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7 Mistakes New Gardeners Make – And How To Avoid Them

Everyone is trying to find ways to save money on their food bill these days. Gardening can be a wonderful way to add variety and flavor to your menu. If you’re just starting a vegetable garden for the first time, watch out for these mistakes.

1. Planting Too Far From the Water Source

Water is the key ingredient you’ll need to add to your garden again and again. Make sure your garden beds have easy access to the hose. If you need to, get longer hoses or install a rain barrel near your garden to make it easy to keep the soil moist.

2. Planting in a Place Without Enough Sun

Water and sun are the two most vital elements to growing vegetables. When you’re planting your garden, it’s early spring, so the leaves on the trees may not be fully developed. That could mean too much shade once the leaves do fill in. You also may not realize that the sun’s trajectory may change over the summer. Check the plant tags to see how much sunlight they need. If you’re concerned about a shady garden, set your plants in containers that can be moved around to ensure they get enough sun.

3. Crowding Plants

When starting a vegetable garden, you get excited and want to plant everything you can imagine growing. However, putting too many plants in your space can reduce your harvest when vegetables don’t have room to expand. Check the space that each plant needs and make sure to give them plenty of room in your garden bed. A gardening guide can help you plan out your space more effectively.

4. Planting Your Garden Out of the Way

Putting your garden in a hidden corner in your yard might make you feel as if the clutter is out of the way, but it’s very easy to forget about it. Instead, plant your vegetables where you can see them when you sit on the patio or look out the window. A garden is a commitment, and putting it somewhere accessible helps you keep up with the day-to-day chores.

5. Not Checking the Soil Before You Plant

Plants need to be in healthy and nutritious soil. You can add fertilizer and other nutrients, but you have to know what your plants need and what is lacking in the soil to have healthy growth. Get your soil tested at your local university extension office or get a home garden soil test kit. Use a nutrient-rich soil additive to improve your dirt. You should probably check your soil annually to have the information you need each year to get a better yield from your garden.

6. Planting Too Soon

Even seasoned gardeners get cabin fever and want to get their seedlings into the garden. Many gardeners plant too soon because the warm, spring-like days make us want to get started growing. Unfortunately, the nighttime temperatures have to be warm enough to avoid a frost that can kill new plants. If you’re anxiously awaiting the day you can get your hands dirty, instead of setting out plants, keep yourself busy getting your garden beds prepared by aerating the soil or installing irrigation.

7. Forgetting to Harvest Plants

Beginners often want to wait to pick their harvest to ensure ripeness. Unfortunately, waiting too long to pick that cucumber or squash can lead to unsatisfactory produce. Some plants turn bitter and flavorless as they grow bigger. Those smaller zucchinis may not look impressive, but they will taste wonderful. Check your garden daily. Harvest vegetables and learn from your mistakes, whether it's picking too soon or too late. Your garden can enhance your meals. Let Red's Home & Garden help you get your garden started right. We have annuals, vegetable plants and potting soil to make your garden more successful. Shop today for unique greenhouse selections.