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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

what we learned this season 2017

Now that the season is winding down for many of us, what did we learn this year?

I am still learning gardening in my new location:

1) To have succession plantings, I really have to be more careful with getting seeds started. Probably would be good to start them in pots/flats even though outdoors, not under lights. Having a few flats of seeds on the deck would help them get the individual attention they need. It would also reduce water usage -- when I have seeds planted in a bed, then I water that bed every day or almost every day. But all the big stuff in the same bed doesn't need that frequent of watering.

2) I really have to stay alert for fungal diseases and treat them early and often. I am such a "lazy gardener," laissez faire, I tend to just think plants will take care of themselves. I lost tomato plants, winter squash, and some rhubarb plants to fungal diseases, that might have been controlled if I jumped on it quickly.

Posts: 12692
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: what we learned this season 2017

Learning is lifelong. I learned this year:
1. That I could reuse some potting soil but, I had to use much more fertilizer the second time around and it is better to add 50% new soil to mix with the old.
2. Experimented with some new plants this year. Perpetual spinach, and other varieties of basil Ajaka, kraoprathao holy basil which are more resistant to basil downy mildew.
3. I found out again that ginger likes to grow laterally more than vertically, so I looked for wider pots, tried reorienting the ginger to see if they would grow more vertically, and spread them out in 4 pots instead of 1, hoping to get bigger pieces.
The started late in April and they are blooming now. One of the pots, 7 gallon egg can, wasn't wide enough, the roots are pushing against the side deforming the pot.
4. Found out that not only are the birds eating the sluggo, it is also attracting rats. I still have a lot of snails. I may have to change the snail bait.
5. Birds have been expanding their raids on the garden. They have been a problem with papaya,chili peppers, and tomatoes eating the fruit. Doves and cardinals eating the seeds out of the starter pots. Bulbuls eating orchid buds, petals and leaves. Now, they are after the young shoots of peas and beans, grass seeds, and they will not only eat the young lettuce leaves, they will pull the seedlings out of the ground to get to the worms in the roots. However, the geckos are doing a good job keeping beetles, ants, some flying insects, caterpillars and other small insects in check.
6 The butterfly bush is attracting more butterflies to my yard.
7 I am training my first bougainvillea bonsai with some help from a friend in the bonsai club.
8. My new fruit fly lure doesn't work as well as the old one.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 970
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: what we learned this season 2017

Here is my list for 2017 so far;
  • Don’t sweat the compost it will take care of itself.
  • Compost everything
  • SVB’s suck. Use Btk
  • Slugs suck, Sluggo Plus Works
  • Where to get unlimited free wood chips and compost
  • Cherokee Purples are too finicky for me and need to be taken off the plant before even half ripe.
  • Do not grow Indigo Blueberries tomatoes again
  • Do not Grow Black Vernissage Tomatoes again, I do not like them
  • Grow less tomatoes and add other plants instead
  • Try some new plants every year.
  • Rock Dust is not needed
  • Bio-Char is only helpful to amend very poor soils
  • Grow Cover crops in the fall, Oats and Crimson clover (cover oats with cardboard until 90 % sprouted
  • How to grow garlic, sprout before planting
  • Don’t Kill leopard slugs, they eat smaller slugs.
  • Don’t walk up in the garden area in socks.
  • How to properly Harvest Eggplant seeds.
  • I need better support for my tomatoes next year
  • Goof plugs suck.
  • Separate each irrigation line with valves to turn off when not needed.
  • Cut back on seedlings, NO I don’t have to grow plants for everyone!
  • Put pepper plants out a little later than tomatoes
  • Grow more thick walled peppers, the thin walled peppers aren’t as good when stuffing.
  • Pepper plants love the pond area
  • Fertilize Aquaponic peppers more next year
  • Plant Fall crops
  • Do not ever order plants from American Meadows
  • Plant oregano, thyme, marigolds etc... in beds to attract pollinators
  • Stop building Hugelkultur beds… there’s no room!
  • Work on my spacing
  • How to make horseradish
  • How to make Eggplant Flour
  • Roasted peppers Rock!
  • How to make Ghost Chili Salt and Datil Pepper Salt
  • Don’t keep buying ornamental plants, instead, thin, divide and transfer first.
  • Keep reading on this forum!
  • Keep Researching
  • Share seeds
  • Share Info
  • Stop obsessing about the garden and enjoy it more!

Senior Member
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: what we learned this season 2017

Totally agree rainbowgardner,

I have finally discovered that putting my seeds in flats at first because not only are they 'exposed' less to the pests, but since I am still fighting with 90 degree days, I can move them into filtered shade under the tree in the late afternoon.

I did it with my brassicas, lettuces, artichokes, and cilantro/parsley and so far so good.

SQWIB- your post made me laugh out loud.

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