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Garden Failures...  RSS feed

 
Posts: 315
Location: Amtkel – Abkhazia · 400m elevation · temperate climate
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The effect went missing.

These plants once had a lot more leaves.
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effect
 
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
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I do not have a picture for the mess I made of my carrots but I can describe it all too well.

I have not had good luck with seeds of anything, edible or not. (Example - two huge packets of buckwheat and I have 10 plants. 3 packages of sunflowers and I have 1 plant.) So instead of seeds I picked up a few six packs of carrots and corn. Now with the corn I very diligently separated each plant, sometimes 3-4 in one of the six divided sections. So now I have about 20 cornstalks growing strong.

I didn't not think to do that with the carrots. I popped them out of the six packs, and plopped them in the ground. And they grew. Sorta. When I pulled them up I had basically a fist full of carrots. There had been multiple carrots in each section of the six pack and they had all grown out and around like tentacles. And of course, not edible. I will try again next year.
 
pollinator
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Above I noted the ~100 peanut seeds that gave rise to a whopping 4 plants. Maybe it was the powerful pull of the full moon on summer solstice, but ONE MORE plant just emerged! If this keeps happening, I will have to remove this incident from the Garden Failures category. Now let's see.....a 150-day crop, emerging on June 21st, ..... in zone 4.

Naw.....we'll stick with fail!...
 
Susan Taylor Brown
Posts: 151
Location: Scotts Valley, California Zone 9B
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John Weiland wrote:Above I noted the ~100 peanut seeds that gave rise to a whopping 4 plants. Maybe it was the powerful pull of the full moon on summer solstice, but ONE MORE plant just emerged! If this keeps happening, I will have to remove this incident from the Garden Failures category. Now let's see.....a 150-day crop, emerging on June 21st, ..... in zone 4.

Naw.....we'll stick with fail!...




John, I admit I felt a lot better when I read about your peanuts.
 
pollinator
Posts: 179
Location: Washington Timber Country
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Partner built this hugel over the winter of 2014-2015. Last summer, knowing that it was pretty fresh, we planted it with all nitrogen fixing legumes. They did fine, so in the fall we decided to put our garlic and some of our onions in the hugel. Since we started growing our own food, garlic is the one thing I've kind of considered a given. It's easy to plant, slug resistant, comes up strong... If you plant garlic, you're going to get garlic (or so I thought). And so, 200 cloves of a dozen varieties of carefully saved and selected garlic strains, plus some multiplier onions, went into the hugel last October. On time even! Not late, like previous years.

Everything came up fine, lovely green shoots everywhere. But slowly, things went sideways. First the tips of the young leaves went yellow, then there was wilting. We thought maybe the plants were getting nipped by spring frost, since the hugel is on a part of our hill where a cold breeze comes through. The weather warmed though, and the garlic situation worsened. We had topped the planting with rotted chicken bedding as a precaution against nitrogen deficiency, but collected sheep manure and made a tea of that to water everything in attempt to right the ship. It did nothing. As if overnight, more than half the plants seemed to disappear. On closer inspection, they were still there, just dead, brown, and laying on the ground. The ones that hung in a bit were tragic scraggly specimens already begging for harvest in mid June.

This mess started out with a plant every 6 inches in all directions:


Multiplier onions trying desperately to multiply:


Just turning yellow and falling over:


The best of the bunch:


Real prize winners:


The just-slightly-larger-than-when-I-planted-them bulbs are still in there, even in the failed areas, so I'm planning to dig them all out and sort through to choose the best to give another chance (NOT on the hugel) in the fall. Obviously we'll be buying our garlic from a local farm this year, which annoys me since that's one thing I've managed to be self sufficient on for a few years. We'll replant the hugel with some quick snap beans so at least something good will come of it this year. Now I just need to get a new garlic bed together in time to plant. There will be no wood involved, I think.
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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Without going into politics, I was feeling distressed this morning and went out into the garden to work and meditate and thought I might have a few plums for breakfast.

Three years of waiting for a young plum tree to grow up, I finally had an amazing crop of perfectly ripe plums.   Apparently the deer thought so, too.  Every. Single. One. Gone.   And they broke off a key scaffolding limb.

I suddenly had some browsing pressure this spring, but not having deer in the past, I failed to recognize the situation for what it was and act quick enough. That's a sadder, more frustrating sort of fail. And a reminder that "permanent" is about how well you can stay ahead of what might want to take your food supply* away.

*not really my food supply, but was starting to make headway in that direction.
 
pollinator
Posts: 735
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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@ K Putnam... that looks like my garlic harvest   I planted in 2 year old mostly-woodchips, expecting some good effects, including water retention.  Fertilized some... but probably not enough.   Will replant also ... and expect much better results next year

Thanks for sharing (btw I'm up here in Federal Way ... and, fyi, there is a monthly Tacoma Permaculture MeetUp ... confusingly named 'ESG'..
 
master steward
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Ooooh, I've got to join in! This year has been a year of failures, where most of my garden beds are "fallow" growing daikon radishes (neither bunnies, bugs nor ducks eat the things), the garden bed I had so many hopes pinned on required months of amendments to get to producing, and bunnies ate most everything I grew.

Here's my best example, though. The Green Bean Teepee. I had such high hopes for a lovely play structure for my toddler and delicious green beans to consume... Last year green beans grew easily and without effort. This year? The ducks ate all my first sewing of green beans. I had to fence it off from the ducks, making it no longer a play structure for my toddler, who had really been enjoying it. But, I thought I'd be able to remove the fencing in a few weeks once the beans got big enough to not be tempting to ducks. No such luck! The fencing kept the ducks out, but wasn't tight enough to keep out bunnies, which proceeded to eat the next three sewings of green beans, despite applying copious amounts of coffee grounds and garlic peels to detour them. We had a cat last year, which I guess kept the bunnies under control, but despite calling many Feral Cat places, we couldn't get a barn cat. I finally had to give up planting beans because it was too late in the season. Thankfully, a coyote or something came around and ate the bunnies, so I have a few bean plants that survived. Of course, you can't tell where they are because of all the buttercup and birdsfoot trefoil and other weeds growing there. And, some of the poles are too thick for the beans to twine up, so I've had to tie them on.

So, instead of an epic, edible play structure, I have a fenced-off teepee of poles with a few green beans and lots of weeds.
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Epic, Edible Playstructure...or not...
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Look at all of those...beans? Wait, all I see is buttercup and other weeds...
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Nobody mentioned that poles can be too big for beans. I guess I'll just tie the beans to the pole....
 
Posts: 100
Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
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I pulled out my spent pea plants to allow my eggplants to get more sun.  The rabbits promptly ate the eggplants.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
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They said you could never have too much dill.......  I didn't realize 'they' were the Heinz pickle division.  On the bright side, even though my peanuts haven't grown any bigger, they've set a blossom or two!  I don't think 'Skippy' will be calling me any time soon....
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John Weiland
pollinator
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!!Peanuts!!!  

So after planting about 100 off-the-shelf raw peanuts, 5 plants emerged.  And lo and behold 4 of them had peanut pods!  So with about 5 nuts per plant X 4 plants, I yielded at best 20 nuts .... ~20% of what I planted (assuming for the moment 1 nut per shell).  So tis still a garden fail, but I'm saving these stout yeomen for planting again next year.  In a few year's time, and in my wildest most delusional fantasies, they may even overwinter here in zone 4b..... (not)....
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pollinator
Posts: 2191
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Corn and potatoes in in self watering containers seemed like a great idea.
I even added copious amounts of bunny bedding.
Alas,the corn grew stunted ears and the potatoes grew naught but foliage.
Well it seems likely they were nitrogen starved,so I'm gonna make sure everything is well composted next time.

Grew Wonderberries.I deem them a famine food.

Grew ground cherries amidst forage chicory.
I lose mist of the berries in the lush green foliage of the chicory.
The chicory hasn't flowered(my son loves the flowers of wild chicory) ,and is bitter as hell.

On the bright side,the bunnies do love the chicory,the ground cherries will probably self seed,and wonderberries might make good booze.
 
 
Posts: 362
Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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Failed to properly dry the dry beans I harvested. Found them all moldy in container 2 weeks later. Learned to always dry them a little longer than I think.
 
Posts: 14
Location: Close to the Ocean Zone 9b Florida
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No photos, but I cannot succeed with the easiest veg out there. Radishes. I can grow almost anything from seed-tomatoes, eggplant, peppers..you name it. Radishes get tops, but hardly ever a bulb to be seen. I can even grow Rat Tailed Radish, but not the traditional. I've tried containers, in the ground full sun, part shade. Compost, no compost, square foot garden spacing, rows, bio-intensive. I'm a radish failure.
 
steward
Posts: 3928
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Radishes eh? I suppose that the best chance for success in Florida would be for plantings made on about December 15th. They are a cold weather crop.



 
Kristi Anglen
Posts: 14
Location: Close to the Ocean Zone 9b Florida
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Yep. I've succession planted from late October right through March. Doesn't seem to matter. The only thing I can guess is that the soil is just too amended for them giving me more greens than roots. Since it's nothing but sand here, all of our dirt has been brought in and I'm constantly composting into the raised beds. Maybe I should fill a container with sand and give it a try!
 
pollinator
Posts: 450
Location: Western Kenya
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I wish I had pictures from my first garden here, five years ago. I knew the soil was awful but i didn't have the time or resources to do a lot of work on it. I figured it can't be as bad as it seems, and I planted anyway... All expensive imported heirloom seeds. Everything was severely stunted. My giant corn didn't get over knee high and produced one viable ear. Okra, maybe six inches tall. Carrots, a few spindly tops with hair width roods. All the summer squash got fungus, all the melons were infested by fruit flies, the beans died before they flowered, the cowpeas were overrun by aphids, onions... Sprouted and then disappeared. Every last thing I planted was a total flop.

These days I still lose about 50℅ of my crops, but mostly to domestic animals and theives of the two legged variety.  Somebody's cow always gets loose. My mother in Law's pigs are the bain of my existance, and her chickens, neighbors chickens, my own poultry. Until I can afford to fence the entire property, I have switched mostly to those crops that the animals and kids don't like so much.

PS to the person growing wonder berry, try eating as a green vegetable. We don't touch the berries, but the greens of black nightshades are a staple here.
 
master pollinator
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I have had a ton of failures here, and honestly they all have one thing in common; I deviated from the original farm plan. It is true, when I took over the family farm I plotted out a 10 year course on where I wanted to take the farm and how to do it. I was meticulous on research, and every time I deviated from that plan, bad things happened.

I guess my biggest mistake gardening wise was last year. I had read somewhere that sheep manure can be spread on a garden and not "burn" the seeds. Most manure should be aged. We went by what I read and I would say 50% of the seeds failed to emerge. Lesson learned on that one.
 
pollinator
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Kristi Anglen wrote:Yep. I've succession planted from late October right through March. Doesn't seem to matter. The only thing I can guess is that the soil is just too amended for them giving me more greens than roots. Since it's nothing but sand here, all of our dirt has been brought in and I'm constantly composting into the raised beds. Maybe I should fill a container with sand and give it a try!


Kristi, if that's the problem, I understand now why I have that problem with radishes always! For me it isn't a real problem, because I like eating the seed pods of the radish plants
 
Maureen Atsali
pollinator
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Radish greens are super tastey too, stirfried with some onions and tomatoes!
 
John Weiland
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@Kristi A: "I've succession planted from late October right through March. Doesn't seem to matter. The only thing I can guess is that the soil is just too amended for them giving me more greens than roots. Since it's nothing but sand here, all of our dirt has been brought in and I'm constantly composting into the raised beds. Maybe I should fill a container with sand and give it a try!"

I love a good agricultural mystery!  

Kristi, is it fair to say that you've always had some source of local soil mixed in with your amended mix in your planter boxes?  Any chance you could try the experiment again with bagged soil from a garden center that came from another part of the country and may or may not have been sterilized?   I'm just noting in the following link that "The most significant diseases on radish in Florida are black root (caused by Aphanomyces raphani), downy mildew (caused by Peronospora parasitica), white rust (caused by Albugo candida), and Rhizoctonia diseases such as damping off and wirestem (personal communication, Dr. R. Raid, UF/IFAS). "

Aphanomyces *can* be a killing disease, but most often just causes unthrifty root develop while leaving tops looking relatively healthy.  Since your tops are healthy, it's probably not downy mildew.....but could be Rhizoctonia as well, although this is more of a clear "root rotter".


https://ipmdata.ipmcenters.org/documents/cropprofiles/FLradish.pdf
 
Kristi Anglen
Posts: 14
Location: Close to the Ocean Zone 9b Florida
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Kristi, is it fair to say that you've always had some source of local soil mixed in with your amended mix in your planter boxes?



Yes it is. I buy organic, but do try to limit the trucking distance so a lot of the product comes from Georgia. Which it's still southern, but they have clay up there unlike here where it truly is just sand. Maybe I should do a Miracle Gro soil bucket and see what happens? Others have told me I should just give up the organic thing and hit my veggies with Miracle Gro to improve yield since gardening in Florida is a lot different than it was in Ohio. I could try it with the radishes in a container and see what happens.
 
gardener
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I'm trying to be good about including my failures on my project thread, but this seemed funny enough for it's own post.

Gardening failure: When you see an abandoned ant mound and decide to use this loose spot in the lawn for a flower seed. Then sit down on the new ant mound to do so. I'm wearing shorts today, too. I guess a dress would have been worse, but usually I wear capris.
 
master steward
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Basically my winter and overwinter garden is a complete failure.  I might be able to salvage a few leeks (of the hundred odd that I planted), and possibly a kale plant (of the 50+ I have scattered about).  When the snow melts, I'll know more.

Usually, we can harvest chard, kale, leeks and a few other goodies, all winter.  But then we had this weird thing called snow, then it sort of melted and we had a dry, deep cold that froze the soil for a week (this killed off my overwinter crops like chickpeas, favas, garlic, and barley), then we had 2 feet of excessively wet snow to crush anything that might have survived.

I've had to go out and buy veg which was very upsetting as I hadn't budgeted for this added food expense.  

But it has given me an opportunity to re-think how I approach winter.  Maybe I'll store some more veg inside rather than in the garden.
 
John Weiland
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@Kristi A. ---- Yes, I would consider trying a batch of radishes (started in cool weather weather of course....may not be good to try this in Florida summer...) in containered soil that was not from your property just as an experiment.  Although I normally hesitate to provide photo examples of diseases since the appearance can vary so much from one situation to another, below are examples of root disease on radish caused by Fusarium (top photo) and Aphanomyces (bottom photo).  Note that in both cases, the tops are still in pretty good shape.  If you were to venture planting radish in your raised bed again, you may consider pulling up a few 'rootless' plants to bring to a county extension agent for a stab at a diagnosis.   Good luck!

[Note in bottom photo that healthy radishes are on the right side of the photo and disease plants are on the left.]
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master pollinator
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My winter garden was also a failure, because we had one severe cold snap that killed almost all the annual plants.  Only Cilantro and the edible weed Henbit survived.  Perennials were slightly damaged.  But basically the garden was flattened and I had to start over.  
 
Kristi Anglen
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Location: Close to the Ocean Zone 9b Florida
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@John Weiland

Yes, I would consider trying a batch of radishes (started in cool weather weather of course....may not be good to try this in Florida summer...)  



Yes I'm already transitioning from winter to spring/summer. Not that we had much of a winter the past two years. Beautiful huge broccoli plants and they wanted to bolt as soon as they started forming heads because of the heat. I've harvested some, but not as much as I had hoped. They are about to get the chop and drop treatment.

Good idea on taking to the extension service. The first year I grew them in a container I got a few. Skipped a season because my back was bad and this season just in the ground so maybe a disease. I have some in partial shade now with a curled kale plant and a couple cabbage plants that probably won't produce. It's an experiment I started about 8 weeks ago to see if I can extend my season in the shady part of the garden. I should have added chard in there since I love it, but didn't think about it at the time.

One thing like R Ranson mentioned- failures give you food for thought on how to plan for the future garden. As I have the money I'm buying more sub tropical edible perennials to replace some of the "normal" vegetables that are just really tough here like broccoli.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Don't forget that the leaves of Broccoli and Cabbage plants are edible; even if you aren't able to get them to head, at least they won't be a complete bust.

 
pollinator
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Don't forget that the leaves of Broccoli and Cabbage plants are edible; even if you aren't able to get them to head, at least they won't be a complete bust.


I have a broccoli plant that is 4 years old.  It is not much for producing florets anymore but I harvest leaves off it all year and it provides me with a steady source of seeds. It failed to get watered for 2 months so I am not sure if it will revive for another year..
 
r ranson
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It's finally warm enough yesterday, so I went to the garden to see what damage the winter did.  Over half my garlic, dead.  Rotted in the ground due to snow and a majorly crappy winter.

I'm very, very glad I only planted half of it out.  So, really, I've only lost 1/4 of my garlic (provided the stuff I stored inside didn't desiccate over winter).  But it's a shame I lost that much because it was a very special and delicious type my neighbour gave me.  

As for the winter garden, the only other survivors were stunted leeks and chickweed.

I'm going to be hopeful and imagine that spring has arrived.  But I have a feeling we are in for another cold snap before easter.  Two days ago it was snowing.  Now the low temperature is 10 degrees C.  I'll at least try to get some peas and oats in the ground this week.
 
nancy sutton
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Already this year! 4 small pots of lettuce seedlings on the window sill... oops!  knocked them all upside down onto the... carpet.  One may survive, but I have more seeds.  But not enough extra energy to be cleaning up the soil : )
 
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Thank you, everybody!  I thought I was the only one capable of so many of these fails, but it turns out I was wrong.  Some things must be universal.  You have all made me feel much better.  

One particularly embarrassing fail in my front yard is my sunchoke bed.  Since they grow to look like sunflowers, I decided they would be "pretty" in a bed out front, near the end of the driveway.  I built a nice stone wall around them which really seemed to dress up the beds.  The plants grew and blossomed.  They were beautiful -- for about a day.  Once the deer figured out what they were, they kindly took the flower heads off every. single. plant. in the bed.  

Figuring the new tubers would send up even more flowers the following year, I left the bed as it was.  A few weeds crept in (because it is a garden and that just seems to be the way of things).  I left them, being too busy to fuss.  The flowers came up again - and were quickly decapitated as before. The weeds were untouched.  I lovingly refer to that bed as my "Morticia Addams" bed (Addams Family reference).  I have a strategy for this spring that I hope will keep the deer far enough away to NOT eat the flowers.  Time will tell.

 
nancy sutton
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If we can't laugh, I guess we cry... and that's always a stupid waste of whatever precious hours/days/years we have left!   So, looking from the deer's perspective... got to chuckle !
 
Kim Arnold
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Laugh it off for sure!  What can you do?  It's a little embarrassing when people ask "what are you growing there?" with THAT tone, but hey.  The neighbors all know about the deer.
 
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This last season I put a mushy tomato in my worm bin. I made my starting mix with the vermicompost. I'm weeding tomato plants out of everything.

I also have half my bed that won't grow. No idea what's gone wrong... nothing shows signs of stress. No discoloring. Little pest damage, but nothing major. The other half of the bed is growing and producing fine.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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My potatoes I planted indoors did so well. The weather was right to 'harden' them, putting them outdoors during the day. Went OK too. After some days, still warm weather, I decided they could stay outdoors during the night too ...
No, it wasn't a cold night ... not at all ... the temperatures were high enough to activate those tiny slimy bandits that liked eating all leaves off of my potato plants ...
 
No more fooling around. Read this tiny ad:
50% off Truly Garden Grafting Knife =$7.44
https://permies.com/t/102871/Garden-Grafting-Knife
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