Garden Review – Best and Worst Gardening Decisions

The garden is officially done. We’ve brought in all the veggies and our pantry and freezer is packed. It’s funny how finishing a project makes you reflect on how you could have done things differently. Here are the best and worst gardening decisions we made this year.

Best decisions we made this season

– Nasturtiums. Call me old-fashioned, but these are my new favourite plant. They grow quickly from seed so there’s no need to start them early inside. There are dozens of varieties – vines, small flowers, large ones, and many different colours. They bloom all spring, summer and fall. The best thing about nasturtiums is that they keep away the pests. We have two grape vines but for some reason I only planted nasturtiums under one of the vines. The one without nasturtiums got eaten by aphids, the other vine looked great all season.

– Sunflowers. So easy and so much fun for the kids. I put them everywhere and they all grew tall and magnificent. I will plant sunflowers in our back alley next year so that I can cut the blooms and have them peek over the fence.

– Growing our cucumbers vertically. I attached the cucumber vines to a trellis this year. This saved us a great deal of space as we only needed a bed that was a foot and a half deep by five feet wide. The cucumbers grew upward and had no problems producing.

– Growing loads of tomatoes. I know that we overdid the tomatoes. And I know that I have been complaining about how long it takes to make salsa. But seriously, nothing really compares to homemade salsa and tomato sauce. The effort was so worth it.

Worst decisions we made this season

– Having no faith in the raspberries. Why, oh why did we not cut back the raspberry bush in the spring? Some plants just go crazy. The raspberries quickly got overgrown and drooped over the lawn. I’ve already cut the stalks to about two feet tall so we’re ready for the spring.

– Forgetting about the annuals. I did it again; I get so focused on the veggies that I neglect the annuals. We had some annuals, but I never get too excited about flowers. Shame on me because I know that they are good for luring bees and butterflies.

– Growing the variety of tomato called ‘hundreds and thousands’. Sure, they taste great. But because they are the size of a small berry, you can’t do anything else with them except eat them fresh. This might sound great for the first couple of weeks. But we seriously have hundreds and thousands of tiny tomatoes sitting on our counter top and we’re sooooo tired of them.

– We had the bright idea of planting all our tomatoes in pots so that we could reserve the veggie bed for root vegetables. Unfortunately, the pots didn’t have drainage holes in the bottom. With all the rain in July, I spent a great deal of time protecting the tomato plants from getting too much water. Such a foolish mistake.

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3 Responses to “Garden Review – Best and Worst Gardening Decisions”


  1. 1 Anna February 21, 2013 at 3:51 am

    C’est vraiment cool, Je ne sais pas quoi dire à part que j’ai aimé
    lire cet article. Est ce qu’il y a des forums que tu recommandes sur le sujet ?

  2. 2 beccabeee October 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Not sure what you mean by nasturtiums ‘keeping away the pests’. Aphids seem to love our nasturtiums. Some of the patches are completely infested! 😦 Not a great summer for tomatoes in London either. Though I’ll definitely keep in mind what you said about the raspberries. Just the kind of mistake I would make!

  3. 3 Pamella Heikel Said October 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Awesome. Some ideas for next year:

    1. Nasturtiums are fabulous as an edible flower. Use them when BBQ or cooking fish! yum!

    2. Small tomatoes. I hear ya. I grilled them and then tossed them into a salad or pasta! You can also bake them in the oven. Nothing like hot grilled tomatoes that you can smash up for yummy flavour. I also skewer them with lamb, shrimp or tofu!

    3. Annual. Call me next year and I can help pick out and plant annuals with you 😉


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