Mother and daughter working in the garden

Common Mistakes to Avoid as a New Gardener

When starting a new hobby, some of us tend to get ahead of ourselves and bite off more than we can chew.  As a new and budding gardener, you’ll find tons of inspiration and plans that will make you want to do it all immediately.  Take pause to decide on a project or two to learn the basics of gardening.  One of the many joys of gardening is watching and learning how plants grow.  You’ll have successes and failures but hopefully with the tips below, you can avoid some common beginner mistakes.

Timing is Key

Pace yourself and know when to plant your garden. Some plants can tolerate a light frost and prefer cooler temperatures. Others require the soil to be warm and longer days full of sunshine to do their best work. Best practice when it comes to the temperature is to determine the last frost date for your area and mark your calendar accordingly. When selecting edibles, pay attention to the days to maturity so you know when your hard work will pay off with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Another consideration is succession planting so you will always have something ready to harvest!

Proper Planning

Knowing the mature size of your plants and planning for it will save you some stress as the season progresses. Often times, novices will overlook the proper planting guidelines and overcrowd their plants. This could lead to disease issues due to lack of air circulation or not enough light for the little guys once the taller plants get big enough to block the sunlight. You’ll also need to plan for supporting your plants as the develop, whether that means staking and caging, trellising or just allowing plenty or room for them to spread out.

Too Much Too Soon

Resist the urge to grow all the things! Start small with a manageable garden. This could look like a small plot or a few containers. Pick out plants that you know you’ll enjoy. Save the experimental ones for the future. Find out what works, what doesn’t and what needs tweaking. Once you get the hang of what you’re doing, you can expand your garden space to grow more of a variety of plants or try different techniques. The larger the garden, the bigger the commitment. Watering, feeding, and tending to your garden takes time and consistency. Start small and know that you can always add on later as your skills and confidence grow.

Over and Under

Some plants meet their demise by being loved too much or not enough. Proper watering and feeding will result in a happy healthy garden. Too much water can limit root development and encourage root rot. On the other hand, underwatering can stress your plants causing them to wilt, become discolored and struggle to recover. Same goes for over- or under fertilizing. Following proper feed instructions will promote growth both about and below the soil.

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