June 22nd, 2021

7 Biggest Vegetable Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Bigstock A Vegtable Assortment Of Fresh 391464695

We know how it is, summer finally comes around and the only thing you can think about is all the fresh produce you’re about to grow in your backyard. You spend so much time preparing, planting and tending to your garden but for some reason, your tomatoes just aren’t as big and red as your neighbor’s. Want the best garden on the block? We know how to achieve that! Avoid these seven most common gardening mistakes and soon you’ll be on your way to the perfect summer garden.

Planting too early
It’s easy to let the excitement get to you. You’ve been waiting all year to lay the first seeds and it’s finally the first warm day all year. We get it, it’s hard being patient. However, planting too early in the season leaves you with nothing but dying plants. It is important to wait until after the final frost in order to give your plants the best conditions to thrive in. Just can’t wait? Many plants are able to be grown indoors until it’s safe to transfer them outdoors.

Starting too large
Yes, we all want to plant every ingredient that goes into our favorite summer salad but if we’re being rational, bigger isn’t always better. Instead of overloading your garden with various produce, pick just a few and make sure they are spaced out and have room to do their thing. It’s always easier to add plants than to get rid of them.

Picking a bad spot
Just because you have an open space in your backyard does not mean that it is the best place to start your garden. Choosing the home for your summer plants should be strategic. No amount of gardening skill can overcome a lack of access to sunlight or water. Instead, find a spot in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, has easy access to water and contains fertile soil. This will enable your plants to have the nutrients they need to flourish.

Failing to fence
You should be the one enjoying your fresh produce, not the backyard critters. Although it could be argued to “ruin the aesthetic” adding a fence around your precious plants does more good then harm. Unlike other greenery, it’s not a good idea to put chemical pesticides on plants you eat. Rather, a fence, even a couple of feet off the ground, can work to protect your garden from your furry friends.

Watering too much
Like most things in life, more isn’t always better. The same goes for how much water you give your plants. Even on hot sunny days, you’d be surprised how much water your produce really needs. The soil is a good indication. If the ground is dry an inch below the surface, that probably means your plants are dry too. Water at the roots until the soil is refreshed, not drenched, with water. Watering when your garden doesn’t need it slows growth.

Putting off maintenance
As much as you want to sit back, relax, and watch your plants do their thing, occasional upkeep is required. Small problems such as weeds, pests, and diseases turn big real fast. Keep your garden healthy by frequently checking up and fixing issues as soon as they arise (for help with weeds click here). Believe us, your future self will thank you. Afterall, nothing produces healthy foods like a healthy plant.

Forgetting to harvest
It sounds crazy right; how could someone possibly forget to pick their fresh food? Well believe us, it happens more than you think. Leaving ripe produce unpicked signals to a plant that their job is complete. Alternatively, frequent harvesting encourages more production. You should be proud of your hard work, celebrate by enjoying the fruit of your labor.

So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to fix these common vegetable gardening mistakes, there’s no way your plants won’t deliver the best produce in the neighborhood. Start today and soon you’ll have a garden everyone’s jealous of.