See These 10 Vegetable Garden Mistakes: And How to Avoid Them!
1. Over Watering
This is probably the easiest mistake to make! I love to be out in the garden watering my plants, but they typically only need around 1″ of water per week. So right now with rains every few days, we aren’t watering at all! Soil should be moist, not soggy or bogged down with water. Roots will get stressed out and some can get root-rot if over-watered. If the kids are watering the garden for their chore, make sure they know how much (or little) to water!
2. Over Fertilizing
It’s tempting to over-fertilize, especially if the plants are not coming along as well as they should be! However, over-fertilizing can hurt plants as well. Use in the recommended ratios on packaging, and my advice is to stick with organic fertilizer.
3. Planting Too Closely
Pay close attention to guidelines on seed packets and planting instructions. Planting too closely is a common problem, since the seedlings are so small at first! But they will eventually complete for sun, water and soil.
4. Planting in the Shade
Lets face it, sometimes plants do not cooperate with our ideas of landscaping! Planting in the shade along a fence or in the shadow of your house will not help plants thrive. Most need direct sun, and grow best in uninterrupted sunlight all day. This is more challenging if you have a north facing yard, or one with several trees, so plan ahead to get the most out of your garden.
5. Planting Too Large of a Garden
This was our first year doing a full vegetable garden. Although we lave several large raised beds, we had to be careful not to over-plant. We wanted to be able to manage the plant care easily, without it overtaking every weekend!
6. Raised Beds are Too Large or Too Close Together
If you are working with raised beds, keep in mind you do not want them to be gigantic! Our goal was to not have to step into the raised bed to tend to our plants.
So if you have difficulty reaching across it, or the raised bed is located along a fence-line, try not to exceed 30″ or about 3 feet. Your back with thank you! If you have a group of raised beds, allow space to mow in-between.
7. Not Utilizing Water Sources
If you have a small yard, chances are your sprinkler will water your entire garden in a snap. However, if you are planting over a large area, be aware of where the water source is on your property, and plant accordingly.
Watering all spring and summer with watering cans is time consuming and unnecessary. Plan your garden within reach of the hose and sprinkler, even if it’s not your first pick on location.
8. Starting Seedlings Too Early
For this year, we are past the freezes in my area, but friends in the norther states are still seeing snow! You can start seedlings indoors multiple ways, including egg cartons, a mini greenhouse in ventilated 2 L coke bottles (washed/clear), and even recycled toilet paper rolls. Or, pick up a seed starter tray from Dollar Tree or Walmart. Pay attention to package inserts on seeds for when to plant.
9. Forgetting to Companion Plant
Check out my post here on Marigolds and why they are great to plant along-side vegetables. If you aren’t familiar with companion plants, definitely visit your local nursery to get some advice. I am so glad we did!
10. Not Researching Plant Care
From the CQ team: I remember the first time I tried to grow onions, I did everything wrong. Well, it did not end well. I had a nice plant all year but then no onions to show for it!
Be sure to look into proper plant care, and if/when to prune, how to recognize sickness or insect problems, and other general information. My tip is to spend a few minutes researching, and make yourself a go-to list. You can also find a good reference like The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible on Amazon.
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Check out some of our Favorite Gardening Products:
- Rolling Garden Work Scooter.
- Save on water usage , using a Rain Barrel.
- Great Pair of Gardening Gloves.
- Fiskars Carry and Organize Bucket in Tool green
- Stainless Steel Gardening Tool set.
- Velcro Gardening Wraps to help stable some of your tall plants and flowers.
- The Vegetable Gardeners Bible has lots of helpful tips.
- We use a Gardening Wagon a lot to carry heavy stuff around and from the car to the backyard.
- A Portable Green House that you can set up in your backyard is great, especially during the frost months.
- If you don’t want to build your own Raised Gardening Bed you can buy one.
- Looking for unique gardening items? Wayfair has got you covered!
- Join our Organic Gardening Group on Facebook. <——-
Check Out Our Other Gardening Posts:
5 Ways to Improve Your Garden – See Our Latest DIY!
I am excited to start my spring garden! See How to Make a Composting Worm Bin here.
How to Make a Garden Trellis – See our latest outdoor DIY!