A Conversation for Create September 2018: Sowing and Reaping

I tell my neighbors that gardening success depends on a blend of skill and luck

Post 1

paulh, the apocalypse is coming, it's just late

Two or three years ago I got 42 zucchinis from a handful of plants. Last year I was lucky to get four squashes. But this year, my four zucchini plants have produced 19 squashes so far, with three more coming on the vines.

I am running out of friends and neighbors willing to take my zucchinis. I am running out of Zucchini recipes.

The funny thing is, I do all the right things every year. I water daily, I use the best fertilizers I can find, I position my plants where they can get the most sun.

Last year, my beets were quite productive; this year, few seeds germinated. I even made a second planting, and it's not happy.

My third garden vegetable is green beans. I grow the same type of bean every year. The rabbits started nibbling at them when they first came up, so I put soil in five long planters and sowed bean seeds in them, to supplement the main bean patch. The planters didn't pan out, but the beans that were planted in the ground roared back and have been productive.

There's just no accounting for the variables that affect vegetables.

The other type of gardening is centered around flowers and other ornamental plants. I've grown thousands of flowers from seed -- Blackeyed Susans, Echinacea, Zinnias, Sage, Marigolds, Coreopsis, Asters, you name it. The asters I planted had a very low germination rate: our of a package of seeds only four germinated. But They grew like crazy and created more plants from the roots. They're seven feet tall now, and amazing!

Native plants are very frustrating because the seeds won't germinate without sophisticated techniques such as stratification and scarification. But if you throw the seeds on the ground in October, a fair number will lie dormant all Winter and then come up in the Spring. Lazy works, but you must be prepared to wait a few months for results. smiley - erm


I tell my neighbors that gardening success depends on a blend of skill and luck

Post 2

Paigetheoracle

My garden is mostly successful but I have had disasters. Fortunately some have been put right. For instance, after reading Roy Lancaster's 'Perfect Plant; Perfect Place,' I swapped two plants around and they are both doing better for it (Hid the Hydrangea and exposed the Rhododendron). I nearly drowned the Hydrangea out the front garden in a pot (must remember to drill holes in it; tin container, not pottery). A couple of years ago the frost nearly killed it off but the roots were well protected, so it recovered.


I tell my neighbors that gardening success depends on a blend of skill and luck

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

A good tip! smiley - smiley


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I tell my neighbors that gardening success depends on a blend of skill and luck

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