Gardening time is almost here, and I’m getting the sense everyone wants it to be successful, and not make any gardening mistakes… Perhaps the pressure is on a little more than usually this year, as growing food for self-sufficient and not just for fun, has increased. I am also getting the sense that more and more beginner gardeners are wanting to start a garden.
Have you ever gone to bed dreaming of the bountiful harvest you will get form the garden you just planed? The ripe, big, juicy, tomatoes you will pluck in a couple months? Or the crisp, delicious kale you will cut? Wondering how many radishes will come up or when you’ll be able to dig up your potatoes?
Only to go out one day, and find your kale has already been eaten, and you only have 1 red tomato? Or to find that something hasn’t even grown at all… how disappointing. But I’ll be honest, this happens a lot. I wrote this post so that you can learn from my gardening mistakes and not make them yourself.
So, let’s get started shall we?
Top 6 Gardening Mistakes
Mistake #1: Plant the Wrong Vegetables
Most people simply plant the wrong things starting off. They plant vegetables or varieties that aren’t right for their climate, their location or their taste buds.
You love tomatoes, but you only get 4 hours of sun per day. If you plant those poor tomatoes, they simply won’t grow.
Pant accordingly to your amount of sunlight and growing conditions. I wrote this other post on what veggies thrive with full sun, part sun, and full shade, read it here.
Tip: Find a local organic farmer who can grow tomatoes for you.
Mistake #2: Don’t Harvest on a Regular Basis
Most of the time, people don’t know when the right time to harvest is. They either, leave it in the ground for too long and it misses its peak flavour timeframe, or take it out too early and it hasn’t reached its full potential, or they harvest too little and the plant can’t produce more fruits.
You love radishes, plant them, and now can’t wait for them to be ready. But you forget about them and it’s past the 25 day timeframe. You go to harvest one but they taste a little more bitter than usual…
Keep track of everything your plant – just a simple list. Record when you planted it, and when the seed pack says it’s ready to harvest. Then make a reminder in your calendar or phone to check the goods. With the purchase of my gardening ebook, ‘Homegrown’ you’ll also get a FREE GARDEN PLANNER which makes keeping track of everything super easy.
Tip: The more you pick, the more will come, goes for beans and tomatoes!
Gardening Mistakes #3: They Plant Too Much
People get too excited and plant way more than they can handle, and then can fit in their patch.
You are super excited to plant your vegetable garden and get your harvest that you buy 26 vegetables and try to fit then into a 2’ x 2’ space…
Keep it simple! It’s best to plant one type of vegetable per 1 sq. ft. Start small with a 4’ x 4’ plot or raised bed and grow from there each year.
Tip: Plant the vegetables that you use the most. If you eat salad everyday, plant 3 or 4 sq. ft. of lettuce.
Gardening Mistake #4: Forgetting About the Soil
Your plants growth and bounty heavily depend on the quality of the soil. Most settle and stop at potting mix.
They say the gut is the key to your health, and so the soil is key to the health of the plant. It’s where the plant retains all the minerals, and nutrients that go into you.
Make sure you start with organic potting mix, but also add in organic animal manure, and organic compost. You can make your own compost easily, but store-bought organic potting mix and manure are good.
Tip: Also try adding extra trace minerals and mushroom compost into the mix, or coconut coir or straw to the top after you have planted your seedlings, so they can retain moisture and nutrients.
Gardening Mistake #5: Not Checking Your Garden Daily
Ignoring your garden allows weeds to build up, pests to find a home, and harvest to go to waste.
You plant your garden in May, but forget abut it until August – hoping everything will still be alive…
Check your garden once a day or once every other day. This way you can harvest when things are perfect, you will notice bugs and can easily manage then if they are becoming a problem, and you will be able to happily and easily pull a couple weeds here and there.
Tip: Make it part of your routine. Seriously, once you start going outside every morning to check the garden it won’t feel like a chore. You will be so excited to see what’s changed and what’s grown.
Gardening Mistake #6: Not Placing Their Garden in the Right Spot
Most people want to put the garden as close to the house as possible, so they don’t have to walk as far, and while that is important and convenient, if it’s all shade and you have a sunny spot, choose the sunny spot.
You’re so excited to plant your garden that you place it in the shadiest part of you yard…
Watch the sun for one day and make note where you get it the most. It’s best for most vegetables to have at least 6-8 hours of full sun each day.
Tip: Even if you only have a shady spot, you can still grow lots! Some shade tolerant vegetables are: kale, lettuce, beets, carrots, swiss chard, spinach, arugula etc.
I hope this most is helpful and you can learn from my gardening mistakes. Let me know in the comments if you done one of those before (because, I know I have!).