Beginner Gardening Woes

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A healthy one

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A transplant

A lack of experience and disorganization has left me with 2 wounded zucchini soldiers. Whether they will be casualties or fatalities is yet to be seen. This morning I transplanted them from one part of my garden to another because of crowding issues and a few hours later I noticed them looking like zombies. To the internet!

Apparently, zucchinis don’t transplant well and possibly I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to the action of transplanting. Thankfully, they still have a chance as per Rod from the gardening forum. They might be suffering from transplant shock which from the sounds of it is like a kick in the balls.

Other than that the gardening project has been good for the most part. There are these tiny beetle-looking bugs that I suspect are chewing holes on my tomato plant leaves. I’ve been massacring them one by one. There’s also this other pest that has been trampling on my plants.

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10 comments on “Beginner Gardening Woes

  1. I once tried to take care of my mom’s garden… Now when she goes out of town, she asks my sis in law to mind the garden

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  2. Sheila Moss says:

    Spray your tomatoes. There are organic things to spray with if you don’t want chemicals, soapy water, I think, but check on it first. As far as zucchini, one will be enough to supply you and the entire neighborhood, You will probably be glad the other one didn’t live.

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    • MrJohnson says:

      I’ll have to look into an organic spray. Unluckily for pests, I have lots of time. You’re right, one zucchini plant will be enough. I think my plan was to have more than one just in case one didn’t work out. Plus it doesn’t feel good to kill them. Thanks for the input. This post was a cry for help in disguise.

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  3. Gardening is hard. I’ve been an avid gardener all my life, and I still don’t do vegetables well. I have zucchinis, too, and they are alive but not thriving. I’ve moved them from containers on the deck to a shadier spot in the ground, and they seem to be recuperating. They were suffering from too much sun and erratic watering.

    Root stimulator works wonders with transplants. Mine is 9-59-8 NPK ratio. That is Nitrogen/Phosphate/Potassium, the three ingredients of most fertilizers. Potassium or potash (chemical symbol K) is a base fertilizer, and taken up by the plant during the whole growing season. Nitrogen is used during early branching stages, and phosphate is required during blooming stages and also stimulates root growth. (I just learned this from piecing together information from multiple references.)

    I hand-squash bugs and caterpillars, too.

    I recommend herbs to any new gardener. They are resistant to bugs, disease, rodents, deer, and chickens, can be grown indoors on a window sill, and are incredibly versatile. Basil, oregano, and parsley, Italian herbs, grow like weeds and can be used to make pestos or mix with mayonnaise for a gourmet sandwich spread or salad dressing. Chives are perennials. My Mexican oregano is also a perennial. So are mint and stevia, and they are also easy to grow. They make a scrumptious tea. Stevia is the natural sweetener that has received so much attention lately.

    Pestos are expensive to buy, but easy to make, if you have a mini food processor. A generic recipe for pesto is fresh herbs, garlic, pine or other nuts, parmesan or romano, or other cheese, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Ratios are variable, depending on taste. I use 1-2 cups uncut leaves, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and a handful or two of nuts and cheese. I also like salad olives and add them plus brine from the jar instead of salt for seasoning. Soy sauce also works in place of salt. Use enough olive oil or add small amounts of another liquid to make the processor work right, depending on how thick you want it.

    Pestos keep forever in the refrigerator and freeze well, too. Making pestos is easier than trying to dry herbs, I’ve found, and they can also serve as dips, spreads, base for salad dressing. The Italian herb pestos can be added to tomato-based dishes like spaghetti sauce.

    I was going to do my own blog on this, but you’ve saved me the trouble. I just finished up an oregano-mayo mix that I used on toast and to make cole slaw.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your gardening.

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    • MrJohnson says:

      Yeah, I have a long road still. I think growing vegetables is like most things in life in that it’s easy to get minor success but more than that it becomes exponentially harder.

      Adding nutrients, pests, staking and other fun stuff is not something I really want to deal with. I was really hoping to just sow seeds, urinate on them and presto.

      I have a book written by someone with a PhD which is helpful because it’s specifically for my region. But even reading that and absorbing the information is tiresome.

      I have a couple herbs going…cilantro and thyme. They seem to be doing okay. Not sure what I’m going to do with them. I’m not sure if I have even bought pesto in my life but perhaps I will experiment with making some.

      Thanks for the well wishes…I’ll need it!

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      • Good luck. I’ve never had luck with cilantro or dill in my area. Thyme’s leaves are too small for me to deal with, but it is a perennial. You can use the whole stems in stocks.

        Also, I have a great salsa recipe for your cilantro, if you want it.

        After posting the other day, I went to the deck to find some animal (a mouse?) had plucked all my green tomatoes, chewed some but left most intact on the ground. I wonder sometimes how much I expend in time and effort just to feed the wildlife.

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  4. PS–I’ve heard old-timey gardeners throw their dishwater on their plants for pest control. Other people I know also say soapy water works, as Sheila Moss indicated above. I haven’t experimented with it enough, yet, so can’t speak from personal experience.

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