Common gardening mistakes everybody makes

Turn your black thumb green.
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Whether you’re a beginner and hoping to avoid making any gardening mistakes at all, or you’re a fair-weather gardener looking for some advice to improve your abilities, here are the most common gardening mistakes that everybody makes, and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1 Not using the right amount of fertiliser

Most gardens need a little fertiliser to ensure they look their best and the plants are healthy, however it’s important to read the instructions very carefully and remember that more is not always better. if you have a native garden, be sure to choose a fertiliser to suit. The chemicals in fertiliser can cause fertilizer burn, and using too much can stunt the development of fruit or blooming.  Too much fertilizer can also overload the plant with nutrients and chemicals, ultimately killing it. Choose organic fertilizers and use them sparingly for the best results.

Mistake #2 Planting seeds too close together

If seeds are planted too close together they will suffocate each other in their attempts to get the most water, sunlight and nutrients. Be sure to leave enough space between each plant to accommodate for their more mature forms.

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Mistake #3 Pulling up plants instead of weeds

I’m sure more than one gardener has pulled up a plant in their quest to rid their garden of weeds. The best way to avoid this is by keeping your plants labelled using the nursery tags they came with, or invest in some cute garden signage that can be located discreetly beneath the foliage.

Mistake #4 Overwatering

Overwatering, or underwatering, is a common gardening mistake. The easiest way to know if your garden needs a good soak is by checking out the soil. When the soil is rock hard, it needs watering. When you can grab a handful, squeeze it together, and form a loose ball, it’s just right.

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Mistake #5 Giving the tops of plants a water but missing the roots

This is a mistake that hits gardeners who water with a hose the hardest. While you may have drenched the top leaves, removing dust and urban debris, the roots still haven’t gotten a satisfying drink. Ensure you are drenching the soil, not just the tops of the leaves.


Mistake #6 Planting out of season

Cool season vegetables and summer flowers need to be planted according to season if they’re going to thrive. When purchasing seeds and bulbs talk to your local nursery attendant about the best season to plant your seedlings, and what conditions hey require for optimal growth. Alternatively, do some research online.

old persons hand pullling flowers from garden bed
(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

Mistake #7 Not pruning your plants

Pruning is an important part of keeping your garden in good condition, particularly if your have fruit trees or ornamental trees. The yield of fruit trees and berry bushes depends on pruning. Left unpruned, the unnecessary branches and suck up all the energy that should have been directed towards flowering and fruit production. 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.

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