Wow, so this is my first blogpost for a while! It’s another gardening update – but I do plan to write some non-gardening posts in the future. I just felt that, in the interests of honesty and openness, I should talk about the results of my first attempt at gardening. I should also probably admit that I put off writing this update because things did not go as well as I had hoped and I was kind of embarrassed…however, as I said in the first of these posts, I feel that it is important to document the failures, as well as the successes, because too often people omit to mention – or gloss over – the disappointments and it all seems suspiciously easy.
Overall, my first foray into proper horticulture was not really what you would call a success! The plants that did the best (as in, provided the most produce) were those that required absolutely no intervention on my part, i.e. the raspberry bush and the redcurrant bush. In contrast, the plants I actively put effort into cultivating failed pretty miserably. My carrots were minuscule – if you combined the whole crop together it would probably have just about made one normal-sized carrot!
The zucchini (courgette) that I had such high hopes for also came to nothing – as I mentioned in my last post, they were unfortunately devoured by slugs, along with the radishes! However, up until then, they were doing well, so I think I will try them again next year and be more wary of any slimy visitors.
I made the difficult decision to remove all of my strawberry plants and try re-planting new ones this spring – I already have a contact for someone who might be able to sell me some, so I am also hopeful for these, although I may not get much of a crop from them this summer. The raised beds are currently covered with snow, so nothing much will be happening there for a few months, at least.
The only other plants that did well were my indoor ones. The basil is still going, although I discovered today that there were some tiny flowers on it, which unfortunately means that the basil leaves won’t taste as good any more, so I may find a new basil plant and make sure I pay closer attention to it this time. I also want to get a couple of other herb plants, possibly rosemary and parsley, but maybe others too – although I am running out of space on our windowsill!
The mystery plant that I thought was mint is starting to look more and more like basil and is also still growing, but it’s now very tangly. I’m not sure whether to just give up on this – I’ve already tried thinning it out, but it just got tangled again. My friend has recently given me a tiny mint plant that he propagated, so I might just focus on that one instead, especially since I know for certain that one is mint!
My pepper plant is also doing very well – the green peppers finally changed colour and are now a bright cheerful orange! I’m not sure whether to pick them now or wait and see if they change to red…I think I may try growing more this year, but perhaps choose hot peppers rather than bell peppers this time.
Finally, I also attempted to grow new celery from a celery “butt” left over from a bunch we bought at the supermarket. This has done pretty well and in fact needs harvesting soon – and also should be moved to a bigger pot. I love that it was so easy to re-grow the celery, and although it hasn’t produced proper big juicy stalks, the leaves will make a nice addition to our next pot of stew!
In conclusion, I am somewhat disappointed with my gardening attempts this year, BUT I am still feeling fairly optimistic about the coming year, with several ideas of things to grow and also a newly-acquired compost bin, which will hopefully help to enrich the soil and promote better growth.
If you haven’t tried gardening but want to have a go, I would recommend starting with a few herbs, perhaps re-growing some celery and maybe a pepper plant or two. These don’t take up much space and brighten up your home – and can also be kept going through the winter, which is important when you live somewhere like Newfoundland!