My First Summer of Outdoor Gardening – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I have been growing houseplants for several years and I really enjoy it. This summer I thought I would try my hand at outdoor gardening, since I had more time at home. This first year was definitely a learning curve. I learned a lot of great things about what worked, and what to do differently next year. Read on for some of my gardening highlights from this summer.

I successfully grew lettuce, dandelion greens and green onions. Next year I will grow way more of all three. The green onions in particular went super fast once they were ready to harvest.

I attempted to grow broccoli, pumpkins, watermelon and candy onions. Unfortunately none of those panned out. As you can see, the seedlings looked like champs and the pumpkins started super strong, but they didn’t survive for some reason. I will definitely try again next year with the candy onions and the pumpkins.

The most crushing blow this garden year was Campari tomatoes. They are my absolute favorite and I doted on them from the time I planted the seeds until the day they turned out to be cucumbers. Wait, what? Yep, you read that right. I must have mixed up the seeds/markers when I planted them. My precious Campari’s turned out to be cucumbers. The cucumbers turned out great. The day I realized my mistake, I sliced up a few Campari’s I had in the house and put them in a pot. The photo on the right is what they look like today. I don’t know if they will actually produce fruit before it gets too cold here, but now I know how to plant them for next year.

I had fantastic results with outdoor flowers. From top left: Purple Heart, Garden Nasturtium, Dahlia, Elephant Bush and Grapeleaf Begonia. The Purple Heart is going to stay in my parents florida room over the winter; I literally have no window space left in my house for a flower/plant. It will stay indoors this winter and hopefully continue to thrive next summer.

Did anyone else start a garden this year during the pandemic? What worked for you? What didn’t? I would love to see your garden stories below!

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