Six on Saturday: My Top Six Garden Fixes


I enjoy reading gardening tweets and am often inspired by the beautiful images posted by plant lovers. On Saturdays, garden Twitter fans often post #sixonsaturday to highlight garden success. Yesterday, I noticed a slightly different take on the hashtag.

I love both the tweet and the comments. The open confession of garden projects gone bad gives others the opportunity to reply with photos and stories of their not-so-perfect plants. It takes courage to show life as it is. All too often social media is flooded with images of perfection. As a result some may feel that they cannot live up to the unrealistically high standards.

Given that I too am imperfect, I decided to share my own recent garden fails and responses.

1. Geraniums

I attempted to overwinter three geranium containers by bringing them inside. Only one pot survived. Given the pandemic and uncertainty around garden centre re-opening, I decided to clone the surviving geraniums. I didn’t have access to rooting powder or other fancy stuff. I cleaned out the containers, filled with fresh potting soil and added cuttings. Magically the cuttings rooted. They were carefully hardened off in spring and I now have four geraniums containers in the back.

2. Tomatoes

Ever since I moved the tomato crop to the sunnier side of the house a few years ago, I have had bumper crops of tomatoes. This year bugs ate all but three of the tomato seedlings I had grown inside, hardened off and carefully planted. I saved the final plants by surrounding them with crushed eggshells. The rough edges of the shells are said to deter creepy crawlies. The final trio are now caged and growing tall.

3. Zucchini

Last summer I grew zucchini for the first time. After getting a few veggies from the vine, white spots started to appear on the leaves. I learned that this is powdery mildew and although I treated it with an organic remedy of water and milk, I ended up losing the plant. I learned that the mildew is often caused by water on the leaves. This year has been dry and I have been careful to water under the plant. We have already harvested 12 zucchinis and there are more to come.

4. Carrots

When I was growing up, my Dad had a big vegetable garden. He didn’t grow carrots as he said the worms always got to them first. This year, I decided to grow carrots. The worms got some of them and monarch butterfly caterpillars ate most of the greens. (I thought they liked milkweed?) They didn’t get the ones growing in reused plastic bottles with holes drilled in the bottom. I am looking forward to that small harvest.

5. Chives

When we moved to our current home, I brought along a nice clump of chives and planted them in the backyard. We never harvested them since that is the dog’s territory. This year, I decided to replant some of the chives in a flower planter. They are growing beautifully and have been used to safely season some tasty dishes this summer.

6. Sunflowers

A few years ago, I had towering sunflowers out front. Passersby would cross our lawn and pose for pictures with them. This year the bugs or squirrels got those too. A chef told me that sunflower shoots are good in salads. The squirrels agree. I am still searching for a solution to this one so if you have any ideas, let me know. In the meantime, I am focusing on the snapdragons that are doing well .

Gardening should be fun even when the unexpected happens. We may learn more from our trials than our triumphs. My response to @mudcakesandwine:

Thanks for posting this. It is good to be reminded that everything doesn’t need to be perfect. It is the gardening that counts.




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