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What have you learnt this year?

I'm still new to it all. Sometimes I pat myself on the back for how well I'm doing. Other times I found things out, and wonder how I ever got anything to take root!

This year so far I've had a lot of 'doh' moments. This is what I've learnt (the long way around):

1. Prevention IS better than cure (especially when the 'cure' involves shears)

2. If using a poly tunnel don't forget to open it up! Or nothing will get pollinated

3. If you hate marrows, it turns out, waiting to see how big your courgettes get, isn't the best idea! (I don't even know how I got this old not knowing that)

4. Treat or take Leaf mould off immediately, and not "see how it goes" it spreads over-night type fast! It is heartbreaking cutting off so many leaves in one go image

5. It feels super freaky when you put a pollen covered finger in to a female pumpkin flower.. and it's 'moist' which almost made me scream the first time! I felt violated, god only knows how the plant felt.

6. Bolting spinach is truly bitter. It's not a myth.

7. Most mixed salad leaves seed packs contain Brassica seeds. If you don't know what you're looking at, you could end up with all your seedlings being Brassicas. 

8. If in doubt, try the gardenerworld forum b.e.f.o.r.e attempting anything drastic.




  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..after 30 years of gardening, I have finally realised I buy too many plants... thinning out is a must for next season... and absolutely no replenishments.... if...image

  • FruitcakeFruitcake Posts: 810
    Sorry, but number 5 is just the most funny thing lol

    I use a cotton bud or little make up brush for that purposeimage
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    I say this every year but I never learn - four courgette plants are too many! And I will not kid myself that yellow courgettes are any less prolific than green ones.

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Putting gravel in the bottom of a pot with cuttings means that capilliary matting wont work.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • A couple of heavy downpours taught me the importance of putting in stakes or other plants supports early in the season.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Read the label carefully before you buy or plant a shrub. Only buy one you really really like. Put it somewhere where it will have room to grow. Prune it lightly every year. Or else, it will turn into a monster with no room to grow or blatantly in the wrong place. I have learned this this year as I am having to pay someone to dig out 3 shrubs, all in the wrong place and all enormous.........

    (and I have gardened for years and years and should know better!).

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Mel McbrideMel Mcbride Posts: 112

    Oh, I am so glad I wrote this post. Some good laughs and tips for me to take on image

    Magpie, I also learnt that about courgettes this year. I have 2 sharing a pot which is another mistake. Some of the courgettes are like pool table balls where the stems are all entwined, preventing them from being able to grow straight! lol They looked SMALL to me in pictures lol

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949
    • When you tell yourself you're going to label EVERYTHING don't then go "Oh I'll remember what's in this one I'll label it later". You wont.
    • Keep the greenhouse clean. It makes a quick session pottering much easier if you're not juggling which bit of the patio to use as your potting bench as your bench in the greenhouse is full.
    • Leave an area of the garden for "those plants" that (even though you tell your family you dislike the colour red / non useful plants / plants with a high pollen count / and that you're focussing on the herb garden first) your family insist on bringing you as treats that you really wouldn't even consider putting in the compost bin much less the garden you've spent so long carefully digging over and nurturing. image
    • When writing on labels of herbs use the back of the label to say what they go well with (i.e. meat / fish / vegetable). It makes a quick nip into the garden for some fresh flavour so much easier!


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    when the lawnmower needs servicing don't wait till May to do it, especially if the guy then goes on holiday and you don't get it back for three weeks!

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,029

    Concentrate on one job at a time.  When going to weed - do weeding.  Don't get sidetracked by noticing a plant would be better two feet to the left and that clematis needs tying in and those roses need deadheading.  That way a job may get finishedimage

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