Taking on a new project can be both exciting and frustrating. Sometimes everything will go smoothly the first time you try something but more often than not people make a few beginners mistakes. If you’re a new gardener here are 5 mistakes you can avoid to have a successful first season.
1. They take on too much.
Naturally, first-time gardeners are generally pretty excited about the prospects of their own garden and this has a tendency to lead to trouble. Whether it’s starting with too many varieties or too much space, new gardeners tend to take on more than they can handle. Especially when you’re first starting out it’s important to remember to build up slowly. A small well-maintained garden can be more productive than a large, neglected one.
Before you even buy your supplies consider how much time and energy you’ll be able to devote to your garden and what you want to get out of it. Also, if you’re growing vegetables consider what your family will actually use. Yes, those three heirloom pepper varieties all look gorgeous and probably make fantastic meals but if you only eat peppers once a month they may not be the right choice for you.
2. They plant things too close together.
In an attempt to make the most of their cultivated space many people overcrowd their gardens. Not giving plants enough space can starve them of valuable resources and cause them to perform poorly. It can also make your garden look less visually appealing and harder for you to manage. Having space to get in and work in your garden is critical. Whether it’s weeding, harvesting peas, or deadheading Marigolds being able to access your plants without trampling others is important to keep your garden beautiful and productive.
3. They don’t do any planning.
While gardening may seem like you can just go out there and plant stuff there is a certain amount of planning that’s necessary. Having a plan for when and where you need to plant what is a great start. You’ll also have to consider things like your first and last frost dates, what plants need trellising, how big plants will get, how long plants will last or take to mature in the case of vegetables, and any succession plantings you might want to do.
4. They don’t ask for advice.
There’s a lot to be said about learning through experiences however if you’re a complete novice asking a friend, neighbor, or one of our garden experts for advice can save you a lot of trouble. Other gardeners can tell you about things like their favorite varieties that perform well in your neighborhood, time-saving tips they’ve learned over the years, and what pests and disease you should watch for.
5. They take failures personally.
No garden is perfect. Even master gardeners have varieties that fail or underperform. Gardening is striving to work with nature despite its unpredictable ways. It’s tough, no matter how knowledgeable a gardener you are, there will always be things that are out of your control. Realizing this and learning to celebrate the successes you do have is key to enjoying your garden.
Avoiding these simple mistakes can help you have a more productive and beautiful garden this season. Come into Homestead Gardens and talk to our gardening specialists for more information.
Or for more tips check out our blog on how to make your garden grow up, down, and all around.