Friday, December 10, 2010
Live and Learn!
Ahh.. the joy of learning from mistakes.. I think that's where most of my gardening knowledge comes from - my many 'misadventures'! I think my favourite misadventure was planting 5 packets of climbing nasturtium seeds in the new perennial garden at my parent's cottage. The 15 x 25-foot bed (with stone pathways) was filled with small divisions and young seedlings, along with a few just-planted shrubs. Anyone who has grown vining nasturtiums knows how rampant they are.. but I was young, inexperienced and thought I had bought the mounding types.. ooppps!
We planted the seeds around the perimeter of the garden, hoping for pretty clumps of nasturtiums to soften the stone border. In the end, they did soften the border - but only because it was completely covered by a 2-foot thick layer of nasturtium vines! In fact, the entire garden was overrun. To save the perennials, we had to pull all the nasturtiums out of the garden and ended up with a pile of vines that was over 5 feet tall - taller than me! I can't believe I didn't get a photo of that! Talk about learning your lesson!
Here's another lesson.. When growing in cold frames, make sure that you leave enough clearance between the plants and the top of the frame so that the plants have room to grow without touching the sash. As you can see, I added a bit too much manure this past autumn to 'bulk up' the soil and now my soil level is a bit high.. Plus, the extended warm weather has caused excess growth and the endive has been pushed up against the sash. In a normal year, this would have all worked out fine, but with the crazy mild weather, it's been hard to keep on top of the endive before it reaches the top of the frame. Anyone for endive salad tonight? :)