The 5 Most Common Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid them
If you are a novice gardener, the chances are you are a work in progress, still trying to figure a way around plants. While there is no ultimate recipe on proper plant growing, it is normal to steer from the right gardening path every once in a while. In fact, some of the classic tips for plant caring are not really applicable to every plant, so making basic gardening mistakes is not so uncommon even for more experienced growers.
The important thing is to learn the lessons and start avoiding these faults. Our list of the five most common mistakes in horticulture will help you improve your ways and get better in your practices.
Forgetting about the sun-shade balance
When choosing the right spot for our greens, a gardener should always have in mind their type’s specific lighting preferences. That is a factor many garden enthusiasts tend to neglect and leads to unpleasant results. Too much lighting and too much shade can significantly slow the growing process, confuse the plant, and affect the overall photosynthesis process. In worst cases, the crop might get into a bad state you cannot revive it from.
The sun-shade balance is most often overlooked when it comes to potted plants. Sometimes a sun-loving flower might look better situated in the shade where it better fits the landscape. But moving it to a place where it could hardly thrive is not a wise choice.
Make sure you know your plants. Do a research or consult a professional to find what is the ultimate light-shade ratio for their (not your) liking. Some mobile apps can recognize flowers, plants, and trees, and help you to identify and take better care of them. Also, stay aware of the conditions you have in your home/yard and plan your plant purchases accordingly.
Watering too much or too often
Many young gardeners are anxious, and they care for their greeneries a little bit too seriously. Indeed, water is one of the most important factors in plant growth but considering the proper amount a plant needs should also be a priority. Truth is, too much water is not always a good thing.
When it comes to newly-transplanted plants and young seedlings – regular watering is ok, because they need more water to grow and develop a strong and deep root system. However, most fully-grown plants can not only stay healthy for a long time without water but soaking them every day could lead to rotting and fatal root damage.
Not ending the gardening cycle right
Plants belong in one of three categories: annuals, biennials, and perennials. It is important to know how their gardening cycle ends so you can take the right steps in preparing the soil for next season. One of the most common gardening mistakes is ending the cycle too early, too late, or completely ignore plant specifications.
Annuals complete their cycle of sprout, growing and producing seed within a single season before they die. At the end of their cycle, it is time to remove the plants, clean up the garden beds, and replant them next spring.
Biennials follow the same pattern as annuals, but they complete their cycle in two years. A common misunderstanding would be to remove them in the first year or leaving them to rot until springtime. It results in double work and wasted time that could be avoided.
Perennials, on the other hand, live for at least three seasons and can last even longer. The correct way to end their seasonal cycle is to clean the garden, control the weeds, and improve the soil by adding mulch and nutrients for winter protection. If you fail to prepare your perennials for harsh weather in time, you might damage or lose them to frost.
Relying on the wrong fertilizers
Greens need food so the usage of soil supplements is unavoidable. Proper nutrition is key to healthy plant growth, although, when it comes to the choice of a fertilizer many unexperienced gardeners do not know where to start. The horticultural market offers way too many fertilizing solutions, so picking a wrong one is not out of the question.
Strong synthetic fertilizers might be really cheap, but they are way too strong and could burn most flowers and delicate plants. With that in mind, check in advance what product would be best for your garden greens. Always prioritize organic options or simply start making compost by yourself.
Planting off-season is very tricky because seedlings are not meant to survive extreme cold or hot temperatures. Overheating and winter frost could severely damage the young plant and it might not develop at all.
Patience is a virtue, even in gardening. Resist the temptation to buy new small sprouts while spring is not close on the horizon. Also, have in mind that blooming flowers and vegetables can often grow very fast. If you leave them indoors for too long, they can get stressed and die in a matter of days.
These are just some of the common mistakes gardeners make. Luckily, they are easily avoidable. Just stick to traditional plant growing techniques and ask for professional advice before you take on another gardening task. Feel free to experiment as well, but always do your research to avoid issues along the way.