Tip Don't grow something if you don't like it.

Mandy Onderwater

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Ever thought "hey, let's grow something" and figured "everyone is recommending this, I'll grow it" without taking in consideration if you (or anyone you know) actually like it?

Well... I've made that mistake. I was growing cherry tomatoes! My plants grew like mad and were producing amazing amounts!
Aaand.... now what? No one here likes cherry tomatoes. And I was growing much more than I knew what to do with. I tried salsa's, sauces, etc but no. It got out of hand to the point that watering my garden made me a little sad. There were these amazing, plump cherry tomatoes and slowly they started rotting as I didn't take them off as I didn't know what to do with them anymore...

I grewmy plants from seed all by myself and they gave me amazing lessons! A 1,7m high trellis was not tall enough for those plants and even when they fell, they kept going!
So today was the day... in perhaps a moment of insanity (or was it sanity) that I grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors (not recommended!) and snipped them right at the bottom. It was both sad and relieving. Finally I can grow something I actually like in these large pots with premium soil. I'm glad I did it

Lesson of the day! Don't grow just because it works for your climate, but grow what you like! Yes, it might take a little more work, but you'll actually be happy with it once it produces! Don't be silly and do what I did; wasting amazing pots, soil and space.
For me this was an amazing lesson and I hope I'll grow just what I like instead of the "hype". And even if this was in a sense a "mistake" I'm kind of glad I did it too. I've learned about trellises and that I can in fact keep a plant alive!

So now... let's grow something new! :D
 

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KathrynJN

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Mandy, you can always freeze them and put them in stews/casseroles. I froze several kilos last year, and turned one lot into tomato sauce this year. There's always something you can do with them.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Mandy, you can always freeze them and put them in stews/casseroles. I froze several kilos last year, and turned one lot into tomato sauce this year. There's always something you can do with them.
I've thrown them by now as I didn't quite enjoy the seeds they had in my food. I'm intending on growing a different species of tomato instead, which I've had and liked in spaghetti before!
But thank you for your tip!
 

DivingTemptress

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Yes, please grow what you really enjoy eating, things not easily found in stores or if you do, they are too expensive or taste like cardboard LOL ....

I am basically a lazy gardener, so I grow alot of perennials and things that reseed themselves or survive the winter. And I grow rare and unusual trees and plants that make my garden interesting year-round.

I learn from my failures as much as I learn from my successes, so don't be afraid to try something new each season and you will find gems that you eat regularly that you didn't know about a few years ago.

Happy Gardening,
P J
 

JoshW

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I've thrown them by now as I didn't quite enjoy the seeds they had in my food. I'm intending on growing a different species of tomato instead, which I've had and liked in spaghetti before!
But thank you for your tip!

If you're after less seeds and for spaghetti sauce you cannot go past San marzano IMO
 

Mandy Onderwater

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@DivingTemptress yes! It really made me sad to do it, but now that I've taken the tomatoes out and was aerating the soil I noticed there were worms! It made me super excited to start again soon! :D

@JoshW do you know if it does well in a sub-tropical climate?
 

JoshW

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@DivingTemptress yes! It really made me sad to do it, but now that I've taken the tomatoes out and was aerating the soil I noticed there were worms! It made me super excited to start again soon! :D

@JoshW do you know if it does well in a sub-tropical climate?
See below link with sowing times for subtropical. I'm pretty sure @Mark had some at some stage as well and got nearly a couple kgs off them as well.

 

DThille

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It's good you're taking the lessons learned with a smile.

I'll come at it from a bit of a different angle though...it's true that you may not want to grow something you don't like, but at the same time, how do you know whether or not you like something unless you try it? I don't have much of a garden at the moment (in a year or two as I develop / redevelop about 2 acres or so will be a different story), but I always like to try a little something different. This year is the first year we grew kale and tried to grow mustard and bok choi (less successful with the latter two so far). That said, it is best to keep experiments in check...don't turn the whole garden over to something you're unsure of. If you grow a bit of something like that, and decide you don't like it, one can try to give it away, or worst case, you've got extra material to compost.

Once I've done some soil rehabilitation in the country, I'll have too much land to grow just things I'm comfortable with. If our son who isn't fond of squash and zucchini moves out, then that will open more opportunities as well (he's 23 and finished a degree in theatre during lockdown times). One of the things I want to do is try some new things, primarily with heirloom varieties.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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I'm currently referring to my whole garden as my "experiment garden". It makes me have a lighter take on it all, especially as I don't quite have the materials to properly set everything up at the moment. And a lot of my plants are struggling because I don't have big enough pots for them, so I am not sad about their stunted growths either - it is what it is for now. And it helps me learn how to grow them better once I start on them properly! I can't plant directly into the ground because it's mostly clay and there are tons of rocks into it. I've got garden beds ready but the area I want to use is covered in grass that just spreads and spreads and spread. I don't know it's exact name, but it's around 2m tall and very sharp. It grows back like mad too. Cut it down one day, new leaves are already showing the next. If there's rain it just shoots up, easily 1m in just two or three days. That and the ground is uneven at this point and time. But I'll get there eventually!

Absolutely try new stuff! I just knew I hated cherry tomatoes but grew them anyway. That was a bad choice. But now my pot has worms and the soil looks amazing still.
 
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