Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Don't Let These 10 Gardening Mistakes Ruin Your Garden

By planning your garden and doing a little research before you start, you can avoid common mistakes. Here are some planning tips to create the perfect vegetable garden that will keep your costs low and delight your taste buds. Gardening can be a fun and healthy hobby for the entire family, but it's important to avoid these common mistakes in order to make the most of your garden. Learning from your own experiences is one thing, but taking notes from experts is another! A great way to avoid making a mistake you may need to learn from again is to find out what NOT to do before you set off on your garden adventure. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

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Mistake # 1: Setting your gardening goals too high

A bigger garden isn't always better, at least if you're a beginner, points out Megan Gilger, the gardening blogger behind the Fresh Exchange. "It's easy to make your eyes get bigger when you're hanging out at a plant store or looking for ideas online," says Gilger. "Instead, use these ideas to spur bigger plans. It takes time to successfully grow a great garden. Gilger advises gardeners who are creating a garden from scratch to start small, but think big. A garden is a long-term investment, and you should be thinking three to five years from now.

Mistake # 2: Not interbreeding

Let all your headphones play together. "Get rid of the idea that you can only grow one [plant] on your bed," Gilg says. Intercropping or intercropping is a horticultural practice that encourages pairing of companion plants, as well as bundling taller and shorter plants. Mixing and matching also reduces weeds and leads to beneficial pollinators, she explains. Bonus: Interbreeding is also said to reduce pests and diseases.

Mistake # 3: Plants are overcrowded

While mixing plants together is A-OK, you still have to pay attention to spacing, notes Michael Giannelli of East Hampton Gardens, A garden and home store in East Hampton, New York. "[People] want that instant garden full of colour - that's a big mistake," he says. "Plants need space to grow and spread naturally. Follow planting recommendations, which usually recommend keeping plants 2 to 3 feet apart. You can cheat by bypassing the suggestion by a few inches, but don't place the plants side by side like sardines.

Mistake # 4: Planting too many varieties

It's tempting to grow everything from acorns to zucchini, but focus on growing vegetables, herbs and flowers to bring joy to your plate. "It may seem simple, but you're most passionate about growing vegetables, herbs and flowers that you've found yourself snagging at the grocery store or farmer's market," Gilg says. If you think fennel tastes good, there's no need to freak out.

Mistake # 5: Missing out on the fruits of your labor

A schedule for entering the garden. "Now you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes and green beans, and you have to eat them," Hermanson said. "Don't leave preparing to harvest items on the vines. It's like leaving an ice lolly on your lawn and being surprised to find it's covered in ants!

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Mistake # 6: Misunderstanding plant growth

Understanding plant growth will be key to ensuring maximum success in the garden. Arianna Iappini, a gardening instructor at Birch Gardens in Salisbury, Mass., understands that "it may be hard for a beginner gardener to imagine that a 5-inch tomato seedling will eventually reach a height of 8 feet. Knowing plant height at maturity is crucial to nurturing all the plants in your garden. She points out that as the plant grows, it gives shade to the surrounding plants, which can affect the overall environment. More importantly, you need adequate support structures for tall, vines, and climbing plants.

Mistake # 7: Not watering properly

"Don't water like a coward," said Jessica Walliser, a horticulturist and co-owner of Savvy Gardening, an online resource. Go all out and water the seedlings properly. "A deep, thorough watering once a week is better than a splash every day," Walliser adds. "After watering, the soil should be a few inches wet. If not, then you are not applying enough water at any given time. At the same time, giving plants too much water can be harmful - overwatering can lead to rotting roots and yellow leaves, Giannelli said. "An irrigation system that's usually done every other day may be great for the lawn, but it's not good for everything else," he shared.

Mistake # 8: Planting seeds once a season

Optimize the productivity of your garden. "Once the first crop is harvested, modify the soil and replant for the late summer and fall harvest," advises Niki Jabbour, co-owner of Savvy Gardening. "Good choices to help with home-grown vegetables the second time around include carrots, beets, peas, lettuce, spinach, cabbage and green Onions."

Mistake # 9: Not taking notes

A garden diary documenting trial and error is key to ensuring future improvements. Make a note of the dud crops (and how they died!). , pest problems and other side notes, such as the time of day when the sun is at its strongest. "You think you'll remember, but you don't," Hermanson said. "Notes from last season bring back memories and spark good ideas so you can grow from each season's success.

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Mistake # 10: Fear of failure

Even the most experienced gardeners face challenges and kill plants from time to time," says Iappini. "Real growth comes from cultivating the courses offered each season. Don't let the assumption that you have a black thumb stop you from trying your hand at gardening. Remember: practice makes progress. That's why the reward is even sweeter when you reap your first bounty.