A very un-american attitude....but still worth discussing.
I want to talk about failure. I know that this giving up attitude is frowned upon in the land of bootstraps, but nonetheless, in the interests of full disclosure, I am happy to reveal my own lacksadaisical attitude towards growing stuff. Being both penniless and greedy, seeds have always been my choice of plant additions....but I am starting to wonder if I am doing myself a disservice here since there is a high rate of attrition throughout the whole process. Yep, I can often get stuff to germinate (but not always....would say it hovered around 15% fails)....but oh, those long months of caring for tiny seedlings, in a huge but untidy greenhouse and an erratic hand watering system (drip irrigation...an impossible dream given the hundreds of plants I have on the go....and have tried capillary matting - another fail). I may start the season with a nice dozen or so plantlets....but it is not uncommon to dwindle to around 3 or 4 by transplant time. Have experimented with getting plants in ground as soon as possible (where I am not confronted with death on a daily basis at least - results are spotty to say the least.
Now, although I have been a pro gardener for years, I have never worked in a nursery and feel certain there are many secrets to success which I simply do not know. Or, am I being an impossible optimist? I learned years ago to avoid looking at images of gardens in magazines and such since they never represent reality on the ground (another reason why flower shows make me grit my teeth). So, those of you who mainly grow their own.....what are your success rates (be truthful, we are among friends here). Do you have certain annoying species which evade your tender cares? Easy-peasy things to pass on to others less blessed?
Here in temperate and mild England, once plants are actually growing well, they tend to thrive (although my fruit gardens are sorry this year)....it is the germinating and raising which flummoxes me. Is this a common complaint and we just never hear about the failures? Or am I just rubbish.
I would say that, if I can get 50% of everything I have sown into a reasonable plant, I am generally OK with that....but there is always a suspicion I could be doing much, much better. How about you?