15 MOST COMMON
GARDENING MISTAKES
THAT EVERONE MAKES




Even with piles of gardening books available to refer to, some gardeners just
prefer to muddle through by themselves. With not only all the information found
in books but also the many gardening classes which are available to attend,
gardening mistakes will still be made.

Here we have some samples of gardening errors which are fairly common and also
easy to avoid. Set out in an easy to read format with attractive photographs,
the problems and the solutions are all here. There is no need to make these
mistakes again. With common errors ranging from soil problems to incorrect
planting times to incorrect usage of weed killer, the novice gardener will find
solutions here to the many questions that every gardener asks at one time or
another.

Hereís a list of gardening mistakes many have made and regretted.




1. NOT PREPARING THE BEDS

2. LEAVING OUT SOIL AMENDMENT

3. OVERWATERING

4. SHALLOW WATERING

5. PLANTING SUN LOVERS IN SHADE

6. PLANTING OUT OF SEASON

7. NOT PRUNING YOUR BUSHES AND TREES

8. HARD PRUNING AT THE WRONG TIME

9. USING WEED KILLERS ON A WRONG DAY

10. PLANTING INVASIVE PLANTS

11. PLANTING SINGLE SELF-STERILE PLANTS

12. SCARING AWAY POLLINATORS WITH PESTICIDES

13. ORDERING TOO MANY BULBS

14. PLANTING TREES TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE

15. PLANTING THE SAME VEGETABLE
IN THE SAME PLACE YEAR AFTER YEAR




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SECTION 1



1. NOT PREPARING
THE BEDS




Most of us have made this mistake, some out of ignorance, and others
due to sheer laziness. When the little seeds and seedling go into the
damp earth in spring, it seems the tiny planting holes we make with
our fingers or a small hand shovel are room enough for them. But the
soil soon dries out and becomes rock hard. If the roots of the young
plants cannot penetrate into the soil, youíll end up with stunted
plants.

Digging and double digging the garden beds and adding in plenty of
compost and leaf mold makes the soil loose enough for good root run.
And this backbreaking work has to be done before you plant things.
Making raised beds is another option if you donít want to dig deep.




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SECTION 2



2. LEAVING
OUT SOIL
AMENDMENT




We tend to forget that soil is like a living organism, always changing
and evolving. Soil conditions can fluctuate with the amount of rainfall,
soil runoff and lack of drainage. Some plants deplete certain soil
nutrients more than the others. Heavy rains can leach away the limestone
you recently added to raise the pH of your broccoli bed.

It pays to check the soil for pH level and mineral profile every growing
season and make necessary amendments a few weeks before planting time.
Then test again to make sure things are perfect for the plants that are
getting ready to go in.

Organic matter has a modulating effect on soil chemistry, so the more humus
your soil has, the lesser the chemical fluctuations. Add plenty of compost
and cured manure to your vegetable beds. Good soil is particularly important
for your veggies garden since you need healthy plants that produce
high-quality food.




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SECTION 3



3. OVERWATERING




Overwatering is like killing with too much love. Most over enthusiastic
gardeners are guilty of this crime. Frequent watering may be necessary
until seedlings and cuttings get established. But once they have
developed a good root system, water them at regular intervals.

The roots of most plants hate sitting in water. Like every other plant
tissue, roots need to breathe. They literally drown if all the air
pockets in the soil are filled with water all the time. Even when the
top soil looks dry, the lower layers could be soaking wet.

Frequently watered plants remain tender, and wilt very easily in the sun.
When the interval between subsequent watering is gradually increased,
plants toughen up and learn to be survivors. However, too much water
stress can decrease the yield of some vegetables.




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SECTION 4



4. SHALLOW
WATERING




This is another watering mistake committed by those who water their
plants with a handheld garden hose. You spray the top growth, washing
down the dust on the leaves and giving the entire plant a nice shower.
Satisfied, you move on unmindful of the fact that the roots have got
very little water. When you see the plants looking rather tired in the
afternoon sun, you may give them another quick shower.

Plants drink water through their roots. Wilted crowns do recover rapidly
when they are sprayed with water, but that is because it helps cut down
the transpiration rate. Shallow watering results in shallow root run.
Plants become dependent on frequent watering. They become prone to
toppling over and wilting quickly since their roots have not grown deep
into the soil to anchor them and to draw water from the reservoirs in
the lower layers of soil.

Cut on the frequency of watering, but water the plants deeply every time.
Drip irrigation or a leaky hose watering system ensures deep watering.
They help save water too.




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SECTION 5



5. PLANTING
SUN LOVERS
IN SHADE




We all know plants have this unique ability to make food in their leaves
with just sunlight, water and air. But sometimes we plant a tomato variety
guaranteed to be a prolific bearer close to a tree. We may be overjoyed at
the luxurious growth, only to be disappointed by the low yield. The poor
plant was making a lot of leaves to maximize food production, but it just
wasnít enough.

There are some woodland plants that have evolved to survive in shady spots,
but if you plant sun-loving plants there, they just will not thrive. Tomatoes
and most other veggies do best in areas where they can get uninterrupted sun
throughout the day. If you mainly have a shady garden, you cannot hope to
grow a lot of vegetables other than some greens. Clear out an area for your
vegetable patch.




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SECTION 6



6. PLANTING
OUT OF
SEASON




It is hard to believe seasons have such a hold on plants. Many of us
probably have planted seeds or cuttings at the wrong time of the year
and watch them put out a bit of growth in the beginning and then quit.
Seasons are not much of an issue in tropical areas as long as the young
plants are given plenty of water. But it is quite another story up north.

Planting out tender seedling too early in spring leaves them at the mercy
of late frosts. Delay a bit, and you may miss the chance to get vigorous
growth and yield before the rising temperatures play spoilsport. Cool
season veggies and summer flowers have to be planted at their respective
times.

Beware of end-of-season bargain offers by mail-order companies. By the time
the order reaches you, it might be too late to plant them. Some seeds are
viable for only a short period, so preserving them for the next season may
not be a good idea. Follow the gardening calendar of your area and listen
to the advice of local gardeners for best results.




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SECTION 7



7. NOT PRUNING
YOUR BUSHES
AND TREES




Pruning is hard work, but going lax on this seasonal task is one mistake
new gardeners make. With bushes grown for ornamental purposes, the prized
shape and structure are soon lost.

The yield of fruit trees and berry bushes practically depends on meticulous
pruning. Left unpruned, the unnecessary branches and suckers zap them of all
the energy that should have been directed towards flowering and fruit setting.
Some fruits grow only on new growth, so unless you prompt the plant to put out
new shoots by hard pruning every year, you will be left without much fruit in
the next season.

When you plant an ornamental/fruit tree or shrub, take pains to learn the right
pruning technique. It is even more important than watering and fertilizing
schedules.




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SECTION 8



8. HARD
PRUNING AT
THE WRONG TIME




Have you ever pruned a hydrangea bush real hard in fall because it
looked nearly dead? You have probably removed all the dormant flower
buds that would have bloomed the following year. Some plants bear
flowers on old branches while others put out new flowering branches
after pruning. You should first learn about the flowering pattern of
your bush and schedule the pruning accordingly.

Since pruning instigates new growth in most plants, those that bear
flowers and fruits late in the growing season should be pruned once
they have gone into dormancy. Early pruning will make them put out
tender shoots that will suffer frost damage.

Spring flowering trees and bushes can be pruned immediately after they
have finished the show so that they get a long window to develop new
growth before the growing season is over. Maintain a pruning calendar
for the plants in your garden to avoid mistakes.




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SECTION 9



9. USING
WEED KILLERS
ON A WRONG DAY




You sprayed the herbicide on a patch of lawn overgrown with weeds,
but the next day you find the nearby flower beds decimated. There
are selective herbicides that kill only the dicot weeds in the lawn
and spare the grass. But the spray was carried by the wind to the
dicots growing happily in the flower beds too.

Another mistake is using these chemicals when thereís any danger of
rains. The runoff water will carry them off to wreak damage elsewhere.
Chemical herbicides are best avoided, but if you do use them in your
garden, choose sunny and windless days.




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SECTION 10



10. PLANTING
INVASIVE
PLANTS




Almost every gardener has fallen in love with a beautiful plant
on his/her travels and has brought it home, not realizing they
are considered noxious weeds in that area. Just because you donít
see certain plants in your locality, it doesnít mean they are not
invasive. Probably years of eradication measures and campaigning
or strict rules have managed to keep them out, and you could have
just undone all that.

Whether you gather seeds or plants from the wild or get planting
materials from a distant friend or relative, or order them online,
check beforehand if they are invasive in your area or not. Once
established, it is hard work, or nearly impossible, to root them
out.




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SECTION 11



11. PLANTING
SINGLE
SELF-STERILE PLANTS




Have you purchased a berry bush or a young tree and waited for years
only to be disappointed when none of the flowers turned into fruit?
If you have planted a self-sterile variety, you have two options:
get rid of it or plant another one and wait for years again.

Some blueberry plants need two of the same type for successful
pollination. But it takes two different types of apple trees to
give you fruit. Not only that, they should have the same blooming
time. Some apple trees produce sterile pollen, so you will need a
third tree in the premises. It is a complex matter.

Some plums and pears are only partially self-sterile, and they
manage to grow a few fruit. But they do much better in company.
If you donít want to try your luck, choose your plants with the
help of knowledgeable suppliers, or stick to self-fertile
varieties.




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SECTION 12



12. SCARING AWAY
POLLINATORS
WITH PESTICIDES




Being too handy with pesticides is a big mistake overzealous gardener
make. We are not talking about contaminating the earth here, although
it is a great concern. If you find too few vegetables and fruits after
meticulously watering and fertilizing your plants and keeping off pests
and weeds with frequent spraying, you could have scared off the
pollinators.

It is hard to watch pests chomping away on your well-tended veggies, but
remember that all the critters visiting your vegetable patch are not your
enemies. You need insect pollinators to ensure a good crop.




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SECTION 13



13. ORDERING
TOO MANY
BULBS




When the catalogs offer such great steals, which self-respecting gardener
can resist the temptation to stock up on the bulbs? When your bulb planting
encroaches into your annual beds and all unimaginable places in the garden,
you have overdone it, yet again. We are not mentioning the unplanted ones
here.

Bulbs promise a welcome burst of color as the seasons change, but you will
agree that the flower show is all too short. You need your annuals and
perennials for year long enjoyment. To let you in on a secret: you can buy
gardener friends by giving away some of your bulbs. They are a delightful
lot, you know.




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SECTION 14



14. PLANTING TREES
TOO CLOSE
TO THE HOUSE




You had zeroed in on the perfect tree for your landscape after extensive
research, but now you are contemplating cutting it down. You had made the
mistake of planting it too close to the house. The fully grown tree is
literally a threat to your safety, let alone other problems like too much
shade, constant dampness and fallen leaves and flowers making a mess around
the house.

It is never a good idea to plant tall trees close to your home. You may think
you can keep it under control with regular pruning, but who will control the
roots beneath the soil? They can spread and swell, making the foundation of
the house unstable.




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SECTION 15



15. PLANTING THE
SAME VEGETABLE IN THE
SAME PLACE
YEAR AFTER YEAR




We tend to designate certain areas in our garden to vegetables and ornamentals,
but repeatedly growing tomatoes or greens in the same area is a mistake many of
us have come to regret.

One reason is the pests and diseases that take hold of the area. Many of the
fungal blights, rusts and spots are host specific. Their spores remain in the
soil and affect the next batch of plants. Most caterpillars, beetles and borers
and some nematodes also show a definite preference for certain plants or plant
groups. Their eggs and larvae are in the soil awaiting their host plants. Plant
rotation breaks their lifecycle.

Care should be taken to avoid different plants of the same family together, or
one after another, in the same spot. They may have common pests. For example,
cabbage worms feast on cauliflowers, broccoli, collard greens and turnips.
Tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes that belong to the same family are affected by
many common fungal diseases.

Another reason why crop rotation is important is that different plants have
different nutritional requirements. The soil fertility is seriously depleted
when nitrogen or potash loving plants continue to be grown in the same place.
The yield of subsequent crops is greatly affected and the need for fertilizers
increases.

Planting leguminous vegetables or cover crops help fix nitrogen in the soil. It
can be utilized by leafy vegetable that require a lot of it.



15 Common Gardening Mistakes Everyone Makes
http://www.naturallivingideas.com/15-common-gardening-mistakes-everyone-makes/



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