Gardening is a favored pastime for many people. It’s a relaxing hobby that provides food for the table while keeping your yard colorful and well-maintained, but those just starting often underestimate how complicated it can be. Knowing common gardening mistakes and how to fix them can truly make a difference in how you enjoy your garden, and whether or not you’re new to gardening, these mistakes can happen to anyone.
1. Wrong Location
When picking a location for your garden, many people choose a spot before realizing that the hose is across the yard, or the sun only hits the garden for a couple of hours per day. When planting in-ground, it’s important to look for a space with enough room for what you want to plant, is close to a water source, and gets at least 6 hours of sunlight.
2. Planting at the Wrong Time
Container gardening is an excellent option for small gardens, apartments, or condo decks, and gardeners who are just getting started. When choosing a container, you should pick one big enough for the full-grown plant, has proper drainage and aeration, and is easy to move if needed. Many people use ceramic pots or raised beds, but both options often sacrifice portability. If you would like a durable and light container, with the option of easy-grab handles, check out GeoPot. GeoPot fabric material allows the soil to drain and aerate properly.
Whether you are starting seeds or planting starts, placing plants in their final home needs to be done at the right time. You may find yourself tempted to start seeds well before your last frost date so they are sizable before putting them into the ground, but this can stress your seedlings if they are not being transferred into bigger plots before they grow too big for the starter container.
When planting using starts, planting them straight into the ground isn’t always the best option either. Take the time to harden them off properly so they aren’t shocked when they spend their first night outdoors. It’s also important to make sure you are choosing plants that grow well in the season you’re in—broccoli, for example, is a winter crop that quickly goes to flower in the summer and yields poor harvests if it’s too hot.
3. Improper Watering
It's hard to know when and how often to water. A good rule of thumb is to water early in the morning or later at night when the sun has gone down to avoid scorching your plants. Check your soil regularly to ensure that your plants are not sitting in water for extended periods and aren’t over-drying due to infrequent watering.
Many serious gardeners use irrigation methods such as soaker hoses, which water directly at the roots, but this isn’t a workable option for container gardeners. Many containers don’t hold water well and dry out quickly, while others drain poorly, resulting in over-watering that can cause root suffocation. GeoPot is an excellent option for container gardeners because the fabric pots are designed for easy drainage, proper root aeration, and portability, without sacrificing strength and durability.
4. Putting off Soil Maintenance
Arguably, the most challenging garden maintenance to keep on top of is feeding. Fertilize plants on a regular cycle to maintain soil nutrients and keep them from refusing to put off fruit or bolting straight to seed. Some serious gardeners regularly work bone meal and blood meal into their soil for different levels of nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous. Getting this right can be tricky, time-consuming, and involve a lot of trial and error.
Geoflora Nutrients, on the other hand, is a simple fertilizer that can be used as a top dressing on your soil to feed your plants the right nutrients when they need them. With varying sources of nutrients and options for both vegetables and flowering plants, Geoflora makes feeding your garden quick and simple.
5. Holding off on Harvesting
Many gardeners aren’t sure when or if they should harvest their plants, but if you’re gardening vegetables and herbs, frequent staggered harvests are important to keep your plants healthy and producing. Plants that aren’t harvested often are less likely to put off new fruits, and the overripe produce that’s left on the vine can quickly rot and attract pests that can hurt the overall health of your plant.
Research harvesting times for the plants you are growing so you know when to expect produce and how to tell when they are ready to harvest. Another excellent trick is to stagger the planting of starts so you aren’t clearing out your entire garden at once. Staggered harvests mean your plants are always producing, and your pantry is never empty!
Keeping a garden in tip-top shape is a lot of work. Many people who start one soon find out it’s more than they bargained for, yet gardening can still be a rewarding and satisfying hobby. When starting a new garden, make sure to plan before planting, research the plants you want to grow, and keep up on your routine maintenance, and before long, you’ll have a beautiful green space to call your own.