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Planting Tips

Updated on February 25, 2013

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.

Ignoring weeds.

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
  • leaves
  • shredded newspaper
  • black plastic
  • landscape fabric

Improper watering.

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.


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    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for sharing, mrfluffy.

    • mrfluffy profile image

      mrfluffy 7 years ago from Northamptonshire

      Excellent tips, learning from your mistakes is good, learning from others is better and cheaper so thank you.

      I use nettles, rabbit and chicken manure mixed with water and allow to rot for a while it’s really good but stinks. good marrow food.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      You are welcome, thank you for commenting.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 7 years ago from England

      More fantastic tips! Thanks :)

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      The early morning is the best time. Later it may get too hot and the water will evaporate. Also they need the water to get through the hot parts of the day. However if you are in a hot time of year and your plants are visibly stressed, water them immediately.

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 7 years ago

      So what times of the day do you suggest to water? I've always watered mine in the very early AM hours or at night while the sun is down to keep the vegitation from scorching.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      That is great advice, cvanthul. Thank you for sharing it.

      And thank you for your comment. ethel.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      That's all great advice and will help gardening novices

    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 7 years ago from Florida

      I like that suggestion, too, daisyjae. When I had a barn I would build up the garden area with concrete blocks and then take compost from the manure pile (from the horses' stalls) to put in the space marked out by the blocks. This did 2 things for me - kept out the weeds and gave me more soil to work with as there simply isn't much soil in South Florida.

      I linked this to my home canning hub. It's not quite the same area but many people who grow their own vegetables also can or preserve them.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      I'm glad you found it helpful, sheila.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      You answered my question about watering, and I like your suggestion about how to measure rainfall.