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5 Raised Garden Mistakes, 4 Successes, & What’s Changing in 2024

Hi everyone, Bryan from Garden In Minutes® here. From running Garden In Minutes® to creating content to share with you, sometimes, I overlook my own plants, forget to do things, or I realize that I want to do something differently in the future. In this video and post below, I’m recapping 5 of my biggest mistakes of 2023, 4 of my biggest successes, and a sneak peek of what’s changing in my garden and maybe even yours in 2024.

4 Big Successes 

Let’s start on a positive note! These are the 4 things that I feel went really well in my garden this year. Watch the video above for more details

  1. Okra – The growth and production was extraordinary. I harvested 73 pods in one day despite only growing in half of one 4×8 Raised Garden Bundle.
  2. Eggplant – Just like the Okra, my eggplant production and harvest were the best I’ve ever had. But, there was also a mistake from this and the okra… more on that in the video. (Here are okra growing & plant spacing tips)
  3. Growing Peppers From Seed – I didn’t think I’d have the patience for it… but as a surprise to myself, I did! Production was good and I’m still harvesting these peppers in our mild Florida winter.
  4. Pest Defense – I used a narrower gauge gopher wire and reflective pinwheels throughout my garden & it’s been relatively pest-free all year!

5 Mistakes

  1. Stagger Planting Timing – Our okra and eggplant production was epic, but too much at the same time. I stagger-planted a few plants every week, but I still harvested 73 okra pods in one day and over a dozen eggplants on another. So, moving forward I’m going to space out my staggered planting to every two weeks or just 1 to 2 plants each week instead of a few. Here’s more info about stagger planting
  2. Letting Go Of Plants Sooner – Sometimes plants are sickly or have challenges with mold, fungus, and diseases. That’s what happened to some of our tomatoes (check out this video to see). I tried nursing them back to health a little too long and instead should have realized they were too far gone, removed them, and used the space to grow something that would bring me more joy.
  3. Adapting To My Climate Sooner – Florida is hot in summer! This year I used shade coverings to help my plants stay a bit cooler in the intense Florida summer heat, but I should have put it up a few weeks sooner. The delay caused some of my fruiting plant’s flowers to wilt and die, delaying the plant’s production. Here’s a video about protecting plants from summer heat.
  4. Mulching Sooner – Similar to our shade covering, I should have mulched around my plants a few weeks sooner. Mulching helps insulate your garden soil. This keeps it cooler in the summer months so you have good soil microbe and organism activity. (If you have a Garden Grid™, here’s how you mulch with it)
  5. Not Using Natural Fungicides & Insecticides – Aggressive molds, fungi, bugs, lizards, alligators… Florida has a lot of garden foes and there are natural ways to help fend them off. In the past, I’ve used soil solarization for many of the soil-derived issues, but that’s a reactive measure. I feel like I should be more proactive. In 2024, I plan to use more natural fungicides and insecticides like BT and Neem oil to give my plants some extra help.

What’s Changing In 2024

  1. We’re expanding our garden! New sizes, new plants, new tutorials! If you have something you want to learn more about, share it in the comments below!
  2. New Garden In Minutes® products! Many of which you’ve been asking about… share your guesses and requests in the comments below. 

Happy Gardening!
Bryan Traficante – Co-Founder @ Garden In Minutes®


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