What began as beginners luck soon turned into beginners failure. As with any new skill one is trying to learn, there is a learning curve you can only survive by doing it. Actually getting those plants in the ground. People can explain all day long, the do's and don'ts. You can read about it, feel super confident it can be done, but until you actually get your hands in the dirt, you just don't know.
I began last fall starting sweet peas and I was super excited. It was something new and I know everyone loves them. For many people, it's one of those flowers that people have great sentimental attachments to. Many people have fond memories of a grandparent who used to plant them or a favorite family member who adored them. Well, I followed the directions and had great success growing them from seed in my tiny grow room. I put them out in the ground late fall as suggested and they weathered the winter and survived! I felt like a rock star! Look what I was able to accomplish! I mothered those babies and watched over them like a new mama.
So when to my astonishment I discovered this spring they had aphids . . . and I mean a LOT of aphids . . . like thousands of them, I read up on the internet which is the easiest and organic way to be rid of them. I do not use chemicals because they also kill beneficial insects. So I combined dish detergent and water and went to go spray those critters. I must have used too much detergent because the next day ALL of my beautiful little babies were dead. Brown to the ground dead. Dust in the wind dead. Brown, papery, shriveled up and brittle dead.
Heartbroken, I began the sad task of ripping them all out of their beds and with a heavy heart. I had to begin again knowing that this late in the season, my odds were not so good and that they would most likely not do much. But I had to try. Currently I have a few surviving new babies in their place. I know that the warmer temperatures means slower growth for them. However, maybe things will work out because we've been having a cooler than normal spring. Maybe, just maybe these new babies will survive and produce after all.
One thing I have learned about starting this new adventure is that you have to be okay with making mistakes. We all do it, that's a fact. Some mistakes are bigger and more costly than others. With mistakes also comes learning. I've made more mistakes along this journey and now I know what I will need to do differently this fall. Each year brings new knowledge. Like I mentioned, you can read about it in a book but until your actually do the work, until you get your hands dirty and have to deal with weather issues, bugs, unintentionally killing your own seedlings and balancing your families schedules, you will make mistakes. It's normal. It is an opportunity to learn, and to be put into practice what you have learned.
Keep up the fight and keep on trying. Do not give up. If it doesn't work, try something new. If you don't try, you won't ever have flowers to enjoy! Know your zone, know your soil, know your weather and get busy learning! And take LOTS of notes. Record what works and what doesn't. Nobody likes repeating mistakes. It's costly and time consuming. Keep a journal. Keep a calendar of things you've done, when you've done them. Then put it to the test the next time around. And be kind to yourself when it doesn't work. Then start it all over again. Grow on my friends!!