10 Gardening Mistakes Beginners Can Avoid
Are you thinking about starting a garden? There is a lot to learn to make this venture successful. One of the things you should do if you want to steer clear of gardening mistakes is to listen to skilled local gardeners and farmers. Their tips are based on experience.
10 Common Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
- Starting with a large garden. The colorful pictures in seed and nursery catalogs are tempting. It is easy to get carried away and order too much for the space you have. What happens next? The vegetable patch needs to be extended and may require more work than you can handle right now.
- Planting without soil preparation. Soil needs to be prepared before putting seeds and plants in the ground. Once seeds and seedlings start to establish their root system, the soil should not be disturbed. Any distress can endanger young plants.
- Using chemicals hurts the environment. There are many ways to improve soil condition. Start composting and find neighbors with farm animals. They regularly have excess manure, which they often give away for free. Many advertise online.
- Over- or under-watering can be devastating. Plants and trees need water to grow. Greenery dries up when there is not enough moisture in the ground. Roots rot when there is too much water. Find a balance by feeling the soil and studying its appearance. You can also buy gadgets designed to help you determine the moisture status in different areas around your property. The majority of vegetable plants prefer a good, deep watering one to three times a week. That can be through irrigation or rain.
- Cutting corners can backfire. Read the direction on packaging, whether that is a pack of seeds or a label on potted plants. There is a reason why growers suggest digging a big hole for a new tree or bush. Do not skimp on compost or wood chips either if they are recommended.
- Planting too deep or too shallow affects sprouting and growth. Usually, the larger the seed, the deeper you need to dig. Is this your first garden? Simply read the information at the back of your seed packages. Call the supplier if instructions are unclear.
- Lack of space leads to nutrient deficiency. Although some people recommend jamming many plants in a tight space, that idea can only work if you constantly add nutrients to the soil. It is like cooking dinner for five guests and fifteen show up. Some will go home hungry.
- Frost kills. Planting too early in the season is one of the most common and costly gardening mistakes. It may mean another trip to the nursery for supplies to replace plants that died due to frost. Ask neighbors with vegetable gardens for ideal planting dates in your area.
- Never underestimate the importance of color. Red tools are most visible. They can be easily spotted, which saves time and can help prevent accidents.
- Vegetable gardens are never perfect. Do not fall for the myth that practiced gardens always have showcase crops. Even the best among us make mistakes. Why? Cultivating plants is not an exact science and seeds do not always sprout. Nature has a mind of its own.
Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at [http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com]. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at:
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