Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

What went wrong

by Sarah - July 14th, 2009.
Filed under: allotment. Tagged as: , .

When plants don’t turn out just as you’d hoped you have to try and work out what went wrong this year and make changes to next year’s gardening.

So if you’ve got holey leaves from caterpillas you need to look at netting plants to stop them having eggs laid on them. If your strawberries have rotted from being on the ground you need to get some straw for next year. If your plants have all gone to seed is it because of something you’ve done or not done?

Quite a few plots on our allotment site have got plants going to see. You do this to get seeds for next year. It does mean you take up space in the ground with something you’ve unlikely to be eating though. However if you get good quality seed off it then it could be worth it.

If plants have rotted you need to look at improving soil drainage if the soil is clay nd prone to waterlogging. You can do this by digging organic matter into the soil, or putting a layer of compost on top in the autumn. There are some plants that don’t like having compost or manure dug in before you plant them so make sure you read the instructions for seeds and plants properly.

Sometimes it’s just re-reading the instructions and seeing what you should have done that tells you what went wrong.

Sometimes it’s disasters like accidentally spraying something bad on to your plants that does for them!

If it’s been the weather that has ruined plants then there’s not so much you can do about that unless you grow everything under glass which then causes it’s own set of issues.

Sometimes giving plants a little extra protecting from the weather is all it takes. Cloches, cold frames, fleece can all provide extra shelter for your young plants giving them a great start.

Feeding the soil up is one way of looking at plant nutrition. If your soil is healthy and packed with organic matter to help retain water then it will give your plants a much better chance.

You’ll also find that the chemical makeup of your soil is complex – adding lime damages some plants but is essential for others. You can text the soil for pH to find out if this is a problem.  A soil ph test kit is available quite cheaply at Gardening Express. This kit can carry out  up to 20 individual tests so at £2.99 can give you simple reassurance that your soil is the right pH for the plants you want to grow.

Even if everything goes wrong and your plants don’t produce the bounty of crops you’ve expected you should have had fun growing them, and can learn from your mistakes this year and try again next!