Gardening Newbie-Learning so much this year!

lblack61(z5 NY)July 15, 2007

I discovered that:

1. Sphinx moths are the adults of tomato and tobacco hornworms, and that the big, shiny, beautiful, maroonish-brown pupas I found while digging this spring were the future hornworms of 2007. I did step on most of them (bright green stuff squished out of them!), and now I don't feel so bad that I did.

2. Planting a host plant for butterflies means they are going to CHOW IT DOWN! I had no clue before. But that still makes me happy. Now I know to allow enough room for my Butterfly Weed to get bigger (and to WS more next year). I have three Monarch catepillars on my Butterfly Weed this year (three that are visible to me). I'm so happy!! :-)

4. I CAN grow vegetables and eat them! This year I went beyond Tomatoes and Lettuce and we have some healthy eggplant, zucchini, carrots, and sweet and hot pepper plants this year (All but the peppers were WSed). Not to mention a bounty of Basil (WSed and Spring Sowed). Zucchini fresh picked from the garden is SO SWEET. My husband, the non-gardener, is even excited about it.

The raised bed is working like a charm. I have to break the news to DH that, now, I need two more, so I can rotate crop.

5. Resist the urge to spray! I was almost ready to break out with chemicals when the spider mites (or whatever they were) deciminated the Lupine this year. But I held my hands behind my back, tightly. Glad I did. The armies came in-- the dragonflies, the predator wasps, the lady bugs, the grasshoppers...etc. Although it didn't save my Lupine blooms, it did make me feel better, that the good bugs are still around and I didn't spread anything that would kill them. Sure, the grasshoppers munch on everything, but who cares! We all gotta eat (and they really don't eat much)!

6. And last, but not least, because of the change in the weather pattern over the last four years, our Hydrangeas now need cover for the winter in order for them to leaf out and bloom. For three years, they've done nothing. I finally figured out it was because of there being no snow cover when temps went down to windchills of 20 below. Cover them this past year is yielding us a plethora of blooms.

I love gardening. And a big hug to Trudi, because if I didn't WS, I certainly wouldn't have all these plants (I couldn't afford it, otherwise!)

So where have you all "gained" on the learning curve (particularly gardening newbies)?


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lblack61(z5 NY)

oops...have to make a correction here. The Zucchini and the Eggplant were sown indoors, along with the peppers. The Carrots were WSed.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 11:36AM
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silverwind(z5 IL)

I've learned that earwig infestations are disgusting, destructive, and suck all my time away from GW. :(

But I'm still getting *something* of a crop (even if a number of replacements had to be purchased) and at least SOME of it was WS'ed. :D
(Yay, I get to annoy my husband AGAIN next year! ;D )

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:23PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

Ewww...I don't like those things.
What were they on? Flowers and Veggies?

I saw some on my Dahlias last year. I moved my Dahlias to another area, so I'm hoping that they will be eaten up by the birds and frogs, or that I disturbed any eggs enough so their babies won't hatch.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 12:34PM
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mamimo(Sunset 16)

I learned that I should listen to DH more.

I found a stick and stuck it in a pot last fall. The pot was left outside through winter. Came spring the stick started to sprout leaves. I was so pleased and surprised at this tough little stick, I decided to give it one of the most fertile, sunny spot in my garden. Fed it bunny poo, made it a special fence it to keep bunnies away. Babied it and it made me so proud by putting in tremendous growth.

DH kept telling me to have made it through so much, it's gotta be a super weed, but did I listen? No... Anyway, I yanked it and its impressive rhizomes out recently and now I live in fear of the japanese knotweed returning to overtake my garden.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Things I have learned my first year wintersowing???
1. There is always someone on this site who can answer your question no matter what.
2. Only plant the seeds that you really want, because everything will germinate.
3. Marigold seedlings do not like frost.
4. When planting out, don't let a certain friend help you (that way the plant markers will make it to the same place as the plant)
5. Separate the garden from the dog... or you will end up with just the dog.
6. Grow veggies that family members enjoy, and they will help you maintain the garden
7. Don't keep track of stuff on an old laptop. That way when your laptop crashes, you don't lose all of your info.
8. Don't plan too much...wintersowing gives you way more plants than you ever plan on.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:26AM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

#5...boy that has been a battle for me this year. Usually, once things start growing and blooming, our dog stays out of the beds. Well I guess I filled up too many spaces, because I have had to kick her out of them-- the latest one being the bed of lettuce and basil. :-(


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 6:13PM
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