There are a few common challenges that all beginner horticulturists face. We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect garden, but with a little help, some of your biggest challenges can be minimized.
Sometimes you need to learn your lesson the first time, other times some of the challenges are out of your control therefore you may need to take them on as they come.
Here are five common gardening mistakes that every beginner makes. Don’t let them discourage you from trying again. We’ve got simple solutions for all of them.
1- Not taking care of the soil
The best way to know what your plants need is to have a soil test.
When starting your own garden for the first time, testing your soil is the last thing that you think of doing. You are probably more concerned with choosing your plants or building your raised beds.
In order for your plants to grow healthy and strong, you need to keep track of soil moisture, soil fertility, and soil pH value. This will help you to control watering and apply fertilizer for your plants, so they get whatever they then, whenever they need it.
We recommend you to begin considering testing your soil in order to avoid a lack of growth or unidentified problems in the plants or fruit. If you follow the link below, you will find a 3-in-1 soil tester with premium double-needle detection technology that strongly enhances the speed and accuracy of detecting and analyzing soil moisture and pH acidity.
Other mistakes regarding soil preparation refer to: removing organic materials (leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds), but not regularly replacing this loss with an organic supplement, such as compost; as well as failing to determine drainage conditions before planting. Before blindly addressing a plant issue, it’s critical to understand the environment in which your plants are living. Therefore having your soil tested not only gives you a snapshot of your garden’s health but it helps you correct current problems and avoid future ones. Also, by doing so, you avoid harm by not adding unnecessary nutrients.
Amend your garden soil with compost and fertilize your plants consistently through the summer. Sometimes mulch is applicated improperly too. Plan to start applying mulch in the soil a couple of weeks after your last frost date, after the soil temperature has warmed and your plants are starting to grow.
2- Planting too early
After a long winter a few warm, spring days might make you think it’s a good time to plant. The temptation to rush your planting is real! We totally understand it as you're itching to get your garden started as soon as possible. Planting out too early is not only essentially gambling with the life of your plant, but it also puts undue stress on a plant in its earliest, most tender stages; therefore it can result in spindly plants because of too little light, they can be more prone to bolting, and you’ll also have to transplant your plants up in different pot sizes more times, which means your house will be very crowded until it’s warm enough to start hardening plants off. You can avoid it by writing your planting dates on a calendar ahead of time and by trying to stick to them, even when warm days tempt you to move up the planting. Also, we do not recommend to start planting seeds indoors too early because keeping seedlings in too small containers stresses them just like planting out too early. In addition , it is very important to check your 10-day forecast daily after the last frost date passes. If low temperatures hover in the low 40s (or lower), wait to plant summer plants until those lows stay consistently in the 50s.
3- Improper irrigation practices
Watering, too much or too little, is not an easy balance to achieve. This gardening skill takes practice. Overwatering drowns your plant. Healthy soil allows for oxygen to exist in the space between particles of soil. If there is too much water or the soil is constantly wet, there is not enough air pockets which results in a limited oxygen supply and plants are not able to breathe. To help you through this process it is very important to use proper gardening tools. First try using Smart Watering Device for Plants which helps you create an eco-friendly home garden with the Solar Powered Smart Watering System. This kit is perfect if you're looking into setting up an organic or hydroponic garden, without the great hassle that comes with setting it up and looking after it constantly.
While if you are chronically under watering a plant, but still giving it enough water to survive, growth will be slower than normal or expected. The best solution is to check your pots and gardens every two days during cool weather and every day during hot weather. Try to feel the soil with your hand (If you have not purchased the 3-in-1 soil tester yet). If it’s dry an inch down, you need to water. On hot days you may need to water potted plants every day. Early in the season, when your plants are still babies, it’s a good idea to check the soil every day since they’re much more susceptible to water stress.
If you are looking for easy ways that will help to make the home-plant watering process more fun and enjoyable, start by using Plant Mister Spray Bottle for Indoor which not only is suitable for watering plants and flowers but you can as well use it for cleaning your car, home cleaning, humidifying air, disinfecting solution and sterilization. Besides, we recommend using the Adjustable Self-Watering Spikes for your Indoor Plants product which is a plant-watering device with control valve that is able to control the drop rate of 0~60S/1 drop, the slow release drop for 1-15 days as well as the flow control. Furthermore, the Fine Mist Plant Atomizer Watering Sprayer Bottle can help you achieve a fantastic and appealing garden as its design with locking buckle function into the side of the bottle reduces mess caused by unintentional spitting while spraying and its small size allows it to fit into the palm of your hand making it perfect for gardening and carrying outside as well.
And last but not least, the Fancy Plant Flower Glass Garden Watering Pot Mister will make you love the irrigation process even more. As a fancy tool made by thickened glass, sturdy and durable, this sprinkler bottle has a well-designed jet that reduces the amount of overspray and is simple to refill. With 300ml capacity, this plant water mister can also be used as a decoration to make your house cooler and prettier.
4- Improper pesticide use
Some of the most common mistakes regarding pesticide use are: reading only parts of pesticide labels which results of missing important information, using a pesticide without knowing the pest & plant right time to spray or other non-pesticide options as well as using "cover" sprays over a whole landscape or lawn. Do not forget to consider that pesticides — even natural ones — might kill beneficial insects that would have naturally found these pest insects and feasted on them.
You need to get rid of any chemical pesticide. Then, take a step back and look at your garden as a whole; as an interconnected ecosystem of plants and insects.
Some of all-natural, inexpensive, organic methods for making pesticides for your garden are:
Neem oil - it has long been used for its medicinal and culinary properties. It works on arthropod pests.
Salt Spray - One of the best and most natural ways to make pesticides at home is salt spray. Not only does it help deter pests, it will also help increase nutrition absorption like magnesium and help plants take up vital nutrients like phosphorus and sulfur.
Onion And Garlic Spray -Take about one clove of garlic and one medium-sized onion and add some water to them. It helps to repel bugs on plants without harming the plant and without the need for toxic chemicals or commercial insecticides.
Eucalyptus Oil - whose strong smell deters insects and bugs.
5-Putting Plants in the Wrong Spot
Some of your plants will need sunshine, whilst others will need partial or a full cover of shade for the majority of the time. Keep in mind that your plants do not need direct sunlight at all possible hours of the day as this can scorch the leaves and the roots of the plant.
It is not recommended to crowd plants too close together as they need to breathe. Do not mix plants with different light and water needs. You don’t want a shade-loving plant next to a sun-loving plant as one of them will suffer. Cluster drought-tolerant plants together so they can share the same watering needs. Also try not to plant trees or shrubs too close to a building or other structure. Think about their size at maturity — not what they look like now.
As for houseplants, the ideal position for your foliage plant would be setting it a few feet back from your South facing window.
If you have West or East facing windows, then ensure that your foliage plant remains out of the midday sun, or when there are times of direct sunlight in the room.
Plants with large, thick, fleshy leaves will tend to do well in the shade for the most part.
Whether you’re beginning your first garden or looking to tighten up your skills, we hope this article helps you as you plan and grow your garden these months.
Whatever challenges your garden presents you, don’t forget you can always find a solution by reading books and articles about gardening which guide you into a healthy and happy garden.