Who likes failure? Not me!!! Back in June I shared with you the planting of our very first garden. It truly was a joy to plant and the hope of juicy fresh veggies was on everyone’s minds. Well…let me be honest…I failed.

We had very heavy rainfalls for 10 days straight after our planting – and moss began to grow in our garden! Uh oh – I knew that couldn’t be a good sign. Then weeds began to grow and I couldn’t tell a weed from a seedling – uh oh! That can’t be good either. So I let the weeds grow a little, while we looked at books and tried to decipher. Eventually it was clear the seeds had been washed away and most of what was growing in our sweet garden were weeds.

There were a few hopes though. Our strawberries were beginning to get plump and turning light shades of red. Our corn stalks shot up to the sky and our tomato and green pepper plants did have signs of veggies. BUT then the birds came and ate the berries. And something (I don’t know what?) tore down and ate all of our corn stalks in the middle of night just last week! Devastating!

At this point all we have in our garden are tomatoes and green peppers. Both have unripe veggies forming BUT I just noticed yesterday one of the tomatoes has a huge bite taken out of it. This is not a good sign!

SO, I failed miserably at our very first garden…

I shared this with a bloggy friend who has ten children and lives on 16 acres where she grows her own food, raises beef cattle, has her own dairy cow, sheep for meat, chickens for meat and eggs, ducks, geese, cats and dogs for pets and horses as well.

Today she wrote a blog post for me at A Moment With M.O.M. Maybe you will find something in there for you too.

The children are very disappointed but I have already told them – we will not give up and we will try again next year. After talking with a few friends, I have realized some of my flaws and why we have had our failure.

It’s a part of life…falling down…getting back up again…the feelings of defeat….rising with defiant joy .

Life is filled with hard moments. We do have a choice – will we choose defiant joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Don’t let your failures define you.

Get back up again and Walk with the King!


  1. WE planted our first garden, too…sounds like we had/have the same problems. You probably have a Horn Catepillar on your tomatoes…they are big and green…our tomatoes had them and had a hard time turning red…nutrient issues with the soil…we lost our squash to squash bugs….BUT, God did teach me a lot about sin this summer through my garden…how, like the bugs/weeds…sin is always there, but, Christ wipes us clean. It also taught my children about the power of a tiny seed…which is whyI named my blog about mustard seeds. Thank you for the ways you bless my days…I am glad you posted a Blog today! Happy weekend! Rebecca

  2. Oh girl failure is always on my mind and can often keep me from even trying something at all b/c what if I fail? However Im always reminded that God didnt give me a spirit of timidity but of power, love, and self discipline! I will never know what I can do if I never even try. Also God teaches me sooo much through my failures and I have to lean on Him to get up and try again even when its hard. As much as I hate failure I love when God gives me the tools to overcome. Heres a confession I have yet to even start a garden b/c I just "know" I will fail!!lol SO I respect you for giving it a try to begin with. There is always trial and error with everything and many great people had to fail many times before they got it right..but what if they never tried to begin with?We wouldnt have many of the amazing conveniences we have today!:) I love this topic b/c it always reminds me of why I need to keep striving to know God better and never be afraid to try just b/c I may fail! He gave me power to overcome the fear of failure!! Love you girl:) I am struggling with a few fears of failure right now that I dont think I realized were there until right now…thanks for speaking to me through Jesus:)

  3. My husband has tried for two summers to grow food… neither time has worked. Last year we had some great jalapeno peppers but bugs at all of the other plants, and we found slugs on our tomatoes. This year we couldn't even get the jalapenos! I'm hoping next year will be better!

  4. I, too have been getting advice from Mrs. Wood! She's great!

    I wanted to do a garden next year, so I did an experimental one this year. I planted a bunch of stuff in storage bins on the back porch! I have NO IDEA if anything I planted will produce! The lettuce I planted was completely wiped out by cabbage loopers. Short of going out every morning and picking them off by hand, I just couldn't get rid of them.

    Most everything else is doing well – at least as far as I can tell from the outside. There's a Bible lesson for ya!

    Thanks for sharing Courtney!

  5. You can think along these lines: At least you tried, you gave it your best effort, you learned life lessons from this garden- lessons related to your faith that you can teach your kids. It's better than not trying at all. I can atest to that. My DH made me a smaller raised garden last year, and last year we had a pretty nice crop of food- it was a good feeling for me and my kiddos to see the hard work pay off. And yet this year, for various reasons- a possible move, laziness, etc. I chose not to plant a garden. And I have regret, "Why didn't I at least plant a few things, Why didn't I at least try?" Living a life of regret is much worse than trying your best and not getting much in return. We can say the same with our walk with the Lord, working on your relationship with God- even when times are trying, is much better than giving up and not trying at all. So, it's much better to say At least I tried!
    Julianne 🙂

  6. Oh I fear we may be in the same boat with our first garden!
    But I heard a really good sermon on the radio the other day–Chip Ingram said there are 2 types of people, those who focus on PROBLEMS, or those who focus on the PROMISE, it has really helped me shift perspective about my problem situations, (beyond just our garden!) to focus on His Promises!

  7. I can identify so much with this! Our garden has been disappointing too. However, we planted our things twice and are starting to see some results. Without failure we really don't learn anything, so I think it can be turned into a good lesson or joy for us. Thank you for your words of encouragement.


  8. I have yet to try a garden. Such wonderful blessed times you had working and toiling planting your first garden. Great lessons that your children are learning right along side you. Perseverance is hard when we don't get the results we are looking for, isn't it? God is so faithful… He will bring about the fruit… if not in your physical garden this year, but in the fruit of your little garden you are growing within your home… your precious babes' hearts! Amen.

  9. We are in OH too and had the same problem with our first garden too. So much rain. We now have a field of weeds with some squash here and there. Nothing kills squash!

  10. Courtney,I wanted to comment on this earlier today when I read this….this post is so encouraging, because it's so easy to recognize the failures and slip-ups in our lives and miss out on all of the positives that come out of those mishaps. I've been beating myself up because I've let the weeds take over our garden….it's still living (well, most of it because not all of it came up; don't even get me started on how many times I've replanted lettuce), but in my mind, I haven't lived up to those "perfectionistic" tendencies that I sometimes have. Thanks for this encouragement; hang in there, because we're still learning as we go too on gardening. It's a trial and error kind of thing, I think.:) Now if I can just get through canning, without burning the house down.:) I think that's definitely going to be trial and error for me.:)

  11. What to say but, sorry about the mishap in your first garden and the best for next spring. *smile* Thought I hear of people planting a fall garden. Not sure exactly what they plant but some people do have a spring and fall garden. Maybe even trying something this fall would be fun. *smile* Don't know what your weather is like in the fall, just an idea. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

  12. I can TOTALLY relate! That sounds like my garden last year! My corn was beautiful little stalks poking out of the ground and the next morning, every single stalk had been chewed off! The rabbits had helped themselves. And my tomatoes were being stolen by the squirrels! SO next year we are going to encase our garden with rabbit and squirrel fencing.

    ((hugs from KY))!

  13. I have never been able to grow a garden until this year. I used the Square Foot Gardening book and method. I have more veggies than we can eat and have been giving most of it away! It really does work – I think the secret is the soil mix the author suggests. Normally, I kill every plant….not this time!
    Just like someone said above, it's not too late to plant a fall garden.

  14. Courtney, we've had many years of yummy veggies in our HUGE garden — but this year was a disaster. Even seasoned gardeners cannot do much when it rains like it has in the midwest this season.

    Our corn was great (we have a dog to keep out intruders), we'll be able to enjoy our tomatoes and cucumbers, but our beans are another story. We got one picking then had to mow them off to get to the other plants (the weeds are TERRIBLE!). So take heart. Try again next year! And know you're in the same boat as many others I've talked too that have been growing veggies since we were both in diapers.

  15. This is our 3rd year of veg growing, and so far, this is by far our worst year 🙁
    We're in Scotland, and we've had such a bad summer (no sign of global warming here!). We lost nearly 70 cauliflower to the cabbage root fly, and some other brassicas. Thankfully, the carrots, parsnips, onions and swedes are looking good.
    It's constant learning. I just learnt the other week why I was having probs with my coriander (cilantro). I'll be posting about that later today…
    Anyway, still more evidence of the ground being cursed, but still – wonderful evidence too of our wonderful Creator.
    We'll persevere!
    Love, Anne x

  16. Courntey, You did not fail – you planted a garden and taught your children beautiful lessons! This happened to us this year as well. We planted and then had torrential rains. We had no idea whoat, if anything would come up. So, we hit a couple of nurseries and bought some 'end of the season' seedlings and planted those. Somehow, some of the original seeds popped up and now our tomatoes are overgrown – I actually planted dill, basil and oregano in between, but I can't find them anymore! But I am grateful for the tomatoes. The same thing happened to our cukes. Now they are overgrown and climbing all over the herbas and lettuce I planted there.

    We had the same problem with intruders eating our produce last year and the beginning of this. So, we asked a master gardener for some help. Now this may sound a little gross or a little weird, but you know what they told us to do? They said to go around the border with some human urine and that would keep the animals out. We can attest to the fact that this works just like a fence. Obviously, it is collected indoors in privacy and then transported outside, but it does work. We also found that it has to be done on more than one occasion as rain does wash it out.

    I hope this helps some, it helped us a lot. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  17. Ugh, I failed at my first garden too this year. My yield amounted to: 1 squash, a sandwich size bag of bush beans, plenty of green tomatoes (that rot before they ripen), a small head of garlic that was too potent, broccoli that was too bitter, and brussel sprouts that were too small. I did get one half sized green pepper that was edible. 😉

    We're not giving up either. Back to it next year.

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