Having a green thumb for gardening takes more than talent and a bit of creativity, it takes a lot of patience, knowledge, and hard work. If you are having trouble with getting your garden to thrive, you might be guilty of one or even a few of these most common gardening mistakes. Never fear, there is still hope for you and your garden, knowing where you’re going wrong is the first step to turning your dying garden into a successful one.
1. Not Planting In The Right Spot/Not Getting Enough Sun
One of the first and easiest mistakes many beginning gardeners make when they first start out is not planting something in the right spot. It is important to educate yourself on different types of plants, and to read the little tags that they come with for further care instructions. If something says it needs 6 or more hours of sunlight, obviously planting it in a shady spot will kill it quicker than anything, and vice versa. So do yourself a favor, and before you start to plant, plan everything accordingly. See what you have room for, and where each type of plant would grow best, then go from there.
2. Watering Too Much Or Not Enough
Another common gardening mistake many people make is overwatering their plants. Watering too much drowns plant’s roots, and causes them to rot. In the world of gardening, this is what we call root rot. On the other hand, not watering a plant enough can cause it to dehydrate and wither away. The best approach to fixing this problem is only watering when necessary. When soil looks very dry and is rock hard to the touch, its time to water! If you can grab a moist handful and squeeze it together to form a loose ball, then the soil is just right and there is no need to water. If you have a tendency to overwater or underwater your plants then you might consider investing in an irrigation system that automatically adjusts the water levels as necessary, and does the work for you. Looking for a more affordable way to tell if your garden needs to be watered? Try planting something that wilts quicker than other plants on a hot day, such as lettuce, hydrangea, or rosemary. If the indicator plant looks wilted or very dry on a hot day then its a good way to tell that your garden needs some water right away.
3. Planting Too Close Together/Not Enough Space
Another common mistake in gardening is not having enough space to plant something or planting things too close together. Be sure to do your research on each plant before you put it in the ground, and always make sure that you dig deep enough around the plant, but also not too deep. Plants often die if their roots are not thoroughly covered by soil, or if they are buried too deep in the ground or pot. Always follow the directions on how far to space seedlings or plants from each other, and how much soil to dig up and cover with, this is very important, especially as the plants start to mature. Another important thing to keep in mind when planting is that some plant varieties are more invasive than others, so be sure to pay close attention to this when picking out seeds or plants for your garden. Words like “vigorous growth” “invasive” or “prolific reseeder” often indicate invasive plant types. Invasivespeciesinfo.gov also has a great list of which varieties of plants are invasive, if you need some help.
4. Not Having The Proper Tools
If you are going to start a garden, then having the proper tools to do so is common knowledge. Your garden won’t be very successful if you don’t have the proper tools to garden with, or if you don’t know how to use them properly. Before starting your garden, take some time to familiarize yourself with important garden tools and techniques, this will help ensure the survival of your plants. A few important tools every gardener should have on hand include:
- Garden gloves
- Spading fork
- Hand cultivator or trowel
- Garden hose
- Watering can
- Wheelbarrow or gardening cart
- Pruning sheers
5. Not Preparing Your Soil Properly
Having good soil is key to keeping the plants in your garden alive and well. This means that knowing when and how to prepare your garden soil are also very important. If you aren’t sure how to prepare soil for a garden, then this step-by-step guide can help teach you the ropes. If your soil needs some help, here are a few tips for soil fixes or soil amendments.
Vegetable Garden Planning for Beginners almanac.com
List of Invasive Plant Species invasivespeciesinfo.gov