10 Common Mistakes First Time Gardeners Make
Starting a vegetable patch in your garden is a great way to become more self-sufficient, however, it can be daunting if you have no prior experience of growing vegetables.
We compiled a list of the common mistakes of first-time gardeners, which we hope helps you avoid making these mistakes also, saving you both time and money!
1. Putting your garden out of sight
2. Planting too much
3. In the wrong position
Take the time to work out when and where the sun is in your garden throughout the day before deciding where to put your vegetable patch. The majority of vegetable plants need 6-8 hours of light each day, so choose a spot in your garden that gets this. If your garden doesn’t get quite that much sun, grow vegetables that can be grown in partial shade, these are usually leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley and thyme. Alternatively, plant your crops in containers as you can move these around the garden with the sun.
4. No spacing
When your seedlings are only a couple of inches tall its easy to plant them too close together, as you can’t envision how much space they will take up. However, this just increases your workload and can lead to weak plants as you’ll have to keep disturbing their roots to move them further apart. Too many plants in a small space can lead to a bad crop because they will be fighting for water and nutrients and there won’t be enough to go round. You can find the recommended spacing for the vegetables you are growing online, and be patient, they won’t look too spaced out for long!
5. Failing to prepare the soil
Many first time gardeners don’t realise how important preparing your soil is for growing a successful crop. Your soil needs to have the right texture, and be rich in nutrients when growing vegetables. If you don’t properly prepare your soil you will have much lower yields. Adding organic matter such as compost and aged manure is the best way to prepare your soil. Using mulch is also very beneficial as it can give your plants nutrients, stop weeds from sprouting and lock in moisture, saving you time and energy.
6. Not keeping up with maintenance
Consistency is key to keeping up with the maintenance your garden needs to thrive. Keeping your garden up together by doing a little each week is much better than letting it all build up and potentially risking your chances of getting a successful crop. Gardens need to be weeded, fed and watered often. Without these three your plants can come under a lot of stress and shut down, resulting in little to no produce.
7. No pest control
Be sure to inspect your plants at least once a week for any signs of pests, spotting pests early means you can easily resolve the situation before it affects your whole patch. Make sure you check both sides of the leaves and check every type of crop you are growing even if they are in the same area.
Look out for our blog on common plant pests for more information, so you know what to look out for!
8. Not harvesting
9. Planting far from a water source
Water is very important when it comes to growing a successful crop, however, a common mistake when positioning your vegetable patch is not considering your water source. In the summer months when gardens need watering daily, you are much more likely to neglect your garden if you have to carry a heavy watering can a distance, or if your hose is difficult to get to. If your patch has to be far from the water source to get the recommended 6-8 hours sun, consider investing in a water butt that collects rainwater which can be placed next to your patch to use for watering. This option is also much more environmentally friendly than getting it out of a tap.
10. Taking on too much
Now that we have informed you of what not to do when starting your first vegetable patch, we hope that you will have a very successful first harvest!
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