I’ve learned a lot about gardening over the years, but the most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s a trial and error process. You have to drink a big glass of humility when you commit to diving in to gardening. This is our seventh year growing our own produce and every single year we learn something new. Many things work, and a few things don’t. I used to get so discouraged when a critter would eat our hard work or something didn’t grow the way I expected it. Now I chalk it up to part of the learning process.
Take for example our cauliflower this year.
We planted cauliflower and broccoli in early March. The broccoli produced beautiful big heads, and is still months later, giving us an abundance of florets on a daily basis.
The cauliflower on the other hand. Umm…not so much.
It grew and grew all through the cooler Spring months and never produced any heads. Womp womp…
The tall plants in the back of the first box is cauliflower.
Then a couple of weeks ago we went out of town for a week and had someone tend our garden for us while we were gone.
When we returned we were shocked that a couple of them had finally started producing heads. This was shocking because cauliflower does better in cooler weather and it is starting to get hot hot hot here in the Midwest.
We were all excited about our cauliflower until further inspection when I saw this….
Excuse me, WHAT? That’s not normal cauliflower, you say? Yeah, it’s not like any I’ve ever seen before either. I asked on my Facebook page if anyone had any experience with cauliflower to see if they knew what went wrong. So far there’s no consensus.
There’s only one other plant out of six that has a “head”, and it looks like this.
Not too appetizing, eh?
Don’t worry. I won’t be feeding you the freaky cauliflower if you come over for dinner.
According to my best friend Google, I think what happened is that I was supposed to wrap the leaves around the baby heads to protect them from the sun and also to keep them tight. They can apparently discolor and take on all kinds of freaky characteristics if you don’t do this.
See? Learning process. Now I know.
All hope is not lost though, friends. I still have 4 more plants that look like they are developing something, and I might try to tie up the leaves to see if anything comes of it.
Don’t worry. I have more failures for you too.
Every year I look forward to getting peppers from my garden for stuffed peppers, stir fry, and fajitas.
Just look at the poor little things.
All that remains of my precious plants are little nubbins.
I suspect some little rascally rabbit had a hankering for some pepper plants and had a feast. All four plants look just like this.
Ah well. You win some, you lose some.
We’ll still have plenty of cabbage, lettuce, collards, broccoli, herbs, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, figs, and blueberries.
My point in all this rambling is, don’t be afraid to try to grow something. If it fails, you will have at least learned what not to do next time. If it produces, you get to enjoy the bounty and experience the joys of growing food with your own two hands. It’s such a cool process. Give it a try!
What about you? Have you had any big gardening fails this year? Any suggestions on the cauliflower?
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