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The Beginner Gardener Series: May 2020 Experience

Gardening is all about trials and errors. You will likely make mistakes, but also gain insights into being a better gardener.  Here is my list of successes and failures so far this year:

1- I was over-eager to acclimate my indoor seedlings in late April… and half of them died.   Luckily, I overseeded, so I had backups. For one, my cucumbers struggled to thrive in temperatures ranging from 30 to 50F, resulting in only two out of ten indoor seedlings looking well enough to be put in the ground.  I had to direct seed the rest and hope for the best.

2- I was ill early this spring and my husband did not pay close attention to the indoor seedlings. Consequently, they suffered from a lack of water and not enough time under the grow lights. We had to discard a large portion of them and so all of our efforts were for naught.

3- I discovered that I can utilize SOLO cups, takeout containers, empty clear jars, etc. as a cheap cloche to protect young plants.  For the cold snap that could have decimated my plants, an extra layer of thick clear leftover painter sheet over the SOLO cups did the trick. This mimicked a greenhouse environment and helped my plants survive the random arctic blast!



4- I cleared a section of the garden last year and experimented with black weed fabrics for several months.  When I went to uncover it for this year’s planting, I found that all weeds underneath had died!  It’s a useful trick if you plan to expand your garden and don’t want to weed all day long.

Weed fabric

Last year, I planted potatoes in fabric grow bags and also in the ground.  I found that it’s easier and more space-efficient to grow them in the bags.  In May, I took out my old sprouted potatoes from the grocery store and planted them accordingly and they are doing well.  I can’t wait to eat my first batch next month.

I look forward to sharing with you what else I can learn from my experience next month.

For related articles, visit the Beginner Gardening Series.

Author: Madison

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