Maybe you’ve been a gardener for years. Maybe you’ve just started. Either way, any gardener can be susceptible to rookie mistakes. Rookie mistakes are simple, easy-to-avoid errors that are commonly made, and can destroy a garden before a gardener even realizes they’ve made them.
Know Your Location
Where you live can determine what sort of plants can survive your summers and winters. This map of hardiness zones is a good spot to start, but is not the end-all. Factors like humidity, weekly and annual precipitation, the amount and type (direct or indirect) of sunlight that is received, and soil composition all determine what will thrive and what will die in certain areas. Not recognizing your location and what you should or shouldn’t do with it is a clear rookie mistake.
Bigger is not necessarily better. More space being used means more space you’ll need to take care of, and many new gardeners make the mistake of going too big when they start out. You need to develop a space that you can handle and care for. If you try and go too big starting out, your garden may end up being more labor intensive than you’d like, which can frustrate you going forward. There’s no such thing as having a garden that is too small – the key is creating one that doesn’t exceed your capabilities.
Beware of Freebies
Just because someone offers you a plant doesn’t mean you have to take it. All too often, they are offering you plants that may have overtaken their garden or property, and can result in the same problem for you. Those plants might also be diseased. It isn’t necessarily a mistake to take free plants, but it is a mistake to take them unconditionally.
Don’t Try to Squeeze Space Where There is None
Each type of plant needs a certain amount of space to grow. Don’t skimp on room between your plants – give them room to develop and grow. If you plant you plants too close together, you may encourage the development and spread of diseases, much like those we have mentioned in earlier articles. If you plant perennials too close together, they will spread and crowd each other out after only a few years. Moreover, if you try to squeeze i vegetables, you may end up killing off some of your crops.
Is It Truly What You Want?
This is a common mistake – even I have fallen victim to it in the past. The idea of having a beautiful garden, or a garden that bears vegetables throughout the summer, is great. More than often, though, the truth of having a garden is a bit more dirty and cumbersome than the idea of it. We don’t want to scare you off of the idea of a garden, but simply ensure that you are well informed getting into it.
So, if you are just getting started, make sure you aren’t making one of these rookie mistakes – and if you’ve been at it for years, double check and make sure you aren’t repeating these errors over and over. Don’t let them discourage you – instead, use them to grow and develop going forward, and bring your garden into line.