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10 Common Gardening Mistakes To Avoid At All Cost

Love gardening as a hobby? It’s a well-known fact that gardening keeps the body fit, but this activity does more than give you a good sweat! It is beneficial to physical and mental health. Many people enjoy doing tasks and growing plants in the garden. Gardening makes them feel happy and content, removing negative thoughts and feelings.

Mistake 1: Building a big garden too quickly

garden

It’s great to have goals because these will serve as stepping stones toward your dream garden, but if you’re new to gardening or have no experience planning a big garden, it’s best to start small and work your way to a bigger garden when you’re ready. Bigger isn’t always better when gardening; it takes time to build an extensive garden, especially if you’re a newbie. Have short-term goals, stick to these, and build your garden in steps. Eventually, you’ll have the chance to expand your green oasis.

Mistake 2: Forgetting about the pollinators

Sunflower

A healthy garden is teeming with life. And plants need pollinators to thrive. Unfortunately, not all plants are self-pollinators. Plants like tomatoes, berries, apples, and squash need pollinators to bear fruits. If your garden is not attracting pollinators, plants won’t produce fruits and flowers in the spring and summer. Apart from planting different flowering plants, you need to fill the space with crops that attract pollinators, such as:

  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias
  • Marigold
  • Cosmos
  • Borage
  • Milkweed
  • Pincushion flower
  • Verbena
  • Bee balm
  • Lavender
  • Lupine
  • Plox
  • Yarrow
  • Purple coneflower

Herbs like dill, oregano, mint, fennel, thyme, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, chives, and comfrey are pollinator-friendly, so plant these to ensure a bountiful harvest.

Mistake 3: Not enough growing space in between plants

Is your garden prone to fungal disease? Are your plants turning brown because of pests and diseases? These are signs that you are overcrowding your plants. People tend to grow plants close together to make the garden appear lush and full.

Big mistake!

When plants grow closer together, moisture is trapped, leading to wet soils and fungal growth. Worse, diseases lead to an infestation, which can wreak havoc on the garden. Overcrowding can also stunt plant growth and decrease sunlight exposure. To avoid overcrowding, give each plant at least two feet of space within each other.

Mistake 4: Planting too many varieties

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying gardening so much; you want to grow just about any plants. But to utilize your outdoor space fully, you need to grow plants that you truly enjoy having. Different plants have different growing needs, and growing too many varieties will be taxing and expensive.

A well-curated garden is much easier to maintain. Instead of growing a full spectrum of herbs, vegetables, and flowers, stick to plants you know how to grow and enjoy the most. For example, if you love flowers, stick to flowering plants that are endemic in your region. If you love the idea of growing your own food, focus on growing vegetables and herbs. You can grow flowers and crops in a space but be sure to know their growing requirements to ensure their health.

Mistake 5: Overwatering

Girl watering plants

Frequent watering may seem like a good idea because plants need water to live, but the thing is, not all plants require daily watering. And if you’ve been going overboard with the watering, your plants can become vulnerable to diseases and root rot. Tiny roots, in particular, are sensitive to overwatering, so it’s essential to water the plants only when needed. Water deeply only when some plants need it or when the summer season is especially intense.

Mistake 6: Forgetting to check the local climate

You might have a vision of what your “perfect garden” looks like, what to grow, and what not to grow. But before planning your vegetable garden with all sorts of fruit-bearing crops, don’t forget to check what kinds of plants grow in your local region. The thing is, not all crops can grow well in your area. Many plants are climate-specific, meaning they cannot grow if the region is too humid, dry, hot, or cold.

You need to consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine what crops grow best in your area. It also helps to check with your local experts and fellow neighborhood gardeners to decide what plants grow best in your region.

Mistake 7: Over-fertilizing the soil

soil with fertilizer

Soil quality is a critical part of successful gardening, and while some think that fertilizers are a must to boost plant health, that’s not always the case. Over-fertilizing the soil has similar effects to overwatering the plants – it can kill crops.

Many plants get their food from sunlight and the byproducts of microbes in the soil. If you’re overdoing it with fertilizers, you’re actually causing a biological imbalance between the soil and the plants. Also, overfeeding plants can lead to thinner foliage, fewer fruits, and more pests. Use organic compost when amending the soil and do it only when needed.

Mistake 8: Planting too deeply

Ever wonder why a plant dies no matter how much care and attention you shower it with? Did you use the wrong soil mix or overwatered it? There could be many reasons why some plants don’t survive longer than several weeks, but the most common and easily missed is planting the soil too deeply.

You need to dig a hole three times as wide as the plant container when planting seedlings. When burying the plant roots, the plant should be set at the same level as it was in the pot, which is above ground.

Mistake 9: Forgetting to amend the soil

If plants can’t seem to grow for too long in your garden, the problem could be the lack of soil nutrients. The soil loses nutrients after the growing season, and you need to amend it with organic compost or natural, peat-free fertilizers to bring nutrients back into the soil. The same goes if you’re using mulching materials or landscape fabric; the soil must be amended first before adding the layer of mulch to ensure healthy plant growth.

Mistake 10: Forgetting about the mature sizes of plants

Plants need room to grow, and we’re not just talking about seedlings but mature plants. If the space is not fit for growing big trees, don’t plant big trees; otherwise, you are setting yourself up for costly repairs in the future.

Plan the garden design well and determine what plants are best grown in that area. If the space is small, it makes sense to grow small to medium-sized plants. If you have an endless yard, then you can go ahead and grow different fruit-bearing trees. It’s equally important to check the structures nearby, like electrical posts, walls, etc., and make sure that the plants won’t become a maintenance nuisance at some point.

ecogardener gardening tools

Gardening is a rewarding hobby and a great workout! But just like anything in life, you need to avoid some mistakes to make the experience even more enjoyable. It helps if you have a set of high-quality gardening tools to avoid common gardening mistakes that take a lot of time and money to resolve.