I was determined to take up gardening. I was going to make something grow in the useless flower beds that lined the front of my house. I went in with very little knowledge, and boy did it show. Here are my top 5 gardening mistakes.
Not Reading Directions: When you first begin gardening, you must first determine what the quality of your soil is. If you dig a hole and have a crusty looking dirt, there is a problem with your soil. When you dig down, it should have a deep, rich, organic smell. If your dirt is low quality, you should add fertilizer to it so that your plants have a chance. At the beginning of planting season, I did not add a fertilizer and my first set of plants did not grow. Only after I added fertilizer and replanted, did anything grow.
Not Paying Attention to Plant Size: On the back of the package of seeds, or on the slip that comes with baby plants, you will see a plant size. Just because it says “dwarf” does not mean it is going to be short. I planted sunflowers in one portion of my flower bed expecting them to be a few feet tall. The next thing I know, I have 8 foot tall sunflowers in front of my house, they actually reached my roof in some places. So definitely pay attention to the expected height of your plants.
Planting To Close: I personally did not do this, but my neighbor did. Planting your seeds too close together can cause them to smother each other. Each plant needs room to spread their roots. If you plant them too close together, you risk your plants not getting enough water or oxygen. You will also end up with flowers that grow the way they want to, not the way you intend to train them.
Not Placing Stakes for Tall Flowers: If you are expecting your flowers to be tall, you should place a stake for them as soon as they start to get heavy. This will prevent them from drooping. Once they start to droop, you run the risk of them falling over and breaking at the stem.
Not using a Tarp: Each year, you should place a black tarp over your flower bed before you plant. Each seed, or plant, that you place, should have a hole cut especially for it. This allows light to only get to your plants. This simple task will prevent weeds from growing up between your flowers, causing a lot of extra work for you. Weeding a flower bed when the flowers are just staring to grow can be very frustrating. You cannot tell what is flower and what is weeds. This can help prevent all of the hassle of deciphering your garden.
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