Gardening Oops – GOOPs

Welcome to Gardening Oops Day – GOOPs for short.  Here’s the first of my many GOOPs.

I love chives and many years ago when I ‘discovered’ garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), I had to have them.  They’re easy care, attractive, and edible by humans but not sought out by deer.  They send up fresh white flower clusters in August, a big plus in my south-central Connecticut (zone 6) garden, and they attract a ton of pollinating insects.

late summer garlic chive blooms

late summer garlic chive blooms

The first couple of years I allowed my small stand of garlic chives to self seed to insure I had ample offspring for salads (green, potato, egg), marinades, salsas, stir fry, and to provide enough flowers to flavor vinegars for winter salads.  But one year – GOOPs #1 – I missed that critical time between flowering and seed production in what had become quite an extensive garlic chive collection in my perennial, herb, and rose and vegetable garden beds.  Then – GOOPs #2 – when I finally cut the flower stalks I added them to my compost pile … damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that!  The following year I found garlic chives growing between fieldstone paths and in just about every nook and cranny that was downwind or in the general area of a garlic chives clump.  Plus, since my compost is not really hot, I had garlic chive volunteers the next spring in every area that received compost.  I finally cleared volunteers from the vegetable garden, but years later I’m still digging garlic chive volunteers from between many stone walkways, as shown here. 

garlic chive volunteer

garlic chive volunteer

These babies are not easy to dig from between fieldstone paths.  You need to get down to the bulb, a difficult task in tight areas.

Now I’m ruthless.  I never let flowers seed to maturity, and spent flower stalks go to the outdoor fireplace for burning rather than to the compost pile for composting.  I’m also very careful to not let my garlic chives spread to the wilder edges of the native woodlands in my neighborhood since I can see these plants easily becoming invasive.  I still love garlic chives … their flavor is unique and garlic chive flavored vinegar is my favorite for winter salad dressings.  But now I have enough, and I work hard to keep my supply at enough, rather than too much.

Now share your GOOPs … either add it in a comment below or give a GOOPs tease and a link to your blog’s account of your GOOPs … share every dirty detail.

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2 Comments

Filed under Edibles, Gardening, GOOPs-Gardening Oops, Techniques

2 responses to “Gardening Oops – GOOPs

  1. Joene,

    Good GOOPs! Isn’t it interesting how we accidently make so much extra work for ourselves at times?

    My GOOPs is about my overexuberant purchase of hosta for my shade garden years ago. You can find out the whole story by reading the post on my blog, http://www.gardenofpossibilities.com.

  2. Hi Joene:

    Thanks for dreaming up Gardening Oops Day. Every successful gardener has made a lot of mistakes along the way. I’m convinced that’s the best way to learn.

    My Oops features the right plant in the wrong place at http://www.WesternGardeners.com.

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