden since they can’t hardly mow grass(so I have heard:)).

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