My Garden FAIL {and how I am going to fix it}


Here is my garden. Notice anything different?

Well…we originally had some green plastic mesh going around the garden to keep the dog out, but he totally figured out how to break through it. And ate all my tomatoes again. So we moved onto something a little stronger. Wire.

tomato from garden

Oh it’s so nice to finally be finding  some red tomatoes again.

Homesteader Peas

I have decided since my lettuce and sweet peas are now gone from the garden to fill those empty spots with some bush peas. My father in law from Canada told me these Homesteader peas are the best, so I am going to plant them. And harvest them in September.


But as I was getting ready to plant the seeds, I noticed that I didn’t have any soil left in my garden.

I mean, seriously there is maybe 2 inches there before it hits the garden weed barrier I put in there when I first started this garden. I was puzzled, thinking “what do I do now?”  I refuse to go and buy more of my perfect mix dirt formula. I have purchased more dirt for this little garden each year – and I am putting my foot down. This is getting too expensive.

No more spending money on soil.  This box garden idea of mine has been a fail because of the loss of soil for me.

not enough soil

Mind you I do live where it is very windy so I lose a lot of dirt to that, but I also lose more with every plant and weed that I pull up.

So…I decided I am going to remove that garden bed liner this fall. I am going to use the sand underneath.

And I will compost my chicken manure and add it in.

Weeds be danged.

soil garden

First things first though. I can’t just rip it all out right now. I have lots of other vegetables growing in the garden.

Instead I just cut out the area I plan on planting my pea seeds. So I spent a good hour and a half cutting out the garden bed mesh liner. Then took the shovel and gently mixed the 2 inches of good soil I had with the sand below.

cutting up weed barrier

And then decided to wait till the next day to plant the new seeds.

Because of this garden fail of basically 2 inches of soil, my green peppers basically only got to the size of a pickle ball and decided to rot.

tiny green peppers problem

Surprisingly enough I have had some success in the garden this yea though.

My zucchini is growing strong and I grew my first cabbage too! I think it’s ready to harvest.

fresh garden cabbage



I also am almost ready to harvest 5 of my green beans… yeah, having a small garden can be annoying.

Note to self: make a bigger garden next year.

fresh green beans

My parsley and basil seem to be growing well.

fresh parsley  fresh basil

cute garden design

All in all, I am learning that there is so much to know and figure out about gardening. I figure out more little tips and secrets each month. I read this quote which lifted me a bit :  “Storms make trees take deeper roots” – Dolly Parton

I’m praying that learning these little mistakes will just make me a stronger gardener each day.

How are your gardens growing? Any tips or ideas you have to share that you have learned?13 Comments

My Garden FAIL {and how I am going to fix it} was last modified: February 10th, 2014 by Karrie

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  1. You should do your own compost pile so that you can use it in your garden. It’s pretty easy. All you need is a 3 ft x 3 ft space. Throw all your lawn clippings, tree trimmings, chicken manure, orange peels (table scraps) in it and turn it every 4 days. We were lazy and we would turn it once a week so it was a slower process to get good compost. People say to avoid putting meat in it because it may attract mice or other pests, but we didn’t have a problem with it because we would bury it deep in our compost pile. Anyhow, it would help to amend your natural soil when your composting is done. Takes a few months… depends on how you do it.

  2. O… with the tree trimmings my husband would run it over with the lawn mower so it would be easier to compost. Also, you would have to water and keep it moist like a damp sponge.

    • I had a problem with attracting RATS (Yes! RATS!) to my compost bin last year. I stopped putting food scraps in there over the winter. This spring I didn’t see anymore rats, so I started adding food scraps in again, but being sure to put them deep in the pile and I haven’t had anymore rat problems. I think some snakes moved into my backyard as well, so that probably helped too !

  3. Greg Self says:

    My garden failed also, from to much rain! In Georgia we received our annual rainfall in July!. Green beans do not like a lot of water, butterbeans failed!. Tomatoes doing great and jalapenos are scorching. I started vermicompost bins with a starter of 4000 red wigglers June 1st, separated the worms which had multiplied to about 6000 into 2 bins getting 10 lbs of worm casting July 10.Will separate again around August 20th. Hopefully I will have approx 50 to 60 lbs worm castings by next spring.

  4. Suggestion. At the end of the season let your chickens go to town in the garden. Feed them on your garden plot and they’ll scratch and poop there. They’ll do a good deal of “work” for you. Allow them to this in the spring before you plant as well. My best gardens came from when my chickens had free reign to the garden to scratch and poop. Oh I miss my chicken.

  5. If you are looking to start composting, you should check into Red Worms. They are a miracle for your compost and will create the most nutrient rich soil you can have. An incredibly sweet older gentlemen in my local area began harvesting and selling them as a hobby and now sells them all over the world! Keeping the worms alive takes some effort though, but if you dont want to mess with that, you can also buy worm castings (their poop 🙂 ) which is what I have been using in my soil for the last few years. I know my garden wouldnt be the same without it!!! Check out his link and you can learn about what red worms can do for a garden. Pretty amazing stuff really…from just a wee lil worm.

  6. CanadianErin says:

    I compost CONSTANTLY … I suck at turning it & keeping it wet, so I bought some of those black square plastic ones from Home Depot. I do it the lazy way — it takes longer but the results are the same. All you have to do is just make sure you layer everything well. You have to have equal parts green to brown in your ratio, it will cook just fine over winter!
    I actually bought a paper shredder so I could shred newspapers for my compost & garden (I line my plant holes whith shreded newsprint, it attracts the red wrigglers & they eat the paper & leave behind their castings which is FREE fertilizer!)
    So I keep a small bin in my kitchen to put kitchen scraps into, and I have a huge 5 gallon bucket in my garage (attached to house) for bigger scraps, like when I’m cleaning lots of lettice or peppers. Coffee grounds are great for compost, too! Layer your green stuff, brown stuff, newspaper then wet that layer. I cover that with some potting soil or soil that has too much clay to it, because fruit flies LOVE compost bins & heaps!
    A lot of coffee houses will hapily give you their coffee grounds if you ask for them (it saves them money because they have to pay to have their dumpster emptied). That is one thing I don’t love about Keurig or Tassimo — I don’t get the coffee grounds & filters!
    Make sure you don’t have your compost heap too wet, and the layers will just break down & in the spring, you should have 3/4 of the bin ready to go. Just remember that compost disappears in the garden.
    OH and brown cardboard breaks down nicely, too! Good luck!

  7. Stephanie Tyutyunnik says:

    Hey Karrie,
    you probably haven’t lost soil. it will compact over time. Every year it is recommended to add soil with nutrients or some sort of vitamin gravel that will dissolve over time. To replenish your garden. And rodatil..

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