What was your biggest gardening / landscape mistake?


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I see all the wonderful gardens and landscapes on the site and I stand in awe. But I know there had to be some flops too. What do you consider your single biggest gardening disaster?

Mine is easy to remember. It was planting Texas Petunias (Ruellia brittoniana) in Florida. I bought one plant. 15 years later I had them growing in every flower bed on my property and the neighbors on both sides had them in their yards. I finally got rid of them by moving to North Carolina. ;)
 
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About 35 years ago when I was commercially growing tomatoes I made a big mistake in my math. I accidentally put out way too much fertilizer and burned up 13 acres of tomato seedlings. So instead of tomatoes I had to grow sweet corn. Just one of the many reasons why I now use only organic fertilizers.

My second biggest mistake was listening to my wife and planting 6 passion flower plants in the ground. After the novelty of having a lot of gorgeous flowers wore off it took me 3 years to finally rid my wifes flower garden of that invasive noxious weed. She wanted them as a climber. They climbed great but they also spread underground.................................everywhere.
 

JBtheExplorer

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My biggest mistake was in 2013 when I added non-native garden center clearance plants around my pond. Took three years to re-establish the area with native species. A waste of time and money. I should've known better to plant the right species right away.
 

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Yes, where to start? My whole garden is a mistake. I have had no plan at all. Now it's too late to plan anything as I want to sell up. My other two neighbours have flat garden and I realised very late that my garden dip in the main lawn and raise up to another two levels. It is now more functional than gardening for enjoyment. Everywhere I see mistakes, but as a person who just loves to see flowers developing from seeds, I don't want to moan. Life would be too boring. I bought a plant, stuck it in the best position and kept staring at the spot to see if there was any movement. So I reckon even though there are tons of mistakes, I can't change them now. When I move to another place, that's another story.
 
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Starting my garden according to the square foot gardening guide which told me to staple shade cloth to the bottom of my beds. Once I realized that some healthy plants will want to dig deeper than a few inches down I emptied out about 10 garden beds to rip it out. All of my plants have been superior since.
 

alp

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Planted acanthus mollis and after 15 years, I still can't get rid of them. I now have to LIVE with them.
 
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My biggest mistake was jumping on the molasses train. Sure I could hand run a metal rod down 5 feet into my garden soil because the hyphae were just that dominant, but the beast rose up and ate my garden later in the season when it got hot and humid. I swear I heard it burping whilst dissolving my plants.
 
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My biggest mistake was jumping on the molasses train. Sure I could hand run a metal rod down 5 feet into my garden soil because the hyphae were just that dominant, but the beast rose up and ate my garden later in the season when it got hot and humid. I swear I heard it burping whilst dissolving my plants.
So you plants were killed by fungi and molasses did it?
 
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So you plants were killed by fungi and molasses did it?
Well you could certainly say I had fed the soil to the point that I caused my own troubles. If I was more aware of how little plants require in the way of sustenance, I would not have been so heavy in my quantities. Also, how temperature effects the biology that speeds up with heat and slows with cold. It was a learning experience. I set the stage for a summer to remember with heavy feeding up to and into the heat of the year.


I don't know what the molasses trainis @DirtMechanic ... please splain?
This is the idea that molasses and epsom salts are the be all of organic gardening. Sugar makes bacteria bloom. Fungi eat bacteria. Insects love the action. Insects bring disease. It was a PAARTAY!! The rest was the history of that years garden.
 
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Well you could certainly say I had fed the soil to the point that I caused my own troubles. If I was more aware of how little plants require in the way of sustenance, I would not have been so heavy in my quantities. Also, how temperature effects the biology and speeds up with heat and slows with cold. It was a learning experience. I set the stage for a summer to remember with heavy feeding up to and into the heat of the year.




This is the idea that molasses and epsom salts are the be all of organic gardening. Sugar makes bacteria bloom. Fungi eat bacteria. The rest was the history of that years garden.
I do not think fungi eats bacteria, or, if it does a very specialized one. Bacteria and fungi both feed on dead organic matter or in some instances live matter. Both are the prime decomposers of organic matter and the means by which plants can feed. Both fungi and bacteria feed on molasses. Bacteria leaves the iron in molasses in a state that plants can uptake it. Fungi makes the phosphorus in soil available for uptake. Molasses is a big fungal and to a lesser degree a bacterial enhancer. If too much molasses is used it can kill certain plants ie. nutsedge and it can overpopulate damaging fungi and bacteria but it takes a lot of molasses to do this. Myself, I have been using molasses for a long time and have seen nothing but good come of it. Mainly I use molasses in compost tea but I also mix it with bacterial insecticide (spinosad) and Bt which seems to make the product last longer and work better. And when using molasses in hot weather use less, in cooler weather use more. I never use more than 2 oz per gallon of water except on nutsedge and I use 8 oz per gallon of water for that. For some reason the strong application of molasses used 3 or 4 times is death on it.
 
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Oh no..fungi even have developed the capacity to extend hyphae snares into the different ph environment favorable to bacteria and snare them out for dinner. But do not mistake what I said as some sort of live dinner statement. Like you said they feed on organic matter. And dead bacteria blooms are exactly that dead organic matter rich food. I agree that 2 oz per gallon is a good number..and less when it gets warm. I bet I was using a cup per gallon but that was quite a few years ago at this point.

I should point out that the organic matter produced by dying biological components in the soil can be amazing. This idea is the source of the amazonian earth that physically grows in size every year to the point that locals selling the topsoil find it has replaced itself every 10 years or so. A little sugar is a very good thing. And it weighs so much less than other soil amendments.
 
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Oh no..fungi even have developed the capacity to extend hyphae snares into the different ph environment favorable to bacteria and snare them out for dinner. But do not mistake what I said as some sort of live dinner statement. Like you said they feed on organic matter. And dead bacteria blooms are exactly that dead organic matter rich food. I agree that 2 oz per gallon is a good number..and less when it gets warm. I bet I was using a cup per gallon but that was quite a few years ago at this point.

I should point out that the organic matter produced by dying biological components in the soil can be amazing. This idea is the source of the amazonian earth that physically grows in size every year to the point that locals selling the topsoil find it has replaced itself every 10 years or so. A little sugar is a very good thing. And it weighs so much less than other soil amendments.
Please forgive me for my lack of understanding of what you are saying. Are you saying that molasses is a pathway for fungi to become a mutant able to go into places never gone to before? To grow into such numbers that they become detrimental? That they have become "specialized" to the point of living off of dead bacteria? That molasses causes this bacterial growth to the point where fungi can support themselves by living off of this dead population?
 
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Please forgive me for my lack of understanding of what you are saying. Are you saying that molasses is a pathway for fungi to become a mutant able to go into places never gone to before? To grow into such numbers that they become detrimental? That they have become "specialized" to the point of living off of dead bacteria? That molasses causes this bacterial growth to the point where fungi can support themselves by living off of this dead population?
Thats too much. There is of course no one fungi. And my garden is not mutagenic. And they already exist as specialist in what they eat. And yes given a food source they can exist even indefinitely like the aeroponics globes people seal plants into. I just overfed, and was killing the garden with too much love.

You must realize the new gardener also did not realize how low his garden was, or what the water level in his poorly percolating clay would do, or what fun would grow out of high protein fertilizers covered in sugar. There had to be other combined factors of course. And in this case, I am very close to a hardwood litter covered hill, which will flow its leachate into the garden area during heavy rain periods. All of this and a few spores of something like scytinostroma galactinum and it is over. Now we plant in hill row, have dry soil surfaces or hay etc but not back then. I still use molasses today. I have a 25 gallon sprayer that I will mix 1/2 gallon into, it takes 2 trips do do my whole yard.

Which reminds me, have you used the deer molasses sold by tractor supply? Its by Evolved Habitats. It has a slight amount of propionic acid in it, which breaks down into other acids or perhaps you know of a nuetralizer? My lawn soil is usually an 8ph or so because we live in limestone central so acids should not be that big a deal but I am not that familiar.
 
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Thats too much. There is of course no one fungi. And my garden is not mutagenic. And they already exist as specialist in what they eat. And yes given a food source they can exist even indefinitely like the aeroponics globes people seal plants into. I just overfed, and was killing the garden with too much love.

You must realize the new gardener also did not realize how low his garden was, or what the water level in his poorly percolating clay would do, or what fun would grow out of high protein fertilizers covered in sugar. There had to be other combined factors of course. And in this case, I am very close to a hardwood litter covered hill, which will flow its leachate into the garden area during heavy rain periods. All of this and a few spores of something like scytinostroma galactinum and it is over. Now we plant in hill row, have dry soil surfaces or hay etc but not back then. I still use molasses today. I have a 25 gallon sprayer that I will mix 1/2 gallon into, it takes 2 trips do do my whole yard.

Which reminds me, have you used the deer molasses sold by tractor supply? Its by Evolved Habitats. It has a slight amount of propionic acid in it, which breaks down into other acids or perhaps you know of a nuetralizer? My lawn soil is usually an 8ph or so because we live in limestone central so acids should not be that big a deal but I am not that familiar.
I didn't know what propionic acid was so I looked it up. It doesn't seem to be harmful in any way. I too have alkaline soils. I too have my garden at the bottom of a hardwood covered hill. My soil isn't clay, it's more of a loam. I either get my molasses as horticultural or as cattle feed supplement. Both are unsulfured. I take care of fungus with whole ground cornmeal.
 
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I want the cast away animal feed molasses that has had every sugar boiled out because it is that version that has the highest levels of remaining nutrients. By the end of the process of removing white sugars and so it becomes animal feed nutrient which frankly I do not find disposable. But the sellers want to inhibit mold which I can understand their position. You can see from my street view how the garden is in the hollow of both the lawn and the hill behind it.
 
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There are 2 types of molasses. Grain Sorghum and Sugar Cane. Cattle feed molasses is usually sorghum. Both have large amounts of sugars/carbohydrates which I believe soil micro-organisms use to a great extent. I may be wrong but it seems to me that the more sugar in molasses the better.
 

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