dealing with gardening guilt

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 - 4:53pm

We all like to post pictures of pretty vegetables climbing up perfect trellies surrounded by perfectly cut lawns and shurbs. Well, I'm here today to put my worst foot forward. I've never been the gardener my yard deserves. Sometimes I forget to water. I dont weed often enough.

Poor little kitchen can be so neglected.

"Helllo, my name is Wendy and I'm a Lazy Gardener. (and the room calls out, "Hi Wendy.") I need to let you all know how badly I feel for the packet of beet seeds I left on the back porch that got spattered and disolved in the rain while I was busy with that deadline . . . and the volunteer cucumbers I let almost take over part of the strawberry box, and the weeds I let grow up in between the black-eyed peas because my foot was sprained and it hurt to walk down the hill. I want to admit that last year I forgot to pick some of my sunflower seeds before the bugs ate them. I'm sorry about the first experiment with a winter greenhouse whre I boiled my basil plants in an un-vented tent, and the experiment with the summer shade-cloth in the 110-degree heat where I left on too long  - and that strand of green beans died.

"I did not keep the cats from using the parsnip bed as a litterbox. I did not ammend the soil in a couple of the raised beds and planted some doomed cayene peppers in them anyhow."

There. Confession is good for the soul. Got any gardening guilt to unload? Help us all feel like we are not alone in our sins of omission.


jasonw's picture
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We have a running joke around here...

My wife is the true green thumb in the family, classically educated in botany and organic agricultural methods.  I am the city boy madly in love and ready for any challenge.  "you want me to plant trees while it is snowing?" 

After 9 years of gardening experience under my belt, in every garden patch we work on,  I am hired in the morning and fired at night.  Every single day. 

I still think the biggest screw-up of my "farming" life was when I left the gate open to the newly fenced garden area (the $3K professionally installed Deer Fence) and found 5 deer trying desperately to get our and jump over.  Nothing like 2 sections getting destroyed.  And the worst part was the 200 sprouting tulips were wiped out. 

I understand the guilt. :)

treebeard's picture
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Posts: 634
Back half of the garden

Was too busy this year so was not able to start the seeds in the spring, so had to buy cell packs. Bought those late, so there was not a whole lot of variety.  Watermelon plants for the front garden sat unplanted for a couple of weeks and almost died. Finally planted them so we only got three or four small melons off them because we had a warm fall.  Strawberry patch went to weeds this year. Few strawberries that we did get were eaton by the slugs and the birds. Didn't get the blueberries covered this year, so the birds ate most of those as well.

Did learn that you can plant beans real late in the season up here in NE and still get a good harvest. Planted in mid to late august and had all the beans we could eat late september through october.  Do learn something from being lazy, there is a silver lining.

Cayene peppers did real well, bought them because that was about all that was left.  But didn't do much with them, most of them rotted in the garden. Good advice about planting things that you know that you will eat.

It was my goal to put in a hoop house this fall but never got around to it, or the cold frames that I wanted to put on the south side of the house.  Been so warm up here that winter has not really started yet, maybe get something done over Christmas vacation.

westcoastjan's picture
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Posts: 577

the subject line said it all :)

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
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Posts: 3248
Raised beds project waiting for me

When we moved this summer, we left our square foot gardening beds at our old place for the new tenants to put to good use.

We now live on a much larger plot of land, perfect for a large vegetable garden. I've got big plans: waist-high raised beds so I don't have to hunch over constantly to tend my plants, drip irrigation on a timer so I don't have to remember to water them, fencing against gophers & deer, etc, maybe even a chicken moat.

The problem is I lack time. 

But I realize I need to make the time soon. Else Spring will be here before I know it, and I'll have missed the planting window.

Perhaps I'll play hookie from the site one of these days and see if anyone notices....  :)

LesPhelps's picture
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Posts: 819
Good Intentions

I had good intentions in 2012.  I started seeds indoors in early March, moved them to a hot frame in April and planted my garden at the proper time.  I cheat and have my garden sprinkler system set up on a timer.

Then I dismantled my aging split level deck system and started replacing it with an upper screen porch and new lower deck.  I worked on this project heavily from June until late October.

Weeds grew tall in my garden.  Rabbits consumed more produce than I did.  Heat and drought reduced yields despite watering.

But the porch and deck look nice!

2013 is another year.  Time for a New Years resolution?

maceves's picture
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Posts: 281

It was really really hot and dry, and anyway I went on a big kayaking trip and another big vacation...Still, my tomatoes did well anyway...and I am learning more all the time.    Need to invent a cure for squash bugs.

David Huang's picture
David Huang
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Posts: 77
A shortage of time

I generally have the best of intentions each year and garden neglect sets in before the season is over.  This past year was especially bad because I was traveling a lot for work.  I started seeds ( a bit late) and then realized I had to plant them before leaving on a long business trip.  All the tomato starts died while I was away.  Thankfully some volunteers from last year did well when I neglected to "weed' them.  I got part of my new drip irrigation system installed, but not all of it.  I also failed to even plant most of my garden last year. 

This year I'm not traveling and so I will do better (he says with all the best intentions).

earthwise's picture
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Posts: 848
A cure for garden guilt

Hello, my name is David and I'm a negligent gardener (and the room calls out, "Hi David."). But I've found a cure for the resultant garden guilt: Two Buck Chuck. Works every time. Especially when paired with the Leg O' Lamb or BBQ pork ribs I've raised and butchered (I'm not as negligent at that!). Yeah, it's amazing how two glasses will make me forget about the lettuce seeds I forgot to water. But then again, maybe that's why I forgot to water them in the first place. Hmmmm......  I'll have to think about that..... over a glass of Two Buck Chuck!

LesPhelps's picture
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Two Buck Chuck

Would Ripple be a good substitute?

Woodman's picture
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Posts: 1028
My garden is not pretty; I

My garden is not pretty; I just barely put the level of effort needed for production and do what I can. Often I've been out there in the dark with a headlamp, after work and other daily duties are done.  Unless you're retired it's pretty hard not to neglect your garden!

Doug's picture
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3208
tomato trouble

I built two raised beds near the house, in one of which I tried to grow tomatoes.  I didn't fence them in, reasoning that the deer and woodchucks don't come that near the house.  Unfortunately, I forgot about the "free range" chickens that like green tomatoes and otherwise raising havoc in gardens.  Very few tomatoes this year.


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