Avoid These 10 Common Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

Avoid These 10 Common Vegetable Gardening Mistakes

No one can get things right all the time and sometimes aspects of gardening can be tricky, but there are several common mistakes that people make time and time again. For instance top of the list is planting too early. We all know that this is a mistake, but sometimes the desire to get started in the spring is so strong that we ignore own advice and go ahead anyway only to regret it later. These ten mistakes are described in an article by Doug Jimerson which I found on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

Whether you’ve been a gardener for two days or twenty years, mistakes in the garden are sometimes inevitable. There are some mistakes, however, that can easily be avoided. Take a moment and find out which mistakes you might not know you’re making; by avoiding these mistakes, this year’s harvest could be your best yet.

Mistake No. 1: Planting too early

By the time spring finally rolls around, most gardeners are eager to get back into the garden. But, if you live where temperatures can still dip below freezing, avoid setting out tender crops such as tomato, cucumber, melon, eggplant, and pepper. These vegetables should stay under cover until nightly temperatures remain at least 55 degrees F. If you want to give them a little head start, plant them under a grow cloth, cloche, milk jug, or other type of protection.

Mistake No. 2: Crowding plants together

Some salad crops, such as spinach, looseleaf lettuce, arugula, and kale, don’t mind growing shoulder to shoulder. However, most vegetables do best when they aren’t packed together too tightly. Tomatoes, for example, require good air circulation to remain healthy, so be sure to space them at least 2-3 feet apart. If planted too closely, your plants are more likely to be stricken with problems such as blight or mildew. Other vegetables that need a bit more breathing room include broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet corn, potatoes, and peppers.

Mistake No. 3: Watering too much or too little

Consistent watering is essential for good harvests. Most crops do just fine when they receive about an inch of moisture a week. Buy a rain gauge to monitor rainfall and use a drip irrigation system or soaker hose to make up the deficit during dry spells. Plants that are deprived of water will show obvious signs of wilting and yellow leaves and the fruit will be stunted or deformed. Vegetables receiving too much water will generally be fine as long as your soil drains well, although melons and tomatoes may crack if watering is inconsistent. But, if excess water puddles in your garden, your crops will suffer and the leaves will turn yellow. The only way to fix this is to improve your soil by working in several inches of organic matter. A layer of mulch applied around your crops will also help keep soil moisture consistent.

See more at Better Homes and Gardens

I am a keen gardener and so created Garden Pics and Tips for people who love gardens and enjoy great pictures of plants and gardens. Also covered are practical tips on all aspects of gardening.