Everybody loves the sight of lush green plants dancing in the wind, especially if they happen to be doing so in your garden, right outside your bedroom window. Really, what a glorious sight to wake up to! However, growing plants is a lot more difficult than one would think and it’s not uncommon for gardening rookies to make mistakes in their attempt to cultivate their green thumb. Here are 8 mistakes that beginners are known to make in their initial efforts of gardening.
1. Excessive Watering
Overwatering your plants is just as bad a crime as under-watering. Although plants thrive on water, too much of it can cause the roots to rot and the plant to wither. If you can’t figure out how much water your plants need, get yourself a water irrigation system to control water flow to the plants.
2. Clueless Planting
The most common mistake new gardeners make is being clueless about the needs of their plants. Before you begin you must know whether the plant requires shade or sun or if they need moist or dry soil. If you can’t be bothered to create a special environment for them to grow in, the easiest thing to do is to choose plants that fit your garden conditions.
3. Lack of Adequate Space
Space your plants out properly and do not ignore the instructions you read in the plant catalogue. If it says that a plant needs 15 feet of space give it that. If you pack plants too close together you are going to find yourself untangling a nasty looking mass of greens a few years later.
4. Under-preparing the Soil
Most people do not know the importance of preparing soil before planting anything in it – be it fruits, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, or flowers. Technically, you need to get your soil tested for deficiencies. However, you could also do some basic preparation at home. Start by loosening the soil up to 12 inches, after which you add a few inches of compost or manure to boost the soils fertility.
5. Ignoring Mulching
Mulching is an important aspect of gardening and most people overlook the value it adds to their garden. Organic mulches like leaves, grass clippings, tree bark, and wood chips preserve moisture and reduce evaporation. The root zone is a lot cooler when your plants are mulched and it also keeps weeds at bay. Finally, organic mulch breaks down and adds to the organic matter of the soil, making it more fertile. No matter what you are growing have at least a three-inch layer of mulch protecting it.
6. Improper Fertilizing
Excessive fertilizing is not good for the plant. It causes the plant to grow too fast and gives it an unattractive spindly look which attracts a lot of diseases and pests. Choose a good organic manure - better still try making some of your own at home with the help of vermin-culture. It’s really easy and great for your plants as well. If you are buying the fertilizer, stick to an all-natural compost manure and follow the instructions to the T. You’ll do just fine.
7. Experimenting Too Much
Your garden is a living breathing space and the plants are not going to take too kindly to your efforts of trying out every wonder product in the market on them. Keep it simple and stick to basics. You can do without such-and-such Wonder Gro stuff that boosts your plant’s height by several inches in a few months or that so-and-so spray that guarantees massive, longer lasting flowers. Give them a break, will you!
8. Being Too Ambitious
All right, get your heads out of the clouds and understand that this is your first attempt at growing anything. You are not going to have anything that looks like the palace lawns you’ve seen in gardening magazine – at least not for a long, long time. You need to walk before you run, so take it easy and don’t let your ambitions get away with you.
So...how was your first time experience with gardening? Which of these mistakes are you guilty of making?
Top image source: dingo.care2.com