Ivory’s Garden Flop-o-rama

by Daisy

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Remember when I said that you have to have homemade or, like, five bags of different composts in your raised beds? Well, I know, because this year I didn’t do it! I have NEVER had to fertilize my garden or anything else I’ve grown. But I got lazy. I put in a bunch of new beds and mixed a bunch of crap dirt in there. Here’s the spinach I planted in February.


And here’s the tomatoes I transplanted six weeks ago.  They look the same as the day I put them out.


And then, of course, there’s this happy plant, that is supposed to be collards, but isn’t quite what was advertised on the package. Know any prickly leaved collards?


So here’s where I stand…

I’ve ripped out everything but the zucchini, tomatoes, beans, and peppers.  Now, truth be known, there is still plenty of fun stuff to transplant at the store, but since I’ve already busted my yard budget four times over (remember the expensive goats?) I am stuck with my seed stash, that I thankfully stored correctly.


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

alwayshungryab June 17, 2009 at 5:47 am

Take heart, Ivory! Every farmer has her good years and her bad. Thanks for pointing back to the seed storing post–I’m getting interested in growing heirloom veggies and harvesting and storing my own seeds (one of the many hobbies I plan to read up on next winter and start in the spring).

Robin June 17, 2009 at 6:09 am

Hang in there! I lost a lot due to insects this year. It has to get better!
Good Luck.

Debbie June 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

Those look like mustard greens. I did the same thing as you this year and am really sorry about it, too. So, I plan to make a compost tumbler (actually 4 of them) from those recycled olive barrels to fast track my compost for the next round of plants.
The areas that do have good soil my plants are doing really well. It definitely shows where I didn’t amend the soil out there.
Thanks for sharing.


Emily June 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

I have the same thing going on too. The only things that are doing well are the ‘volunteer’ pumpkins and cucumbers that survived the compost bin.

Though truth be told, even those haven’t produced any fruit yet, just flowered like crazy.

ivorysoap76 June 17, 2009 at 8:51 am

@ Debbie–Yeah, this was a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t written a post on the reboot, but it involved a LOT of compost.

@Robin–the borers are horrid this year!

@alwayshungryab–thank you and you’re welcome!

Michelle June 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

Sadly, you’re not alone in the garden “flop” department. My garden is horrible this year! I planted in recycled pine shipping containers as a temporary answer to raised beds…and apparently, plants don’t like pine wood…especially pine wood that doesn’t drain…ahem. Yeah…off to a BAD start. I think we were able to salvage the peppers and tomatoes, they seem to be perking up..but the beans were a goner. Anything I planted directly into, what I thought was, terrible soil has grown great! Lettuce…nasturtiums…birdhouse gourds…thriving. Too bad we can’t EAT IT. Well, yeah, the lettuce…but come on! And pests? Oh my goodness…the earwigs are out of control! I guess there’s really something to be said for NOT cutting corners.

Thanks for sharing the reality of gardening…


ivorysoap76 June 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Yeah, I have some volunteers too. But my random pumpkin has succumbed to the borers.

rowena___. June 17, 2009 at 4:46 pm

well, it is some consolation to those of us who have always failed at gardening. 🙂 i like your description of the various conditions of your plants on your garden plan. so far most of the things i planted have done well except the dill, which is now gone and it took with it my dreams of homemade dill pickles. and the chard is not growing, it sprouted but maybe it is too hot now. but today we ate our first homegrown radishes and oh my goodness what a treat!

Ang June 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Superthrive or liquid seaweed. Both will liven up your garden beds in a jiffy and neither will harm you.

I’ve just recovered from an onslaught of tomatoes. They were coming out my ears! We role organically here, too.


Sheila June 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

We ll bless your heart! I’ve got to pull stuff up too, but I didn’t know better. I planted my corn, peas, and lettuce too late. It just got too warm too fast here in Central Florida. The dirt is sandy , but I’m learning. I’ve got a pile of compost going.and we’ve still got time to make a garden. It’ll be good, you’ll see.

Valerie June 18, 2009 at 5:46 am

This has been a rough year for gardens. My seedling did well in the house, but went downhill once they moved outside. We had about 15 inches of rain in one week in April, which wiped out some, and made the rest unhappy. Just when they were rallying, we had over 20 inches of rain during a 2 week span in May, and that almost did them in. The pepper plants are still about 8″ high, even though they do have a few small peppers on them. Everyone I know is having a rough garden year this time.

Don June 18, 2009 at 8:01 am

Try some COF – it works great. Also you can work some manure in in the fall. I rarely have any bad plants.

COF – http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2006-06-01/A-Better-Way-to-Fertilize-Your-Garden.aspx

Viki June 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I’ve had success using Bacillus thuringiensis (BT for short) a bacteria that only effects caterpillars, you dust it all over your plants, (some gardeners even inject it in the stalk where the borers are) and wallah dead caterpillars, doesn’t effect anything else. There is even a BT product specifically for mosquitoes that works great. Do a google search and you’ll find lots of info.
Ivory I was going to say those looked like mustard or turnip greens, definitely not collards!

ivorysoap76 June 19, 2009 at 6:38 am

@ Viki–I think turnips, since they had little turnips at the bottom! HA!

ivorysoap76 June 19, 2009 at 6:53 am


@Valerie–Glad to know I’m not the only one. It’s been raining like crazy here.

@Ang–I’ve been doing the fish emulsion thing.

@Rowena–YAY FOR YOUR RADISHES!!! Doesn’t it seem like magic to eat thing out of your yard? It still freaks me out.

ivorysoap76 June 19, 2009 at 6:54 am

@Sheila–It takes forever to learn the lessons, huh? TL has about fifteen years more gardening experience than I do, and she keeps telling me that I probably won’t settle in till the ten year mark.

Liz June 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I made up that fertilizer this year and almost everything is doing well. My garden is 8 miles away from my home. This is my first year using this garden and I haven’t had a chance to add much to the soil. Just be careful adding in the lime. Don’t breathe it in and protect your eyes. Kelp is supposed to have something like 80 nutrients in it. Good stuff!

Maven Koesler January 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I use the organic fertilizer from Steve Solomon’s _Gardening When It Counts_


It has done WONDERS for my over-worked, sandy/clay ex-wheat field of a garden.
I only did potatoes and onions last spring due to moving/building/etc, but WOW. Compared to what I’d (weekend gardener) grown out here previously, it was fantastic.
If you don’t want t get the book – I bought it, but the library has it on Inter-library loan – Here’s the article from TMEN with the recipe. It really does wonders.


Maven Koesler January 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Oops! I just saw where Don recommended the same stuff. COF. It’s no big deal to mix, and my feed store got me in all the ingredients except the copra meal. I subbed cottonseed meal – not real organic, but better than harvesting 3 rows of 1015 “scallions” instead of onions! The onions really took off with this stuff.

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