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Monday, June 7, 2010

Garden Dying? Sometimes We Have To Cut Our Losses

So the garden isn’t turning out the way you wanted it to.  We all had dreamy thoughts of a plentiful harvest.  Sometimes, things do not turn out the way we want them to.  When that happens, sometimes it is best to cut your losses… literally, and start over and learn from the mistake.   However, some of the vegetable plants can still provide you essential nutrients, you just have to look outside of the box.

There are some plants that can be harvested when young and can still be used before it completely dies:
  • For instance, squash blossoms can be picked and eaten in salads or slightly sauteed.
  • Radishes can be eaten early by either sauteeing the greens and root, or using them in salads.
  • If the herbs are started to die, remove them by the root and hang them in a brown paper bag upside down to dry.  Or herbs can be dehydrated.
  • Onions, garlic and shallots can be picked early and used as chives to spice up dishes, soups, or used in salads.
  • Baby lettuce can be picked early as well, if there is concern they will not make it.
Any plants that cannot be used as salad ingredients or stir fry ingredients can be put in the compost pile to decay into future soil for the next season, or can be given to livestock as a tasty snack.  To be in a micro farmer mindset, nothing should be thrown away.  Everything can be used and re-purposed!
For one reason or another, the garden did not make it.  It could have been that the plants were planted in the wrong place, or planted too early or too late for their growing season, or the soil was not up to par for the seedlings.  In fact, soil is a commonly overlooked gardening problem.  If the plants do not have to right environment to thrive in, they will die.  But, look on the bright side, it isn’t a total loss.  Chalk it up as a good lesson learned and try and figure out what they mistake was and correct it.  No one said gardening was going to be easy.  It definitely is a learning experience.  And, with each season comes more practice to get better.

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