First Time Gardening Fuck Ups

Excuse my language? I guess? I don’t know how else to convey it. Simply put, we’ve fucked up a few things. I mean, really shit the bed. Some of them are recoverable but some of them will derail a few of our plans. I am calling all of our rookie mistakes learning experiences, because Bob Ross would say something like that.

These are a bit embarrassing, but I think it’s important to show the world when you’re stupid so they can appreciate your brilliance. I’m pulling that out of my arse.

1. Watering from the top

So no one told me you weren’t supposed to water cells from the top. I’d read that some people have all these nice moisture trays that are hooked up to timing systems so their sprouts always stay wet but I thought that was lazy or try hard gardening. It turns out there’s absolutely a reason why you should have a moisture tray, fancy or not.

Watering from the top will displace your seeds. Whenever our tomatoes sprouted, there was a lot of confusion. As you can see, two of our cells have 2 sprouts, and two of our cells have none. At first we thought my husband accidentally planted those two seeds in the wrong one, but that didn’t feel right to us. Then I thought well maybe those two seeds… I don’t know sprouted twice like how plants do weird things all the time, but that didn’t seem right either.

Then our lettuce started coming up all in the middle of the pot, when we had definitely planted them in nicely spaced rows. At that point I was real suspicious that I was doing something wrong, so I started Googling. And you know, it took a LOT of Googling. I had to try 800 combinations of my question to get an actual answer. Watering from the top can displace your seeds. Oh my god it was like everything I suspected was confirmed. So no more watering from the top, but I’m not sure how our doubled tomatoes or clustered lettuces are going to do this year. Whoops.

2. Not monitoring water levels

This really just happened with our corn plants. First, before you get your pitchforks out, we are growing a hybrid of corn that is designed to go in a pot. Yes, a pot. That’s why they are in a pot. Just calm down.

So we have had a lot of rain this month. There have been consecutive days of either full rain or mostly rain with complete overcast. It has not been a good May for our plants so far. We’ve been moving the potted plants around, bringing them into the garage or under our awning when it’s raining a lot. Our corn pot, however, is huge and heavy, so we may or may not have left it out in the rain more than we should have.

IMG_20170506_190004 (1)

Damn, you look sad Mr. Corns

I don’t know how well you can tell here, but we have a few corn sprouts that are looking real sad and over watered. The one in the center on the bottom there is clearly over watered, and we had another sprout die completely from over watering. The one in the middle is living it up though.

I mean, this is definitely going to affect our yield. We planted 9 seeds, only 4 of which came up, probably because of the wet conditions. Of the ones that have sprouted, 1 died completely from over watering and a few are looking miserable from it. Could I have fixed this and saved them? Absolutely. It took me way to long to realize the water was too much. Again, another learning experience. Sometimes things have to die before you realize how important keeping an eye on them is.

3. Starting peppers outside in Ohio in early spring

I love peppers, and I have tons of plans for our peppers this year. I’m talking canning, dehydrating, making chili powder, or just plain cooking them. What I didn’t plan for was actually growing them the right way.

We put 3 varieties (ancho, serrano, and jalapeno) in pots at the same time we planted our other stuff. We’ve been keeping them outside, with the other plants, every day unless it gets below 40 or is raining too much. I think you can see where this is going.

IMG_20170506_190030 (1)

The three empty pots? Oh yea those are peppers. Sure are. Yep. 

We have had ONE of them sprout. One. Uno. Why? Because it’s too cold to sprout peppers in Ohio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What was I thinking!?!?!?! They should have been inside, under a lamp or in a warm room. I have no idea if they’ll sprout. Even if they do, I think it might be too late for them. Sigh.

Those are all of our mistakes so far. That I know of. We are probably making a million more that I haven’t realized yet.

Please tell me you’ve made some mistakes too!




  1. dinosaursdonkeysandms · May 11, 2017

    I tried to grow loads of my own things a couple of years ago, none of them worked out… The only thing I managed to grow was strawberries and the day I was going to pick them I went out and they had been eaten. The birds were obviously waiting for the same day as me! We grew tomatoes last year though and they went well. 🙂 xxx


    • homegrownveganfood · May 24, 2017

      It’s hard to keep your delicious veggies to yourself, isn’t it? Hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SkippingStones · May 11, 2017

    Planted my first garden this year, as well. Definitely not an easy thing! I’ve run into a lot of the same issues. My biggest issues have been proper watering (time of day and amount needed) and over-planting my largest containers! Look forward to following y’all on this new adventure!


    • homegrownveganfood · May 24, 2017

      Hello fellow first timer! Even if we make mistakes its fun, dont you think?


  3. Faith Rudebusch · May 11, 2017

    Well we all make mistakes. Good for you for doing it! I think container growing gives you less room for error than when they’re in the ground.


    • homegrownveganfood · May 24, 2017

      Thank you! We’ve moved quite a few into the ground so I’m hoping I don’t have another post full of mistakes to report later in the season lol

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sproutandsprig · May 11, 2017

    Oh yeah, I’ve made all those mistakes. You live and learn, right? I wouldn’t worry about the tomatoes and lettuce though – you can just pull apart the tomato seedlings and replant them separately, and you can prick out and replant the lettuce seedlings too. Good luck!


    • homegrownveganfood · May 24, 2017

      Thank you! I’m sure it will all work out and we will definitely know for next year!


  5. kieren · May 19, 2017

    Good to hear it’s not just me making the odd mess up!


    • homegrownveganfood · May 24, 2017

      We will recover and learn!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Every person who calls themselves a gardener has made mistakes so take heart. Hope you harvest lots of delicious veggies this summer. 🙂


    • homegrownveganfood · May 31, 2017

      Thank you!


  7. 69owen · June 2, 2017

    Only 3 my God I make at least 3 everyday! Loved the article, honest, useful and entertaining 🙂


    • homegrownveganfood · June 2, 2017

      Hahaha, thank you! Don’t worry part two is coming… these are worse than the first


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