Beginner Gardening Mistakes

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The weather is inching towards warmer… the winter days are slowly ticking by and spring is fast approaching. Like me, you’re probably itching to get in the garden.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner you’ll find that the learning process never ends yet there are a few mistakes that happen especially with newbies.


Planting Too Many Different Kinds of Vegetables

We’ve all gone ‘Gaga’ over the seed catalogs and created dream gardens in our heads but unless you have a ton of space and physical help there’s no way that one person can handle a garden with SO much diversity. Pair your choices down to a couple of tomato plants, and a few rows of your favorite vegetables. There’s always room for a new variety of something or something you’ve never tried before but you need to keep it simple, especially when you’re just starting out gardening.

For newbies, a smaller plot is better. You can always expand your garden spot once you get the hang of taking care of a smaller plot. Start with what you know. Grow a squash plant or two, a cucumber vine or two and some tomatoes.


Sometimes, a new gardener will try to squeeze everything into a tiny little plot without thinking about light. Those plants need room for sunlight to enter. Many a new gardener has made the mistake of planting tall corn right next to carrots. Guess who had the light shut out? Poor carrots…


Adding nutrients to the soil is important in getting a good crop but so is the kind of fertilizer you use. You can use too much and burn the plants, or too little leaving them deficient and weak. Each type of plant might require different kinds/strengths of fertilization. Be sure to check with your local farm store or county extension service if you aren’t sure what to use and where.

Also, some manure can be used straight on the garden such as rabbit poo. Chicken poo however is too strong and must be composted before using in the garden.

Plant Companions

There are certain plants that do well when planted in close proximity to each other. An example would be the Three Sisters, corn, beans and squash. The corn grows tall, the beans grow up the corn plant and the squash shades the ground.

Other plants do well with planted with herbs or flowers that attract beneficial insects. I always plant nasturiums around my cucumbers. They have a symbiotic relationship. While some plants like to be together others well… ‘not so much’. Don’t plant onions , leeks, chives or peppers alongside your peas and beans. Don’t plant your cruciferous plants (broccoli) next to your strawberries or tomatoes.

Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t let the possibility of a mistake keep you from starting a garden. There’s no better time than the present.