7 Common Mistakes for New Gardeners – And How to Avoid Them

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Just starting your first garden? That’s great, but watch out for these mistakes that new gardeners often make.

If you’re new to gardening, sometimes your excitement can get the best of you! While gardening can certainly be fun and exciting, these common mistakes can create more work than new gardeners can handle, or may even lead to failed crops and disappointment.

In this article, two experienced gardeners, Kristee Rosendahl, who founded SmartGardener, and garden expert Bobby Groves, discuss the 7 most common mistakes that new gardeners make, so that you can take steps to avoid these in your garden this year. These can also affect even more experienced gardeners, especially when transitioning to a new garden space. (I’ve certainly been guilty of the first one – even though I have been gardening on some scale for many years!)

1. Over enthusiasm

Enthusiasm for gardening is great, but over enthusiasm typically results in new gardeners growing too much at once and/or growing the wrong varieties for where they live.

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According to Bobby, “People often think, ‘I’m going to grow everything this year!… That’s the kind of situation that leads people to feel overwhelmed and abandon their gardens. It’s better to start small and don’t bite off more than you can chew—literally.” He recommends planting not more than 3-4 annual crops to start with.

 2. Improper watering

Most people do a great job of watering right after they put their seeds or seedlings in the ground, but things tend to fall off after that…. Sometimes, people do a great job of watering often enough, but don’t use enough water or time for the water to soak down to where it’s needed.

Both our experts recommend putting your watering system on some sort of timer, and setting it to a consistent schedule….

3. Planting too early in the year

This often comes about because nurseries stock tons of landscape and garden plants well before it’s the ideal time to put them in the ground…. However, most garden plants don’t do well until the weather turns consistent. The temperature of the soil needs to be warm enough for plants to grow and thrive—approximately 60 degrees consistently….

4. Assuming your plants only need sun, water and dirt

Compost and mulch your garden to keep your soil healthy and your plants thriving. Even if you’re not up to the task of managing your own compost, these days, you can easily buy high-quality compost in bags from area nurseries. Sprinkle at least a few tablespoons around your tomatoes and fruit trees.

Mulch to help your garden soil hold water… Mulching also decreases the amount of water you need to use, and it helps keep weeds at bay.

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5. Not following the directions on your seed packets or seedlings

Pay close attention to the directions on seed packets, particularly concerning spacing and lighting. For example, not all broccoli varieties are the same. One might spread significantly more than another, and maturity dates vary widely. Putting your plants too close together leads to overcrowding and poor growth.

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6. Not investing in the success of your garden

We all tend to be overly enthusiastic when it comes time to plant our garden, but it’s harder to maintain that enthusiasm. Take time to watch your garden grow—daily if you can manage it. Not only do most people find it rewarding to see new growth on their plants, but by looking over your garden regularly, you can catch problems early, e.g., wilting or yellowing due to a faulty irrigation line, too much or too little sun, bugs, etc.

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 7. Not monitoring the weather

Keep an eye on the weather. It’s especially important these days as our weather grows more and more unpredictable and extreme….

Check out the full article at Zukeeni.com
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