Gardening Mistakes—Part 3

With gardening season just about to begin, it’s a good time for a reminder on what you should and shouldn’t do in the garden. Read on for more in the series on gardening mistakes.



With gardening season just about to begin, it’s a good time for a reminder on what you should and shouldn’t do in the garden. Read on for more in the series on gardening mistakes.

Ignoring Light Requirements: Plants need water, soil and sun to grow. Each of these factors must be at just the right amount for plants to reach their full potential. A common mistake is planting without regard for the sun. If the seed packet says, 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily, the plant really does need that much sun. Although it may survive with less, it will be healthier and more productive with more. Also keep in mind the type of sunlight called for. Plants that need direct sunlight will not do as well in the shade and vice versa. Watch your yard to see which areas have more and less sun exposure. Before digging a garden bed, figure out what time the sun reaches the garden spot and what time it turns to shade (or dark). Keep in mind that days are longer in summer and you will have a few more hours of light to work with.

Failure to Maintain: Your work isn’t done after you plant the seeds, and there’s a little more to garden maintenance than the occasional watering. Yes, we all have other things to do, but if you neglect your garden, it will die. Check regularly for signs of pests and diseases, then react promptly and accordingly. Don’t forget to weed. Weeds may look non-threatening at first, but if you let some time pass they can take over your garden and become a horrible chore to correct. Try to fit in a couple minutes each day maintaining the garden so you can keep things under control.

Planting Too Early: This mistake happens a lot, especially this time of year. After a stretch of several warm, sunny days you may begin to thing that winter really has passed. Don’t be fooled. Although unseasonal temperatures are nice for us, they’re not so great for plants. Listen to your last average frost date, not your local weatherman. If you plant too soon, everything will be fine for a few days. But, when the few days of warm weather revert back to cold temperatures, your seeds will be too cold to germinate and transplants won’t be able to survive the chilly nights. Be patient.

As you start planning your spring and summer garden, let others’ garden mistakes be your advice for a successful gardening season.

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