It’s that time of year in the garden when I begin to start looking back and having some thoughts about the season. Mostly they center around what went wrong, what did I do wrong, what could I have done to make it better and sometimes, if I should even bother at all.
If you have these same kinds of thoughts, don’t worry. It is part of gardening, I think. When I start to second guess my self and my garden, I try to stop and make it a positive experience rather than a negative, depressing time.
If you are having those post garden failure blues, try a few of these hints to help you find the bright side.
Learn from it.
If you have been diligent about keeping your garden journal, take a look back at your notes. There may be some clues in that. Look further back than just this season and compare seed varieties, seed sources, planting techniques, etc. You may start to see patterns not just in your failures, but in your successes as well.
Looking Back at the successes, not just the failures.
What about the way those cucumbers performed when everything else seemed to wither. Maybe you had a bumper crop of early garlic from that planting last fall, or your squash filled your freezer and the freezers of all your neighbors. Don’t focus just on the negatives. Almost every season provides some positives.
Look Around your Gardening Community
How did everyone else do? You may find that no one had much luck with tomatoes this year. It might not be just you, but weather conditions. Compare notes. Did some of your friends have success where you weren’t so successful? Are there any links you can find. Did you and other plant seed varieties that failed? Did you use the same seed sources? Again, it may not have been you, and by comparing success and failures with other gardeners, you may find a common problem you didn’t recognize.
Focus on the why
Gardening is about more than just growing vegetables and flowers. Gardening is about your relationship with the soil and the plants. Gardening should be about your own peace and happiness and the joy you get from the time you put that seed into the ground until you return that finished plant to the compost pile. Focus on what is important.
Another growing season is coming. It may be a fall garden with a completely different set of challenges, or it may be a spring garden. There is more joy in gardening than just putting your hands in the soil and watching the plants grow. Think about the time you spend planning for the next season, pick out varieties and ordering seeds. Find the joy not just in the physical part.
Looking Back for the right things
There are far too many variables in gardening to ever hope of being 100% successful. Each season is going to bring its own set of success and failures. The secret is to remind yourself of why you garden and find the joy, not the frustrations.