I hope you don’t figure that after you’ve gardened for 40 years you’ll have all your mistakes behind you. That’s absolutely silly. Go sit in a corner.

I’d rather post about some brilliant and perfect garden inspiration. But the reality is that I make stupid gardening mistakes all the time. Mistakes aren’t just for beginners. I think gardening is much like the rest of life; some people make more mistakes than others, but everyone makes them, and you can’t cure them.

This isn’t a huge goof; I’ll save those for myself to savor. But last fall I decided to try storing an extra supply of shredded leaves in my tomato cages, to accomplish two things: create new space for storing leaves that didn’t have a home, and provide a windbreak for my two small grow tunnels.


It actually did both of those things very well. But mistakes make up their own ways to kick you in the rear. Yesterday as I was surveying the garden, I realized that the leaf-filled cages were sitting on top of the space where I plan to plant snow peas. Soon.

The leaves lost all their air pockets over the winter, and they got nice and wet. Since they’re shredded, they compacted even more. So these cages are really awkward to move without dumping a huge clump of compacted leaves in their wake. And they’re insulating the crap out of the soil beneath them, keeping it nice and frosty.


If I would have thought just a little further ahead last fall, I could have put the cages in spots closer to where the leaves would be needed. But since I didn’t, they’ll have to be hauled around again, nice and wet and heavy.

Just enjoy the ride, learn as you go.

9 thoughts on “mistakes

    • I’ll use them as mulch in the beds, on paths that don’t have wood chips yet, and if there are any left, in the compost this summer when I’m flooded with green waste. I have two more big bins full of shredded leaves, but I bet they all disappear before summer’s over 🙂


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