Mistake #1: Better Soil PrepReally I guess the first thing to have done when starting my garden was to get a giant load of compost delivered and till it into my terrible clay to a good depth. But when given the choice of buying plants or buying, well, a load of cow poo, the plants won out. I tried to amend as I went, or at least loosen up the clay with my pickaxe...
This is a sunflower that grew from a seed I planted. It is quite pretty up close, but there is a problem.
It was supposed to have been a 10 foot tall mammoth sunflower.
My preparation of this site was obviously lacking.
Mistake #2: Location, location, location
Another common mistake that I made this year was placing a plant in the wrong spot. Some plants did not get enough sun, and some got too much. Some garden areas I planned in winter. However, the sun changes from winter to summer, and some areas got different amounts of sun than planned. For example, the wonderful vegetable garden that I had planned in what I thought was a good amount of sun...
Yeah, that didn't turn out so well. These are tomato plants that I started indoors from seed early last spring. By summer, my tomato plants were just leggy, scraggly looking things. This area was much shadier than I had previously thought, and the effects show. I think that my dirt was not quite rich enough as well (see mistake #1).
I had given some of my tomato seedlings to my neighbor who had them on her deck in full sun, and when visiting one summer day I was blown away with her giant productive tomato plants! I thought she had bought some seedlings from a nursery, as her plants looked so different from mine.
Mistake #3: Plan Ahead Better
One could also rephrase this as 'use your brain and actually think before you plant'! I don't know if I get caught up in the joy of planting or what, but I have had several issues with measurement. I misjudge how big something is going to get and before I know it I have a plant that has eaten half of my porch (yeah, I'm talking about you, 'Bill Mackenzie' Clematis)!
Accordingly, the most embarrassing gardening mistake I have made this year has to do with the thoughtless planting of black-eyed susan vine, Thunbergia alata. I love this vine, it's easy to grow from seed, and I thought it would look lovely climbing up the sides of my brand new arbor. I was correct on all counts.
But there was one little detail I forgot about.
Can you see what the problem is in this picture?
Look a little more closely.
Yes, folks, that is the door handle for the gate in my arbor, and yes, it swings out, past the trellis.
And yes, you guessed it, I was unable to open my gate all summer for fear of ruining the vine.
But it was pretty, and thankfully it's an annual.
I can try again next year.
You can check out PlantPostings' site to see what lessons other gardeners around the globe have learned this year!