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Garden Failures...

 
pollinator
Posts: 983
Location: Longbranch, WA
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote: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 ...


They love to climb up plastic. Then they go down inside to hide in the mulch during the day and lay eggs. I have to scatter slug pellets in my peas which worked until it got warm enough for the cut worms.
 
pollinator
Posts: 864
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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This failure had a positive side too! One of my garden friends asked me if those plants had already grown new potatoes. I thought it was too soon, but it wasn't! I found about seven small (but not very tiny) potatoes, just enough for my lunch today!
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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K Putnam
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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@R Ranson, this winter was so depressing I haven't even read permies in months.  

Favas...melted into the ground.   No survivors.

Herbs: dead.  

Soil: glop.

Started peas indoors this year so they wouldn't just sit and rot.   Only just started direct seeding stuff yesterday and...well...who knows.  
 
Posts: 156
Location: North of France
6
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I had no more room in my "plant starting" greenhouse, nor in the workshop, so I decided to start lots of snap peas in ... the cellar.
Somehow humid, constant temperature (around 13°C), I thought this could work. I had already done so with other peas and fava beans with good success.
Not this time I'm afraid. Almost all of them rotted. And the ones that sprouted got eaten by slugs who found their way through the aeration hole.
I still have a few seeds, but I won't eat snap peas this year...
 
Posts: 8
Location: Virginia, USA
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I was planning to plant some shrubs in my backyard together with my other flowering plants. However, I am not pretty sure if what kind of shrubs to plant. Lol. Seeing the pictures here seems a little bit odd. I remembered my garden way back in my mother's hometown where I plant a pumpkin and after how many months, its really not nice to see though with other beautiful plants which had been planted by my mother.
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Okay, this one has taken a long time to be confirmed. Last year I tried planting carrots by placing the seeds and covering them with a very light layer of composted wood chips, before the soil had cooled enough for germination. I was really excited when shortly after the first rains with a cool spell there were plentiful seedlings that looked like carrots everywhere I'd done this, and nowhere I hadn't. There's a plant here (hedge parsley) that looks nearly identical to carrots and it wasn't germinating in my yard at the same time, so I was pretty confident my planting experiment had worked. I've been watching this plants, pulling back the soil to see if the roots have started coloring up and weeding grass away from them, all winter. Now the hedge parsley in the rest of the yard is up and starting to bloom. So are my carefully tended plants. Today, I pulled them up to make room for sweet corn. Next year we may let them grow in other garden beds to harvest these roots before the plant starts flowering. As a wild edible they could be a very great success. The roots are nearly domestic carrot size. I also planted some carrots from Joseph Lofthouse, these aren't flowering so I'm confident (again) that I've correctly identified carrots in the garden. So long as they aren't hemlock, I'll post here again if they aren't carrots, either.

I did have the pleasant surprise of having another failure turn around, at least one of my olive trees actually did survive the winter. It's leafing out. I was going to cut down both trees this week, instead I'm giving the other tree more time.
 
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
204
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John Weiland wrote:

Carrots will spank you every time....don't try to plant carrots unless you feel you are really in deep with the deity of your persuasion.  



Just found this, laughed myself silly.

I want to know what the sacrifice is to what diety to get good radishes? At home where I grew up, we had beautiful radishes. Here, mreeep. I grow beautiful lush tops. I've tried all sorts of balances of PH, soil amendments, etc (trying to starve the nitrogen to get them to make roots, etc). Nada. Not. Zip. I was up home end of April, I almost swiped a suitcase full of dirt to bring back. I'm that desperate. Ah well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 450
Location: Western Kenya
60
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Haha Deb. I could never grow radishes when I lived in the states. (Vermont). Then for some reason I ended up with a packet of radish seeds in Kenya.  I think it was a free gift packet.  So I said what the heck, maybe I'll get some greens to eat, and randomly tossed the seeds in. Tropical Africa, and I grew the best radishes ever! Big crisp bulbs, just the right amount of bite.

But give me traditionally heat loving crops, and I'm still struggling!  Can't grow a tomato to save my life.  Am currently harvesting a handful of pods from knee-high okra, and out of 300 pepper seeds I put in the nursery bed... I got one plant.

Currently I have some absolutely gorgeous cauliflower seedlings nearly ready to transplant.  I will laugh sooo hard if I manage to grow a head of cauliflower on the equator (another thing I never could grow in Vermont). We
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
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I got cauliflower for the first time ever a few years ago, bought plants and put them in my heated hoop (small greenhouse of pvc pipe bent to make ribs and sheet plastic) that had a rain gutter heat tape buried 12 inches (30 cm) in ground with a brooder light for air temp heating... I got small store sized heads for the first time ever and they finished just as our summer arrived. To get that size head, the plants get huge (4 feet or more across, 1.3 meters). The broccoli, same thing. I had grown it at my parent's place but the florets were small and you had to pick through to get enough, no real heads. That year it went right and I got four harvests, first heads were store sized.

Radishes. Oh well. I also can be hit and miss with okra. Knee high plants, of six plants, maybe 8 pods. Friend not that far away, seeded out of the same packet, had 7' tall (2.2m) and bursting with pods. This year at least I have seen some come up.
 
master steward
Posts: 9052
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I have tillage radishes--ya know, the daikons that are supposed to grow giant roots to drill into soil. Mine make pitiful, skinny little roots, and they seed EVERYWHERE. But, my husband loves the radish seed pods (he calls them "spicy green beans"). Interestingly enough, the Celeste radish that I bought for my three year old's garden made perfect little round radish roots, while a daikon he planted there grew a scraggly little root. Maybe try a different radish variety?! I should see how the Celeste radishes do in other areas of the garden--it might just be we got really lucky with his garden bed, which is literally made up of duck bedding with 1-2 inches organic topsoil.
 
Posts: 317
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
32
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My sweetcorn has been rubbish this year.  Ok so we went on holiday for Easter, but it was germinated in its little placcy bag pots, so I gave it a good drink and shut the propagator lids.  I think it was too cold and wet, and half of it was just wilted and died.  So I sowed another packet and that has done the same.  I've got maybe 50% success rate, and usually I get close to 100%.  The ones that have got as far as the allotment are looking better, under plastic bottles and few are now poking out the tops, so fingers crossed they get away now.  I did everything the same as last year.  The only thing I can think apart from cold and wet is to give the bag pots a really good wash this year in case there was some fungal infection in there.

Also, I sow my broad beans and field beans in late autumn, and this year the broad beans died off completely overwinter.  I couldn't find aquadulce claudia and sowed aquadulce simonia instead.  So, this autumn, look harder!  And use the empty space for french beans.
 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 983
Location: Longbranch, WA
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Deb Rebel wrote:I got cauliflower for the first time ever a few years ago, bought plants and put them in my heated hoop (small greenhouse of pvc pipe bent to make ribs and sheet plastic) that had a rain gutter heat tape buried 12 inches (30 cm) in ground with a brooder light for air temp heating... I got small store sized heads for the first time ever and they finished just as our summer arrived. To get that size head, the plants get huge (4 feet or more across, 1.3 meters). The broccoli, same thing. I had grown it at my parent's place but the florets were small and you had to pick through to get enough, no real heads. That year it went right and I got four harvests, first heads were store size.


You have to observe that the natural cycle of that family of plants is to disperse their seeds at the end of summer and sprout with the fires fall rains. They then survive the winter chill and short days and start to form heads when the day length increases, like February/March.  In zone 7b on the waterfront where cold air could run out onto the bay and air warmed by the water would return back up the bank we could get heads more than a foot in diameter.  I had a broccoli live 4 years in the back of the greenhouse and finally died this winter because I failed to water it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1291
Location: RRV of da Nort
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Higher up in this thread on Oct. 11th of last year, I harvested the small amount of peanuts that I tried to get from some Spanish reds planted in the spring.  Those nuts were dried down over the winter in their shells and planted this year.  Now they have had the luck of Job in providing a new crop.  First, my wife didn't realize where I had planted them and repurposed that same plot for some eggplant.  Fortunately, many of those eggplant got crushed by beetles.  When they had died, I notice some young peanut plants emerging!......the leaves of which quickly got devoured by some other insect.  So you could say that 'survival of the fittest' is at work in these peanuts.  If they ever become my main stock here in Zone 4, they will have stories to tell their great grandchildren!

In the photo, you basically see bare ground with some purslane and....struggling peanuts.  
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Deb Rebel
gardener
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Location: Zone 6b
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My ongoing attempts to get okra going. I am on my fourth seeding. Gave up with everything but Joseph Lofthouse's stuff. Out of those I have four trying for it (pretty small but at least they're above the dirt).

Maybe the diety in charge is fond of bindweed (which is bursting all over that patch even with mulch) that I keep removing before it becomes one solid mat. So I'm getting the karmic revenge.
 
pollinator
Posts: 759
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Ditto on the bindweed... I just pulled bushels of it off of last year's (currently still unharvested) potato patch.  I'm sure the spuds are there, hoping to remain 'unmolested' : )   Yes, the mulch worked just as well for the bindweed as the spuds.  Now.... on to another strategy! (hope springs......)  I'm thinking that since the organic market gardeners (Jean Martin Fortier, Curtis Stone, etc)  (and the Permaculture Orchardist) all use 'black plastic"  i.e.,  *silt fencing, very successfully, I will also.  Spuds are not lettuce, but..... more will be revealed!   (I'm interested to see the 'spaghetti' of bindweed roots that will probably develop right underneath the 'fencing' (aka 'weed mat' I think) .... hopefully, easier to access and remove....gee, I'm already getting excited about this lastest (of a dozen prior failures!) tactic : )   *silt fencing/weed mat is an air/water permeable, woven,very UV resisitant black plastic material ... it's not the generic 'black plastic' that crumbles after a year or two in the sun.
 
gardener
Posts: 606
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
129
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Checked on potatoes under hay this morning. Couldn't find any........
 
Posts: 13
Location: Rittman, OH
5
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I can't seem to grow fava beans well, here in Ohio. I had great success in Northern CA, but the last two seasons, the favas will grow, flower and fruit but during the summer get attacked by aphids (?). I have tried spraying with soapy water, neem oil, capsaicin/garlic concoction to no avail. They just wither and die from the attack. Last year I tried companion planting marigolds. That didn't seem to help either.

I also had a vole problem last year. They ate all the cucumbers and melons they could get to, ate all the broccoli seedlings and chewed on the beetroot sticking out of the ground. I put out mouse traps with peanut butter and grains and only caught one sparrow. :{ The traps got too rusty to work after a while. I am trellising most of that stuff this year. The melons are Sakata sweet and they are so delicious. I only got a few!

My lovely red Russian kale was attacked by cabbage moth last year, too. I took off all the affected leaves and drowned them or gave them to the chickens. My Brussel sprouts were also infested. I need to keep a better eye on it this year. The kale recovered nicely and gave me a few more crops at the end of the year.

Also, every ear of corn had at least one worm last year.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
gardener
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Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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I have a major mouse/vole/mole problem. Am feeling got at...
 
pollinator
Posts: 347
Location: South of Capricorn
91
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I put down traps to kill the rats that were destroying my garden. Killed the rats. Also managed to get a thrush, which was heartbreaking. Managed to free it from the trap but doubt it lived much longer.

This year`s plant-related failure is one of those "be-careful-what-you-wish-for" kind of things. Planted favas and loofahs, expecting nothing. They both went gangbusters and took over most of my garden. Now I'm waiting and waiting so they can both finally ripen and I can put my winter plants in (got so much kale, bok choy, etc waiting). But these stinking vines have taken over and show no signs of either the fava beans or the loofas ever maturing. Getting tired of sitting on my hands here. Early experiments show that I could maybe get some usable loofahs out of the unripe ones, but it's a lot of work and the sponges are kind of wimpy. The unripe favas, there doesn`t seem to be any way around it: gotta wait.  Ugh.
 
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One of the better posts "all" comments included. Failure is a fact of life. Failures in the garden that are certain, are going be be an awesome teaching tool for our nine grandkids ages 4 months to 17 years.

Our 36 acres of deep sandy loam soil, 100% devoid of rocks any size requires supplemental (irrigation) water for the 150 day warm growing season. Drilling of our water well is scheduled for late June into July where green manure crops will be started to build the soil structure (also have an elk tag).

I know, irrigation water, a sin but we have no choice. Green manure crops will be equally geared to support establishing honey bees next spring with the hives protected by a chain link enclosed yard - open range cows frequent the 24,000 acre grazing paddock and I'm sure they'll find our crops and hives.

Squash bugs love grabbing onto the underside of a wet board placed overnight next to plants. Just flip it over in the morning and smash them.
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author
Posts: 46
Location: Silver City, NM USA
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I moved to the fairly arid and warm Southwest about four years ago, with great ambitions for developing a large garden in my back yard. I laid out and dug a lovely branching Permaculture garden with swales to collect rainwater. Then I set about improving the poor soil by mulching with commercial straw, leaves and wood chips, and adding local goat manure, bio-char charged with activated microbes, and even some alfalfa pellets to the soil. Each successive year I seemed to be getting better veggie production, until last year when practically nothing wanted to grow. Many plants that had flourished other years barely grew; it was very disappointing.

Then one of the members of our local permaculture group mentioned that he had a very similar problem, and he attributed it to the accumulation of glysophate from straw he had purchased! I think that this might be my problem also, especially when I realized that the goat manure was likely contaminated with glysophate-laced hay fed to the goats, and even the commercial alfalfa pellets could have been contaminated. How discouraging to poison your garden when you are doing the best you can to enhance it! Now I am focusing on converting the garden to primarily a food forest with as many hardy perennials as will grow, given the conditions.
IMG_3768.JPG
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Here is what the garden looked like in the early days.
 
gardener
Posts: 1625
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
244
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Kelly Hart wrote:... until last year when practically nothing wanted to grow. Many plants that had flourished other years barely grew; it was very disappointing.

Then one of the members of our local permaculture group mentioned that he had a very similar problem, and he attributed it to the accumulation of glysophate from straw he had purchased! I think that this might be my problem also, especially when I realized that the goat manure was likely contaminated with glysophate-laced hay fed to the goats, and even the commercial alfalfa pellets could have been contaminated.



Probably not glyphosate but an herbicide of the aminopyralid group. Glyphosate breaks down within a few months, but the sinister aminopyralid class of herbicides do not break down in in composting, or even in the digestive system of ruminants or other animals. They are used on hay and grains because they kill broad-leafed plants but leave the grass family alone. So nowadays manure, hay, straw, and compost made from any of these, are increasingly likely to be toxic to garden plants (other than corn, cereal grains, or grasses).
 
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