Common Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Gardener

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

I have been gardening (flowers and veggies) for 6 years now and even I learn new things every year, mainly because you learn from your mistakes.  There are several things I learned in my first year because I didn't do enough research so I wasted time and energy and even money but it didn't really go to waste since I learned some valuable lessons.  Here are some common mistakes to avoid as a first time gardener.

Know Your Area
Find out what zone you're in and do some research on what you want to plant to see the needs for light, water, and climate.  Every area is different and even every yard is different since your yard may have different shade and sunlight and may have difficult soil.  This is especially helpful when planting perennial flowers and shrubs. 

Learn to Space Things Out
My first year I was a maniac and planted a bunch of veggies close together because for some reason I neglected to think of how big they'd grow.  In the end, I still go veggies but I also had a lot of crowding and it was hard to get in to prune certain plants.  You can look up square foot gardening or you can use containers so you don't have to worry about overcrowding in a garden bed. 

Pest Control
I didn't realize there were so many pests that appear out of nowhere based on what you plant.  Cucumber beetles somehow just know where to go and they annihilated my cukes.  So I learned about different flowers and herbs that repel certain pests and I plant those among certain vegetables.  You can also look into other ways to treat pests and ways to find them by searching your plants regularly. 
You absolutely need to water your garden especially if the area you live in doesn't have much rain.  You can't get lazy and neglect your garden or else it simply won't grow.  I checked my plants every morning and evening during the growing season in order to stay on top of things.  

Learn When To Prune
Some plants need pruned and some don't. Once, I pruned too much and didn't have many bell peppers grow.  Then one time I never pruned at all and I had an overgrown tomato plant. 

Learn When To Harvest
I always read up on the different things I grow so I know exactly what to look for when it comes time to harvest my crop.  Every plant is different so it's important to research each type of plant you have individually. 

These may sound a little simple, but for some reason when you start gardening you can get so caught up and excited. Hopefully these help you stay a little more mindful. 

What are your best gardening lessons you've learned from mistakes?

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