Top 10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes To Avoid
Over here, we tend to not get too caught up in strict rules when it comes to gardening, because gardening is a true trial-and-error kind of activity. What works for one gardener in their garden won’t be successful for another gardener. But that being said, we’ve observed some general things to avoid with gardening if you want to be successful, and because we’re friends, we want to share them with you.
Top 10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes to Avoid
- Using poor soil. Plants are only as healthy as the soil they’ve been planted in. They receive all of their nutrients from the soil, so if yours is dead and devoid of nutrients, your plants either won’t grow, or they will produce poorly. Amend the soil with compost to keep it rich.
- Planting in shade. It’s true that some plants, such as leafy greens can handle some light shade, but most veggies like as much sun as you can give them. Plan the location of your garden to take advantage of the sun’s rays.
- Not harvesting regularly. Haven’t harvested for 5 days? Oops. You will not only be overrun with zucchini and pole beans, but their quality may go downhill. For best taste and longest production, aim to get out into the garden every day to harvest.
- Inconsistent/inadequate watering. Avoid skipping 6 days of watering and then sprinkling on the 7th day, or flooding your garden with water and then ignoring it for the next week. Most vegetables appreciate consistent watering and will reward you accordingly.
- Watering at the wrong time of day. Early morning is best, mid-afternoon is worst. In a pinch, you can water in the evening, but we wouldn’t recommend making that your go-to watering time. Watering in the morning gives your plants what they need for the day, while afternoon watering can quickly evaporate and evening watering can lead to fungal problems.
- Inconvenient garden location. Remember the expression “Out of sight, out of mind?” It’s true! If you can’t see your garden, or you have to go over the river and through the woods to get to it, you won’t go there very often. A rarely-visited garden is a neglected garden, and little good can come of that.
- Letting weeds take over. Yep, we’ve all been there. While some people enjoy weeding, many of us dislike this task, leading us to avoid it at all costs. But when your vegetable garden is overrun with weeds, those weeds are taking up valuable nutrition and water away from your veggies. Don’t make your veggies compete - try mulching!
- Planting too early (or too late). Planting at the wrong time during the season will lead to your plant never really taking off, poor harvest, no harvest, or below-quality taste. Follow the directions on the label and always plant according to the recommended times in your area.
- Over-fertilizing. If a little fertilizer is good, a ton of fertilizer is better, right? Wrong! Too much fertilizer can damage plants and lead to little or no veggie/fruit production. Your best choice is to make sure your soil is nutrient-filled and then fertilize only when needed and only according to the package directions.
- Planting too many vegetables at once. Okay, this is one that we all have done. You get excited and order or buy too many things. You love all the things. You want them all. The trouble is, you’ll be overwhelmed with the maintenance and have too much harvest to use. Plant only what you love, and stagger the plantings so your harvest is consistent throughout the season.
- Jenny Peterson