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Here comes the season of growth, and you want to make sure your vegetable garden succeeds by making sure your land is prepared. The beauty of a successful garden goes back to the basics of nutritious garden soil, sunlight, and the right amount of water. While it is tempting to start planting immediately after buying seedlings, there is proper timing and placement for all of these factors. Here are some vegetable gardening mistakes to avoid, if you want a fruitful harvest.
1. Not planning ahead
Like any other task, gardening requires a planned approach if you are to ensure no wasted efforts and of course money. Before going to the shop and buying plants or seeds, list down the vegetables you specifically want to grow and do a little research on whether they can grow in your dedicated space and kind of soil. This will save you the trouble of being frustrated, and wasting time, effort and money on something that is beyond your league as a beginner gardener.
2. Planting too early
As mentioned earlier it can be very tempting to immediately plant the seeds you bought, or transfer a ready plant to your garden, but this is actually a mistake most beginners suffer with. When planting too early, there can still be the occasional frost that can kill your seedlings. If it is your first time growing, then you should know that temperatures can still drop when you start too early. Ask around, or have an experienced friend to run you through a gardening session.
3. Forgetting to nourish the soil
While a garden that has not been planted on still has most of its nutrients, it is best to start gardening with a prepared soil. Prepared in a way that it has been tested, to see what minerals it lacks, cleaned from all debris, and also free from any weed or unwanted growth. To start, instead of utilizing the whole garden area, you might just want to focus on a single plant bed. This will make it easier to maintain the soil and prevent weeds from creeping in.
When opting for seeds, overcrowding is one of the reasons why plant growth becomes hard. As you layout your garden, make sure that you provide sufficient space for each to grow. Remember that seeds are like babies, they need all the nutrients they can get to grow. If you overcrowd your garden, you’re making them compete with each other hence producing an inefficient garden. Depending on your chosen vegetable, research on the possible spacing you need.
5. Picking a bad spot
Another mistake people make when starting out their vegetable garden is picking a spot that is solely based on aesthetic reasons. Sure, the side of your backyard is a great spot as it does not obstruct the view or the flow of traffic, but is this a spot that receives enough sunlight? Before you decide on a spot, do a visual analysis on where your plant bed can get efficient supply of sun, and at the same time a good protection from strong wind flow.
6. Skipping on water schedule
This mistake occurs at the middle of the season, when the excitement of gardening has died down and maintenance becomes more of a task than a hobby. Before you start growing, make a schedule of how often can you devote watering your garden. If you think you can only spare five minutes a day, then layout a small plant bed. Water is important for plant growth, so if you think you cannot maintain a steady effort all throughout, then might as well proportionate your garden size.
7. Ignoring weeds
Some weeds look nice, but at the end of the day these are still unwanted plant growth. Some can remain dormant, but yield seeds that can remain in your garden for years, so never put off this task. These little plants take away the nutrients and moisture that should have been dedicated for your vegetables, so upon seeing one immediately remove it from roots.
There is nothing more rewarding than being able to grow your own food, from simple herbs that you use on a daily basis, a single step of gardening in your own backyard can save you a lot of money. Don’t be intimidated, just make sure to prepare your soil, maintain it, and plan ahead. If you like this article please don’t forget to share, and if you want to suggest any other gardening mistakes for us to avoid, please leave us a comment.
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Written by Ann Sanders as an exclusive guest post for 5 Minutes for Mom.
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