6-Common Gardening Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Gardening mistakes

Mistakes ought to happen. Almost all plant parents make mistakes. Parenting is all about making mistakes and learning from them. The key to successful parenting is to know those novice mistakes and avoid making them. With little practice and consistency,  you can master the art of gardening. Just make sure you share your mistakes with others, it’s the best way to learn and grow. 

Here are 6-common mistakes new parents make, along with a few tips that can make a difference when it comes to avoiding some of the most top gaffes new parents make. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Overwatering

The most common mistake every new plant parent makes is watering. Most of the plant problems arise not from underwatering, but from overwatering. Plants do not need as much water as we think they need. Plants are actually gonna tell if they need water or not. If you see leaves dropping or curling or stressed they probably need watering.

Most container gardens will need watering at least once per two days throughout the summer. Many smaller containers (and hanging baskets) will need to be watered even more often as they dry out very quickly.

During hot times water plants early in the morning before the sun heat up to the plant a chance to soak the water and when the hot weather comes they’ll tolerate this. 

A good rule of thumb is to water your container plant until you see water running out of the drainage hole. If your plant does dry out, give it a really good soak right away and it may pull through. If your container is small enough, submerge the entire thing in a bucket of water until all the bubbles subside. 

Tip: A simple trick to know whether your plant needs watering or not is by touching down the soil. If it feels dry and hard, it likely needs watering and if it feels moist or wet, no watering is needed. 

2. Ignoring planting seasons

Another rookie mistake that most of us make is neglecting the growing seasons. Different plants have different growing seasons. For example, cool-season crops like lettuce, chard, and spinach grow best when the weather is cool (below 70° F) .

Otherwise, they tend to produce a woody seed stalk and become bitter for us to taste as the temperature starts to climb over their comfort zone. We can typically plant in early spring or in late summer and autumn when the weather is cooler. Warm-season vegetables grow best in a warm climate (late spring, summer, and early autumn)

Tip: Be sure to refer to your county planting schedule to find out what to plant and when.  

3. No drainage hole

Plants need water to survive. Water helps to supply essential nutrients from the soil to different parts of the plant. Watering your plants sounds simple yet over-watering is one of the common problems that kill plants. Lack of drainage is the main reason why your plant droops after watering. Drainage holes allow extra water to run out through the bottom of the pot allowing adequate air to pass, preventing root rot. Make sure there is a hole at the bottom of your pots else the plants will die due to suffocation, In case you’re using fancier metal or ceramic pots which do not have drainage holes, we would recommend growing the plant in a plastic pot and placing it inside the fancier pots. Be sure to use a plastic pot that is slightly smaller than the metal or ceramic pot such that it covers the growing plastic pot. This way, the plant won’t suffer from drainage problems and may grow happily! 

4. Not feeding your plants

Plants growing in containers have a limited amount of soil from which to obtain nutrients. The newly potted plant can subsist on the nutrients present in the soil. But eventually, the nutrient source becomes depleted. Many of us do not consider feeding our plants thinking the soil has enough nutrients to supply. 

Plants grow best when feeding is done at regular intervals during the growing season (summer & spring). You may add manure, compost, vermicast, or any other fertilizer once a month, or growing season (summer spring) depending on the plant you’re growing and also the type of fertilizer you are using. Granular fertilizers, pills, sticks, and other slow-release forms are convenient for indoor gardens as they slowly dissolve in the soil and can supply nutrients for several weeks.

Tip: Always follow the label directions on how and when to apply the fertilizer. Most house plants don’t need fertilization in winters as they are not actively growing. Avoid applying fertilizers to dry soil.

5. Not acclimatizing new plants

Plants newly bought from a nursery or imported to your home should be allowed some time to adapt to the transition. Plants grown in nurseries are exposed to different environments altogether. You need to provide them some time to adjust to the new environment. And over time, gradually you can introduce them to your home environment and they’ll be just fine. However when it comes to plants that are rare or imported. You have to give them a bit more time to gradually get used to the environment and acclimate them to your home. Don’t repot your plants immediately, wait a couple of weeks until they’re used to a new home. Avoid fertilizing or exposing them to direct light, keep them in shade for a few days. 

6. Using heavy compacting soil

Soil supplies water, nutrients and air to the roots plus it also insulates them from extreme temperatures. Good soil drains quickly, is fertile, and holds moisture, and is loose, and easy to work with. Healthy soil is the key to healthy growing. Poor soil leads to poor growth.  Light, fluffy soil has good texture, structure and doesn’t compact much after watering. 

Most of the regular garden soil is heavy in nature. You can amend it by adding compost, peat moss or any other organic matter. Also, you can make your own potting mix by simply mixing 1 part of garden soil,1 part of perlite (white small pebbles that will aerate the soil), and 1 part of compost or peat moss. 

We hope this must be helpful.  Through these mistakes, we all can enjoy having plants, without being worried about forgetfulness. 

Which one of the mistakes were you doing? Let us know in the comments.

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