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One of the easiest ways to have big successes in gardening is to be continually conducting little experiments.
If you’re successful with your little experiments more than likely you’ll be successful on a larger scale. It you’re not successful you can either continue on a small scale and work out the problems — or decide not to continue. Either way — you won’t have a lot of time or garden space invested — and you’ll be learning.
- One of my experiments this year was with lavender.
It was either late September or October that I noticed some especially beautiful new growth on the plant. The ideal time to start lavender from cuttings of new growth is in the spring, but I decided this was so good looking I’d take cuttings anyway. I potted up about 12 of them. Within approximately 3 weeks — six of them looked awful. I discarded those.
I’ve pretty much ignored the remaining six until this afternoon. They’re in little pots and have not been watered at all in at least a month (probably more like 6 weeks).(Unless it rained.) They look great even in that bone dry grow mix and the roots are outgrowing the pot! So, I’m thinking of going ahead and planting them now rather than waiting until spring.
This experiment gave me a jump on next year since I planned to start more lavenders anyway.
- Another was with carrots.
Ideally carrots are planted in the Spring. Fall is ok if you get started early. My early starts disappeared the day after I planted them. Carrots started in late fall tend to want to go to seed in the spring. Nonetheless, I started more in late fall. Had room in my hoop tunnels — so I planted them there. They’re about 4 times bigger than they were. I think I’ll get a few carrots and I’m sure I’ll learn more about what fall planted carrots will do for me.
- Still another was with mizuna.
The harlequin bugs ate up my mizuna last summer. I had planted some extras in the borders. Finally the bugs found those as well. I almost pulled up the few plants remaining because they looked so bad. But one thing I’ve learned over the years — plants want to live and can make a come back when you least expect it! So I left them.
As I passed by that area this afternoon, I was shocked to see the most beautiful mizuna plant I’ve EVER seen! Bill wasn’t here to take a picture for you —- and I was harvesting for dinner — so it was picked then and there.
Your opportunities to experiment on a small scale are endless. I encourage you to take advantage of every one.
You never know what great success will be waiting for you – because Big Success can start small. And it usually does.
Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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