What did you plant as an experiment this year that you WON"T be planting again?

GemmaGA

Chirping
Jun 11, 2020
114
381
83
NE Georgia (near Athens)
Northeast GA - but the weather/climate is not the reason I won't plant again...read on!

So, since we got chickens in the spring, I planted a chicken garden in the yard area we have closed off for the chickens just outside the coop while we were planting our regular garden by the house. In that garden, I specifically planted plants/herbs that were safe for chickens to eat. The plants were doing great, had some really nice pumpkin plants that took off and were spreading nicely along with some butternut squash plants.

When the chicks were little they paid no attention to the plants. They are 20 weeks old now, and starting about a month ago, they DEVOURED everything in the garden. Including all of my pumpkin and butternut squash plants. The Butternut plants had started putting out fruit/squash and the chickens didn't bother with them. But, they ate the plants' leaves all the way down to the stalk in a matter of days.

And just like that, no more hopes of pumpkin or squash for a fall harvest. 😏 RIP Chicken Garden. Won't be doing that next year!
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Jul 29, 2013
5,211
16,215
667
Cleveland OH
Can raised beds help with controlling blight? Our zucchini and yellow squash plants caught blight both last year and this year, although this year it held off a bit longer. I'm unsure what kind of carrot variety I planted, just grabbed a pack at Lowe's. My garden is on the struggle bus!
It can! Raised beds, crop rotation, heavy mulching, pruning and baking soda sprays! That's how I manage blight in my garden. It helps a lot.
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
5,404
14,460
747
Western Ohio
Northeast GA - but the weather/climate is not the reason I won't plant again...read on!

So, since we got chickens in the spring, I planted a chicken garden in the yard area we have closed off for the chickens just outside the coop while we were planting our regular garden by the house. In that garden, I specifically planted plants/herbs that were safe for chickens to eat. The plants were doing great, had some really nice pumpkin plants that took off and were spreading nicely along with some butternut squash plants.

When the chicks were little they paid no attention to the plants. They are 20 weeks old now, and starting about a month ago, they DEVOURED everything in the garden. Including all of my pumpkin and butternut squash plants. The Butternut plants had started putting out fruit/squash and the chickens didn't bother with them. But, they ate the plants' leaves all the way down to the stalk in a matter of days.

And just like that, no more hopes of pumpkin or squash for a fall harvest. 😏 RIP Chicken Garden. Won't be doing that next year!
You can still do a chicken garden, you just need to plan differently. You can grow grasses and other plants that are a bit smaller and can be temporarily covered/ protected. You can build a simple frame with HWC top - only needs to be a few inches high for grasses. The HWC protects the ground from getting scratched up, the grass grows through. You can open up an area for a day so chickens can browse that area, but close it off for regrowth. But, overall, chickens will decimate a garden.

Our raised beds are all just outside of the chicken run. One day someone forgot to latch the gate. At some point a chicken must have gotten out (the gate was closed, not latched), and about an hour or less after the gate was not latched, I look out the house window and see chickens in the garden. They had eaten ALL the cucumber sprouts I had started a couple weeks earlier for a late summer harvest, and ALL the turnip sprouts, and moved onto the strawberry plants - no fruit, but my chickens seem to enjoy the strawberry leaves quite a bit. So, a garden around/ near chickens needs different management.
 

Jastorm

In the Brooder
May 12, 2020
25
44
33
Vancouver Island
I'm in western WA, zone 8B. Lots of rain in fall and spring, dry but generally not overly hot summers, some snow in winter.

Busts for the year:
- Monstrueux de Viroflay Spinach. Don't know if it was just the seeds I got or what, but I couldn't get these to germinate for anything. Probably put a good 50 seeds in the ground and got maybe 10% germination? And then slugs immediately ate whatever popped up. Meanwhile my 3 year old Bloomsdale spinach seeds still showed decent germination, like 50%, and the plants grew quickly enough that I had some spinach to harvest.
- Hedou Tiny Bok Choy. "Tiny" being the key word. Too tiny to do much with, and then instantly bolts at first sign of heat. Can't really harvest anything from the bolted plants because the leaves are so tiny in the first place. I haven't had luck with bok choy in general (bolting has been a problem) so not going to grow any of it any more.

From last 2 years:
- Cosmic Purple or Purple Dragon (can't remember which) Carrots. Mine got woody fast, even when relatively young (I routinely leave carrots in from spring through very late fall, until the ground starts frosting over). Not sweet, kind of hard, slightly spicy. Just not what I want out of a carrot (tender, sweet).
- Danvers 126 Half Long Carrot and Kuroda Carrots. Just not great? Neither was as sweet or remained as tender at larger sizes as my preferred carrots (what I DO like are Nantes, Imperator, and Amarillo Carrots - all three of those routinely come out sweet and tender and keep well in ground).
- Shogoin Turnip. I specifically wanted it for the greens, having seen it listed on a "turnips for tasty greens" list, but the greens were not good. Nor were the turnips, all of them went woody on me even while relatively small/young. I now grow the standard Purple Top Turnips which take much longer to go woody, and has tastier greens.
- Albino Beets. For a beet specifically labeled as sweet, they weren't really sweet and frankly, pretty bland. Golden Beets are my go to, sweet and tender without the earthiness or the messiness of red beets.



Ha, collards did well for me last year so I thought to myself, heck, I should grow more this year! I seeded for 8 plants. Now I have a bunch of collards along with the realization that only I've been eating them... So guess what's on the schedule for dinner next week? 2 days of collards. Rather than cut-and-come-again I just pull up entire plants.
I tried the same spinach variety on Vancouver island with the same result. What plants did germinate bolted immediately.
 

greenwos

Chirping
Oct 23, 2020
50
174
63
Northern Ontario, Canada
My Coop
Carrots! The carrots I planted here in northern MI look good until they come out of the ground...they came up small and somewhat bitter. Yucky!
Try leaving them in the ground until after frost. Our carrots and beets were slow this year so I had only picked the bigger ones and left the rest. We went back and pulled everything about 3 weeks after frosts had started and they were delicious. Nice and sweet. Parsnips work this way too. My uncle used to go out in February and have to dig through a couple feet of snow to dig them up. Best tasting parsnips in the world!
 

greenwos

Chirping
Oct 23, 2020
50
174
63
Northern Ontario, Canada
My Coop
I'm in zone 3 and had a meh year. We have a new garden plot with clay for soil. We did amend as much as we could, but still. I miss my old garden. We started out early with very warm weather, that turned to a month of rain, followed by a dry spell. I lost a lot of my seedlings to root rot early on. 😢

I did try a few cherry tomatoes in the garden this year and definitely won't be doing that again. Will be staying with pots. They were comically tiny plants full of tiny green tomatoes.

I put Borage in at the end of my rows, and they were ginormous. I'll be putting some in again this year, but will leave twice the room for them.

I also tried corn for the second time ever. We ended up getting half a dozen small ears that were kind of edible, so better than last time. Still debating trying again next year.
 

MarkJr

Change in America begins at the dinner table
Premium Feather Member
Jun 15, 2020
4,037
20,909
531
Elkton, OR
Tomatillos

Never again.

Chile verde sauce is plenty cheap.
 

kcan2

Crowing
Oct 18, 2019
541
2,216
276
MI
Try leaving them in the ground until after frost. Our carrots and beets were slow this year so I had only picked the bigger ones and left the rest. We went back and pulled everything about 3 weeks after frosts had started and they were delicious. Nice and sweet. Parsnips work this way too. My uncle used to go out in February and have to dig through a couple feet of snow to dig them up. Best tasting parsnips in the world!
Wow - great advice, thank you! I guess you would know a thing or two about those frosts based on your location alone! Do you have any suggestions as to what to add to soil that may be somewhat nutrient-depleted? I am almost as new to gardening as I am to chickens, and my chickens are doing much better than my plants, at least!
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
13,356
25,144
842
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Do you have any suggestions as to what to add to soil that may be somewhat nutrient-depleted? I am almost as new to gardening as I am to chickens, and my chickens are doing much better than my plants, at least!
Add in lots of compost (goes well with chickens, as their poop is wonderful when composted). Or consider doing raised beds and bringing in better quality soil if the existing soil really isn't suitable for growing in.
 

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