Folks who enjoy gardening, lawns, plants and watching things grow have much for which to be thankful this holiday weekend. We’re thankful when things grow the way we hoped. But we can be thankful when things go wrong, because we learn.
Here’s a short sample of lessons taught by gardening mistakes.
- Because the cheap garden hose always kinks way back by the faucet instead of within easy reach, we learn to buy quality.
- When you spear a potato while digging, it’s always the best one of the hill. Better start digging slightly farther out.
- The yellow stripes of fertilizer burn crisscrossing the lawn where the fertilizer spreader overlapped helps remind all the neighbors to check recommended rates so they could avoid your “more is better” philosophy of lawn care.
- Who knew Weed-B-Gon couldn’t tell the difference between lawn weeds and your 24 tomato plants.
- It didn’t take long for the peace lily to be resting eternally in a better place when the drain saucer didn’t get emptied. Death by drowning was listed as the official cause.
- What’s in that cheap potting soil anyway?
- One of the six tomato varieties really outperformed the others this year. Too bad the nametag wasn’t saved.
- The carrots weren’t thinned when young. Such a shame in June to destroy cute little “carrot-lings.” But such a shame in October to dig carrots with the diameter of a shoestring from being crowded.
- The Knock Out patented rose bushes from the home improvement store got knocked out last winter. Better choices are roses developed in Canada like Hope for Humanity, William Baffin and the Morden series found at locally-owned garden centers.
- One purslane weed left to go to seed in the garden can produce 240,000 seeds that can be shot outward over 25 feet and lay dormant but viable in the soil for 40 years. I know I missed at least one. Now I’m sentenced to weeding for at least the next 40 years.
Yes, we can all learn much, even from mistakes.