Thursday, June 18, 2015

Things That Broke My Heart in May

Remember when I showed you some large buckets of dirt and bragged about how green my thumb was going to be this year?

Well, I was doing everything right. I had those suckers in direct sunlight all afternoon, and I watered them before bed every night, and I tracked my little pots' progress in the Sprout It app on my phone so I knew they were doing what they were supposed to. I all but sang lullabies to them.

And the leaves of my sweet carrots and beets got HUGE. (At least in my opinion.)


Some of them were over six inches tall. So when Sprout It told me it was time to harvest them, I didn't question it.

I picked the largest-leaved beet and started to pull it up, and the roots were thin enough that they all snapped. I thought, "That's weird, beets are supposed to have sturdy stalks. Where's the beet head?" And so then I dug all the way down to the bottom of the container looking for the beet. There was no beet. So then I panicked and ripped all of them up and dug through the entire container looking for beets, to no avail.


If I had been in a right frame of mind, I would have left the others to continue growing, but I was like IT'S TIME TO PICK THEM WHERE ARE THE BEETS WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME THAT I CAN'T GROW BEETS.

Sprout It also said it was harvest time for the carrots. They only fared slightly better. Don't be fooled by their close-up; they were only about the length of my pinkie finger, if that.


Can I tell you a sad story? (Because this sad story needs a sad-story predecessor.) When our seedlings (that we were growing separately from the carrots and beets) were all sprouted, we waited a tiny bit too long to get them into pots. Matt was convinced they were all going to die (they did) and so I got home one night really late, and it was pouring rain, and I found him out on the balcony trying to pot all these little seedlings by himself.

It was also raining when my beets didn't grow and my carrots weren't ready, and I was digging through the dirt looking for the non-existent bounty. And once I found I had none, I decided to stand out on the balcony in the drizzle for a little while, hoping Matt would get home soon because I was depressed and I wanted to be dramatic for a minute. But it was cold and he didn't get home fast enough, so I just took my sparse carrots and beet leaves inside and washed them. And Matt cooked the greens up as a side dish to go with dinner.

I am really disappointed they didn't grow, but I learned to let things grow longer if they don't seem ready, and to not rip my whole garden up in a panic.

I still have a basil plant, a cherry tomato plant and a hot pepper plant going, so hopefully those will fare better. So far I have one tiny hot pepper and another medium-sized one, and six little tomatoes. And the basil's looking mighty fine. I must try to be patient.

Have you successfully harvested anything so far this year? Do you have any garden fail stories that will make me feel better?

14 comments

  1. That is certainly not a recommendation for the SproutIt app! I never grow beets, so I don't know when they are ready, but I grow carrots for ~ 5 months (from seed) and they are ready when you start to see carrots bulging up out of the soil beneath the carrot tops. You were doing everything right, just pulled them too early. Next time you'll have tons of carrots! Good luck. :)

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  2. Gardening is definitely trial and error! Almost all of my seedlings failed, my spinach died and a whole tomato plant just disappeared on me this year.

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  3. I 100% rely on my mom and her fantastic green thumb to help me and my black thumb keep all my plants alive! I have some herbs that are going absolutely crazy and I only manage to not kill them because they are pretty hardy.

    I'm better with above ground things- at least then I can see how they are doing as opposed to carrots and beets! haha!

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  4. I haven't tried growing veggies yet. I wonder if the app didn't take into account all of the rain you've had. We've had a ton this year in Texas, and too much rain can affect the plants negatively, too. Right now, I'm trying to keep my Fiddle Leaf Fig from completely dying. I seem to do best with those houseplants that require little to no water and are always in random offices.

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  5. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJune 18, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    This is exactly why I can't garden! At least you saved SOMETHING...but there is always next year. Live and learn, right?!

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  6. Good to know about the timeline! I just saw some beets at the farmer's market the other day, and the beet leaves were WAY bigger than mine were, so I think I just pulled them way too early. I deleted the app. :)

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  7. Seedlings are so hard! I have much better success with starter plants, but I also kind of feel like that's cheating at gardening? (Not that that's stopping me.)

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  8. I did excellent at growing herbs last year! My basil lasted all summer and through September and October, and only died when I tried to move it across the country. :)

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  9. Huh, I didn't know rain could slow down growth. I just assumed that since it had rained it was one less day I had to water! It does rain an awful lot here. Almost every afternoon since spring started!

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  10. Amen! And at least we got our learning curve out of the way with basil and peppers last year. Which means clearly I am an expert this year. LOL.

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  11. A couple of years ago my zucchini plant sprouted a few big, beautiful squash blossoms. I was so excited for fresh zucchini! And then they fell off, the whole thing wilted and died, and I haven't tried to grow anything since. I feel your pain, sister.

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  12. Oh man! I did try to grow zucchini in our flower bed, but it never even sprouted. And now the whole bed is full of weeds.

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  13. Okay, I'm so sorry but I'm am literally laughing out loud and jordan just asked what I was laughing about, so I read this post to him and showed him your pictures and now we are both laughing. You kill me.

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  14. Ha! I'm glad I can bring others joy with my pain, lol!

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