Lifestyle/ Photography

Unsolicited Advice on Gardening

No one asked for this post, but I am going to share it anyway! A while back, I shared about starting an herb garden. It is apparent now that I was unprepared. I had to learn most aspects of gardening the hard way. I want to share my struggles to save you from making the same mistakes.

Story Time

I was pulling weeds day in and day out. My herbs had brown spots and bugs were taking over. I caved and decided to use a spray. I know it wasn’t very “vegan” of me, but I was at the end of my rope. This spray claimed that it was safe for herbs and vegetables. Additionally, it was specifically for disease and insect prevention. I looked at the ingredients and it did not seem to be as toxic as other sprays. I used the product according to the instructions. The next morning, I went out to check on my garden and it was a nightmare! Saying that everything was brown is an understatement. It looked like my herbs were decaying.

I had to act fast. I snipped off the pieces that were too far gone. I drenched everything in water in the hopes that I could flush out the chemicals. This only helped slightly. Every time I looked at my garden, I was discouraged. All I could do was water as needed and pluck off dead leaves. Luckily, after a few weeks, the garden went back to normal.


Based on the story I just shared, I am sure you can guess my first bit of advice. Do not use sprays or products that you aren’t familiar with. The spray I used was marketed for herbs and veggies. My fatal flaw was not doing any further research. A product could work for tomatoes, yet harm cilantro. If you decide to use sprays or similar products, identify if it is specifically for your type of garden.

My second piece of advice is don’t water too much or too little. How often you water will depend on the type of plant. Herb gardens don’t require daily watering. Most thrive in direct sunlight and hot climates. Remember the brown spots I was talking about earlier? Sometimes these are caused by overwatering and ph imbalances. Herbs are commonly found in the forest and no one goes to water the forest. Alternatively, watering too little can also cause wilting and dryness, especially in extremely dry (arid) climates. I simply water 2-3 times a week unless it rains.

Give it space is my third suggestion. I mean this figuratively and literally. Sometimes with gardening, you just need to take a step back. You don’t need to watch your plants like a hawk (unless they are high maintenance). Patience is an important part of gardening. Additionally, you should space out your plants. I made the mistake of planting seeds close together. Certain herbs took longer to sprout because of this. The lavender I planted hasn’t started growing. It’s too late to change it now, but I have learned my lesson.

Lastly, I suggest talking to other gardeners. This seems like obvious advice. I have trouble asking for help so it wasn’t easy for me to seek out gardening resources. I don’t know other gardeners personally. The internet has been my best resource though. Instagram and Pinterest have tons of users that know way more about gardening than I do.

Herb Garden Update

The brown spots went away, eventually. The cilantro and dill weed I planted are growing the fastest. The parsley was hit the hardest by the incident and is not doing so well. The chives are still going strong. The lavender and rosemary are just now starting to grow. Overall, I am pleased with the progress. Although, I sincerely regret using an unfamiliar spray on my garden as it was a major setback and possibly harmful to the environment. I still have weeds, but I just pull them out as I see them. I have a normal amount of insects in my garden. Fortunately, they are not creating holes or causing other issues. A successful garden is mainly trial and error.

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For more garden details, you should check out my post about starting an herb garden. Thank you for reading! I hope this unsolicited advice helped you. If you have any gardening disasters, tell me in the comments.

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  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Gardening can be both a challenge and a reward. As a kid, I hated everything about gardening, especially pulling weeds. And yet, here I am some 55 years later planting, weeding, nurturing a garden from spring to fall. I have had to change locations due to trees and shade, modify soil with manure, sand and peat and this year I installed netting to keep the wee birdies away from my lettuce and beets. This year, the rain never stopped, but I am happy to say we had fabulous lettuce for over 6 weeks, ripe tomatoes since July 15 and I have been pulling beets and carrots of good size since August 1. My cilantro, on the other hand sucks. I waited too long, used old seeds and lost it in the tomato shade. Still, a good year. Good gardening to you Kaley. Allan

    • Reply
      August 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      It definitely is rewarding yet challenging at the same time. I love being able to eat what I grow. But there are many variables and I don’t think the perfect garden exists. It sounds like you have a lot of experience. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    My heart sank with as You vivid shared the morning imagery. Thanks for sharing this helpful tip,. Save a plant, a herb, …SAVE A GARDEN. It so awesome how Regeneration occurred.

    Loved your post😊💜🌸

    • Reply
      August 20, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you! I am very thankful for the regrowth! 💐

  • Reply
    Anneke De Clerk
    August 22, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Your story makes me think about the time my husband asked me to add some or another type of spray to get rid of some of the bugs in our grass. I added it very enthusiastically to my mixture of lawn feed, spraying it in the hopes that we will have a lush beautiful lawn that summer. A few days later my husband came to me with a puzzled look on his face asking me wich bottle of bug spray I used? Our lawn was turning a pale shade of yellow. I showed him and only then realized that it was a herbicide that was supposed to be used on paved areas only. Needless to say, I almost murdered our entire lawn. Lucky for me, it started raining buckets full, the poison was diluted and my husband’s mood lightened up. We still joke about the time I almost wiped out our entire lawn. I am much more careful with sprays and products these days. Thank you for your story and your beautiful photo, I enjoy your blog.

    • Reply
      August 22, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you for commenting! I laughed at this because I think it happens to everyone. Haha I’ve almost killed a lot of things. I’m glad you could relate to this post!

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