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  • Writer's pictureBecca

The Biggest Gardening Mistakes

I see a lot of mistakes with beginner gardeners and even myself (I get lazy sometimes). Here's my list.

Gloved hand holding a shovel
The Biggest Gardening Mistakes

Are you new to gardening or even just tried many times and failed miserably each time? Chances are you keep making one of these fatal mistakes with your plants. Don't worry, I make these same mistakes too sometimes. Gardening in a rental is a little harder in my opinion (There'll be another post on how to do that), it's just easier for me to just jump right in without thinking for a rental.

Anyhoo, here's my list of fatal gardening mistakes to avoid.

Gardening Mistake #1 Unprepared Soil

This one is definitely one of biggest gardening mistakes. Most people just buy a bag of soil and that's that. Nope, big mistake there. Soil is literally the food you give the plants. It needs adjusted for most plants needs. Generally, adding things like compost or properly aged manure is good enough.

Even better would be making sure the PH of the soil around each different plant matches their needs. And then continuing to monitor PH and adjusting when needed will keep plants even happier!

Gardening Mistake #2 Watering Incorrectly

This one is HUGE. Yes watering with the hose is good for getting dust off the leaves and cooling them down a bit, but the water doesn't actually get deep in the soil for better root growth. If you plant in containers, try bottom watering (putting the container in a big bowl of water and letting the roots soak it up from the drainage holes). Or if you're pots are too heavy or the plants are in the ground, drip irrigation is the best way to go. It waters slowly, allowing the water to soak into the soil rather than running. The deeper the roots can grow, the healthier and more resilient a plant will be. You don't want a little wind to knock down you prized plant do ya? If it does, chances are the roots had to grow close to the surface to get the water.

Also, be sure to let the top several inches to dry out between waterings. Overwatering is also a big problem. Don't get overzealous.

water dripping from an irrigation hose
Drip irrigation is a better way to more deeply water a plant

Gardening Mistake #3 Sunlight

Plants are SUPER picky when it comes to light. Some like shade, some like full sun. And if youput them in the wrong spot, they burn or wither. Not good. Save yourself some heartache. Do some research for each type and plant them accordingly.

Mistake #4 Planting Annuals in the Same Spot

Plants take out a lot of nutrients from the soil. Because of this, You'll want to plant your babies in a different spot each year. It's why farmers alternate crops each year. (Corn one year, soy the next) Plants like corn take nitrogen out of the soil and plants like soy put it back in so each year the soil gets fixed.

Do a little research on nitrogen fixers and switch it up every year. Makes the soil amending much cheaper.

Gardening Mistake #5 Pesticides

Last but not least, there's pesticides. Don't get me wrong, no one likes when their precious plants are being eaten up by bugs. But chemical pesticides don't differentiate between good and bad bugs. So by using chemicals, you're killing off the pollinators too and your yield won't be great. Don't worry, there's tricks to getting rid of certain pests without hurting the insects that pollinate or keep bad bug populations down. We'll get to those later too.

There are other mistakes.

There are other mistakes for sure, like pruning and such. But I won't get deeper into those just yet. These are the biggest ones in my opinion. Save yourself the hassle of growing plants that don't produce and put a little extra work into it to make sure you get the best harvest ever!

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