I’ve always said that good gardeners are scientists because they’re always experimenting. There is definitely a learning curve to growing a successful garden. Over the years you learn about soil types, climate variations, vegetables more suited to your zone, and numerous other aspects of successful gardening largely through the errors of the current or previous years.
For those of us (and that is most of us) who live where the snow falls, it takes a whole year to make adjustments or corrections. Its not unusual to over correct and err on the opposite end of the spectrum. Its not unusual to ask neighbors and friends for advice only to find out they don’t know either. Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to gardening and certainly gardening is a science.
After 34 years of gardening, I have learned a lot through my own experiences and have sought mentors through classes and books written on the subject. I can say that it has all been worth it. My gardens get better every year and so do my soils.
In this post I want to share with you a concoction that I came up with one year to save a wilting plant. It was one of those strange years when I only had two zucchini plants come up. Usually there are half a dozen or more. Two will definitely do though – zucchini being the prolific bearer that it is.
One morning I walked out to the garden and found one of the zucchini plants completely wilted. It was a sure sign of a virus more than likely brought on by pests. I knew from past experience that when the plant got to the wilted stage there was not much hope for it. Before long, it would be dead. I was distressed about losing the zucchini plant as I didn’t have but one more plant left.
Being an avid herbalist I knew that if I or my children came down with a virus I would give them lots of garlic until they recovered. Garlic is one of those amazing plants with antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
I figured it was worth a try, so I grabbed a 14 qt. stock pot and began filling it with crushed garlic. I crushed about 24 – 32 cloves in the pot and started simmering it on the stove. Yes – it smelled like garlic throughout the house for a day, so if you don’t appreciate smelling garlic all day do this step outside.
I let the pot cool, strained off the garlic water, then drizzled it all around the base of the plant. I covered the crushed garlic with more water and repeated the process the next day.
Amazingly, that zucchini plant recovered and bore fruit until the snow fell. I have used garlic many times since then to bring back struggling plants. Revive your wilting, diseased, sick plants with garlic. If you attack the problem early, your plant has a good chance of recovering.