Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lessons Learned

Beth at PlantPostings has challenged us garden bloggers to list lessons learned this summer.  I accept that challenge, because I am always learning something that I did wrong!

Hmmm... the lessons I learned this summer are simple ones:

1)  Put in an irrigation system during the planning stages.
Soooo important this year.  With a record drought and record high temperatures this year, I would not have a garden left if I could not water it consistently and thoroughly. 

2)  Compost is the best!
I'd heard all about this compost stuff, and finally(!) decided to give it a try.  After adding to the pile for a year, I had enough compost for the area in my garden with the very worst soil. (I'm talking soil like concrete!)  The plants there did better than any in my entire garden!  I know it is all due to the compost, and I am a believer now!  Try it!

3)  No matter the weather, when you are supposed to start the vegetable garden, do it!
Surely I will remember this lesson next year!!!?

4)  Mulch, mulch, mulch.
I know this one.  But I still have a hard time mulching my entire garden.  Perhaps this lesson should be:  don't have too big a garden!  

These are not great epiphanies in the gardening world.  These are the fundamentals of gardening.   I guess it just takes a while for (some of) us to learn to do what we're told!


  1. Thanks so much for your comment and your prayers.
    Enjoyed this post and I am going to follow your advice on the mulch. You would probably laugh at how much grass/weeds are in my garden- flower and vegetable - With this drought my tomatoes are the only thing hanging on in the veg. garden and I worked so hard to try new methods, but I left out the mulch - I will do that next year! Have a blessed day,
    I do have a beautiful bougenvilla (spelling??) They certainly thrive in the heat - it just keeps blooming away!

  2. Reading these lessons learned I think I'm going to regret not getting around to irrigation sooner. I keep planning on putting in rain barrels but still haven't made a step towards doing so. Next year I promise.

  3. Great lessons and great reminders. We put in an irrigation system this year, and I am so glad. For the past six years, I would get up very early and water everything by hand and with hose sprinklers...and still I would miss spots. Now, things are much easier and I know everything is covered.

  4. Abi - Mulch works very well in my flower beds. I don't usually use any in the vegetable beds. I've heard both positive and negative about that. But, don't feel bad about anything in your garden this year. With the drought and heat we're having, it's just nice to have something - anything- living!

    Marguerite - I'm one to jump in without thinking about maintenance. But with the hot/dry summer we had this year, it became top priority.

    Toni - I agree! I was truly amazed.

    Sage Butterfly - I've found with an irrigation system, plants get watered more thoroughly and with less waste than when I hand watered. Plus, like you say, it's much easier!

  5. Glad you discovered the magic of compost. Building the soil from within, rather than pouring on fertilizers in a vain attempt to just feed plants, is so much better. It has a much longer lasting effect, helps to support countless beneficial microbes, provides micronutrients, and I find produces much higher quality of plants over all. If you find yourself short on materials though, check around at local stables, or through places like We regularly make trips to a local stable for free 'material', and they're only too happy to get rid of it. Did wonders for our squash garden this year ;)

  6. Compost is king in a garden. All the little worms the subjects.

  7. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and lessons from this growing season, and for joining in the meme! I agree, no matter how long I garden or how much I learn about plants there's always something more to learn. That's why I love gardening.

  8. Curbstone Valley - I don't usually have enough to add to the compost pile, and wish I had more. Thanks for the ideas.

    greggo - You bet it is!

    GWGT - haha - I'll have to start looking for those little subjects!

    PlantPostings - I, too, love something that is always challenging, and gardening certainly is. I strive for the perfect year, but I know that's just a dream. There will always be a way to improve, and something more to learn.

  9. I think mulch saved a lot of my plants this year. A friend of mine has a timer on her irrigation system that might be on my wish list for next year.

  10. Simple lessons but how true! All applicable to us except for number 3 :) Which reminds me to put number 1 on our priority list for garden tasks next year. Irrigation not only makes sure that plants are better watered, it frees up lots of the gardener's time too to do other things.

  11. GirlSprout - Sounds like the perfect thing to wish for! :)

    Mark and Gaz - It truly is amazing how much more time is freed when the irrigation system runs automatically. I hope you do get that irrigation system next year. It is like having a garden helper.

  12. Compost and mulch are the best lessons learned. I am looking forward to folks setting out bags of leaves for the taking. I am going to make a huge mulch pile to start the compost for next spring.

  13. Compost and mulch great for the plants! A good lesson for me too!;)

  14. Tufa Girl - I didn't realize people put out bags of leaves. Good luck on your compost making! I'm working on mine for next year, too.

    Malar - Compost and mulch is something everyone can do!

  15. It' so difficult to make enough leaf mould and compost for the whole garden, especially with our sandy soil. And it's too expensive to buy in so in spite of it being a great lesson it's not always possible!

  16. Janet - Thank you for making me not feel guilty. I do add to my pile, but by the time it breaks down, it's just a small amount. I would need many times more than that to have enough for my entire garden. I'll just keep using it on the worst soil in my garden.

  17. Dear Holley, You took away some of my feelings of guilt with this posting. I should have planted my vegetable garden earlier. Unfortunately, I don't always immediately learn from my mistakes. P. x

  18. Pam - I don't always learn even from years worth of mistakes! ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...