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Blooms and Blunders: Learning from Our Gardening Mistakes

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We Must Be Very Smart By Now!

Are you struggling with some gardening mishaps? Do you find your seedlings performing in a way that leaves you scratching your head in frustration? You’re not alone. In today’s podcast, we’re going to dive into some common gardening mistakes and share our experiences in the hopes of helping you avoid similar pitfalls.

Making Your Garden a Place Where You Want to Be Sow it, Grow it, Cook it

In this episode we have a tomato taste and talk about creating the kind of atmosphere in your garden where you love to spend time. The best thing for a garden is the presence of the gardener.We tasted Dwarf Awsome, Dwarf Mulatka, Dwarf Metallica, Apricot Zebra, and JerusalemWhatever you do to increase your enjoyment when you spend time in your garden is a good thing. Whether it is a place to sit and relax, or flowers, or art, or anything, it will be a benefit.For Karen it is flowers. "I love to place flowers in and around the garden. While I'm there cutting flowers to take inside my house, I will notice things. Like some weeds that need to be pulled, or suckers that need to be plucked. Being in the midst of the plants helps me attend to the details."For Sherva it is a chair to relax and have a beverage. "In between sips I'm walking my garden, enjoying the fruits of my labor, noticing this and that."We also discuss some of the measures we are taking to endure the oppressive heat we are all experiencing this summer.  Thank you for joining us on another episode of "Grow it, Sow it, Cook it"! 🌟 We're grateful for your company and enthusiasm for the world of gardening and cooking. If you enjoyed today's episode, don't miss out on future ones – hit that subscribe button so you never miss a moment of our gardening and culinary adventures. For more in-depth articles, gardening tips, and mouthwatering recipes, visit our website at There, you'll find a wealth of resources to enhance your gardening journey and elevate your culinary creations. We appreciate each listener and the growing community we're nurturing together. Your support means the world to us. Stay tuned for more exciting episodes, and until next time, happy gardening and happy cooking! 🌿🍽️
  1. Making Your Garden a Place Where You Want to Be
  2. Tomato Taste Test and Getting Ready for the Fall Garden
  3. Creative Cocktails from the Garden
  4. Six Invasive Plants Every Mid-Atlantic Homeowner Should Know
  5. To Pinch or Not to Pinch: It's the Gardener's Prerogative

Seed-Starting: Getting the Timing Right

Let’s start with the excitement of getting our seeds started early. We were eager to kick off the gardening season and planted our seeds before we should have. As a result, our plants grew taller than expected, causing them to become bushy and overcrowded under our grow lights. Adjusting the shelves and providing adequate lighting became a constant challenge.

Early planting isn’t the only lesson we’ve learned. Starting seeds too early resulted in slow growth and leggy plants. However, our experience with peas taught us that some plants can withstand the cold, allowing us to plan for an early outdoor transplant. You’ll need to know your average last frost date and county back from there for each seed type you plant.

Speaking of lighting, we quickly realized the importance of proper lighting for indoor gardening. Our enthusiasm led us to overlook the need for lights coming from all directions, resulting in some plants wilting due to inadequate light exposure at the top.

But it’s not all gloom and doom. Despite our early setbacks, our plants are thriving. Our microdwarf tomatoes may have grown taller than anticipated, but they’re healthy and promising a bountiful harvest. Learning from our gardening mistakes, we’ve adjusted our planting schedule and are already seeing better results compared to last year.

the Right Seed Starting Mix

Another gardening mistake we encountered was with our homemade seed starting mix. We underestimated the drying effects of coconut coir, leading to frequent watering and struggling pepper plants. The brassicas, lettuce, and spinach did just fine in the starting mix, but not the peppers.

Recognizing the need for a better mix, we promptly ordered a seed starting mix to rectify the situation. Adding some soil to the seed starting mix helps to retain some moisture. Because peppers are slow-growing in the beginning, they don’t develop robust root systems quickly. Without roots to drink up the water, it will drain out the bottom more readily, and the peppers will need to be watered more often.

Give Yourself Some Room in the Garden

One of Karen’s gardening mistakes was made at the outset and is not as easy to rectify. When laying out the inground beds, she placed them too close together. The narrow paths between the beds have been difficult to maneuver, particularly when the plants are fully grown and spilling over into the path.

The only solution is to re-lay the beds. This means starting over with some of the space. The additional space between the beds will be much more efficient, so it’s worth the effort. Moving through the garden without the risk of damaging the plants will be a great benefit to the harvest. Additionally, being able to move a cart or wheelbarrow between the beds makes garden tasks much easier.

Composting Mistakes

Compost is black gold, according to most gardeners. It is the best way to build healthy soil over time. One of our mistakes is NOT using compost. Karen began buying compost because she couldn’t make enough. She still makes compost, as does Sherva, but also buys from a local compost company.

If you are buying compost make sure you get a recommendation from another local gardener. All composts are not equal. Some companies take shortcuts and some get their ingredients from questionable sources.

It is always best to make your own compost because you control the ingredients. But if you can’t make enough, purchasing with care is a good option.

Optimism is Not A Gardening Mistake

Despite the challenges, we remain optimistic about our gardening journey. Every mistake is a learning opportunity, and each setback teaches us valuable lessons that we can apply in the future. By sharing our experiences, we hope to help fellow gardeners navigate their gardening adventures with confidence and success.

Remember, gardening is a journey filled with ups and downs. Embrace the gardening mistakes, learn from them, and keep growing – both as a gardener and as a person. Eventually, you will be able to say along with us, “I must be brilliant by now!” Stay tuned for more gardening tips and insights in future posts. Happy gardening!

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