All last winter I dreamed of starting my vegetable garden.

It turned out just as I had imagined it, but not everything worked out like I hoped. I learned plenty of good lessons this year that I will definitely pay more attention to next time.

Lesson 1) Trellises need to be staked in the ground

I made my own trellises this year and didn’t think about having to steak them in the ground, so whenever a strong gust of wind came about, they fell right over! Luckily my plants didn’t snap in half. The thinner ones I was able to push into the dirt but I couldn’t do it with the thicker ones. Next year I will probably attach some write to the bottom of them to push in the ground.

Lesson 2) Squash borers! 

These are the worst things ever! The stupid little worms hatch from eggs laid at the base of squash plants and bore their way up through the center of the plant, cutting off its water supply and killing it slowly. I lost every single squash plant I planted, and that was what I was most looking forward to. 🙁  Next year I will sprinkle repellent on them like crazy.

Lesson 3) Plant Early Crops Sooner

I waited too long to plant my cooler season crops like peas and spinach so they ended up not doing much and then burning up as the weather got hot.

Lesson 4) Self pollination is a good idea.

I had plenty of bees buzzing around my garden so I didn’t think I would have any problem with pollination, yet all my future squash would turn brown and fall off right after they were done flowering. Once I starting self pollinating each fruit, I didn’t lose any. Until the squash borers came around of course!

Lesson 5) Loose Dirt is Good Dirt

Around here our soil is a solid mass of red clay. It was a lot of work to loosen it up and and mix it with nice dirt so I probably didn’t do a great job with that. As a result my carrots, beets and radishes didn’t do to well, so next year I’ll make sure to get that dirt nice and loose! 

Lesson 6)  Hungry Rabbits!

Never underestimate the power of a hungry rabbit!  I had to wrap my fence in rabbit wire to keep these guys out, otherwise I think they would have eaten everything.

All in all it was a pretty good vegetable garden, I am really looking forward to next year!

What are some lessons you have learned about vegetable gardening?

0 Responses

  1. I dream of having my own garden like this someday! We had a massive garden back home and I desperately miss growing my own herbs and vegetables. So glad you have your dream garden!
    And your photo of the fallen trellises just made me lol, for real.

    PS-For the squash borers- I've heard of using diatomaceous earth as a natural non-chemical insect repellent to sprinkle in gardens!

  2. We had problems with squash beetles, too. But your garden is so pretty! Everything growing with the fence and rusting shed is so picturesque. I didnt do much gardening this year. My parents mostly take care of that, but i do garden some. After the last few years of having extreme drought here, it was just nice to have slightly cooler temperatures that let the tomatoes set on and things grow.

  3. It really is amazing to see how much your vegetable garden has grown and evolved. You must be very proud of it as well as all the lessons you've learnt from it. I wish you the best with next year's gardening!

  4. Love all the photos and I think you did an amazing job planning, building and growing your garden. Are you going to plant any fall or winter crops like garlic, kale, cabbages and whatnot? I just read an article in the September issue of Southern Living magazine about how fall crops are easier, not as many pests, cooler temps. Also, cover crops are good to loosen and fertilize the soil and mentioned a few organic pest controls. You should read it!
    xo ♥ mum

  5. I'm still trying to get the area all prepared so come next late winter time i'll be all good to go with starting out veg patch. Good to know about the trellis – I was thinking about growing some sweet peas up some so i'll keep that hint in mind! What's annoying though is where our veg patch will be, it backs onto our neighbors garden who's form of weeding is just to spray weed killer, and being an organic (as much as possible) garden, it's really annoyed me (understatement) – fear sticking anything within spray range of that fence now. Sigh. Anyway … I do keep meaning to go and plant some garlic, apparently it's garlic planting season right now.

  6. Having a garden looks so exciting, but also like a lot of hard work, too. I tried to grow tomatoes this year. It was a plant that had already been growing, but no tomatoes sprouted yet. I was happy when some started to grow, but now it's been so cold and frosty that I had to take it inside. It's been slowly dying! ahhh!

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