I have been gardening for a few years now. I think I have made every mistake in the book! The more I garden, the more I learn. My garden gets bigger every year and I get more from it. Learn from my mistakes and enjoy a bigger, better crop.
Here are some common gardening mistakes.
Planting at the wrong time.
Some plants can handle a little cooler temperature, like peas or lettuce. In fact they thrive in these cooler temperatures and do not like too much heat. Some plants, like tomatoes, will be harmed or even killed by a little frost. Learn what zone you are in and learn the proper time to plant your crops. The back of your seed packages usually have this kind of information. Or you can consult the farmers almanac.
Planting in the wrong place.
This usually means in an area that does not get enough sun. Make sure that your garden gets at least six hours of direct sunlight every day or your plants will suffer. There are exceptions to this. For example, lettuce and spinach do not like too much heat. They can tolerate a little more shade.
If you let your weeds run rampant, your plants will have to compete with them for water and nutrients.Plus they make your garden look terrible. Get in the habit of weeding a little every day so it does not turn into a giant disaster.
Mulching can also help. Mulch is a protective covering that you spread around your plants to keep weeds at bay. Some examples are:
- bark mulch
- grass clippings
- peat moss
- shredded newspaper
- black plastic
- landscape fabric
Watering the proper amount is key to a healthy garden. Too little water and your plants will dry out. Too much can kill them too. Make sure to keep the soil damp once you have planted your seeds. Once they sprout, you can let the soil dry out a little bit between waterings.
It is best to water your garden deeply a few times a week. This makes the roots grow more deeply than frequent shallow waterings.
Generally gardens need about an inch (or two in hot climates) a week. If it is rainy, set out a tin can and measure how much rain has fallen. Then you will know how much more water your garden needs that week.
Planting too close.
Seedlings are tiny and it is easy to forget that they will get much bigger. Plants need space to grow. Planting too close will inhibit growth and you will not get as much from them. Also you need room to walk around your plants. You do not want to be stepping on them as you take care of your garden. Planting too far apart can be a problem too. Weeds will run rampant in your garden paths. Just follow the distances on the back of the seed packages and you will be OK.
Not taking care of your soil.
Every year you plant a garden, your plants suck the nutrients from the soil. These need to be replenished. Healthy soil grows healthy plants.The best to make healthy soil is to make your own compost.