Do You Make These 9 Gardening Mistakes?

There’s something cathartic about commiserating in awful shared experiences — especially if you can find excitement in them.

Like that one time you were working on your garden enthusiastically and dug up all newly shooting flowers instead of weeds unknowingly.

The weeds got replicated in the whole garden, and your colleagues all made fun of you for being a terrible, horrible, no good gardener.

Horrifying at the time (seriously, you will never make that mistake again!!), but when you describe the situation later to a fellow gardener, it’s funny and makes everyone feel a little better about that same situation happening to them.


That is the precise reason I love highlighting these gardening mistakes — they somehow manage to identify all of the awful, frustrating, and downright stupid things that happen in our gardening jobs.

And the following 9 are ones that take the cake.

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So if you’ve been making them or just need to hear from someone who has, check them out.

1. Thinking that you know everything about gardening

There is a classic quote that says “A fool knows everything except that he/she is a fool.” This is not to mean that you shouldn’t have self-confidence or believe in your skills and knowledge.

Far from it.

I am just implying that it’s a mistake to think you are self-sustainable when it comes to gardening knowledge, which I believe is versatile and dynamic. Many gardeners get frustrated by easy tasks as a result of this.

Don’t be one of them. If you can’t fix it, ask someone who can. Period. Remember, knowledge cannot be monopolized.

2. Gardening “lone ranger” way

This point is similar to point 1 only that it encompasses all aspects of gardening.

I would assume that one of the motives for pitching yourself as a successful gardener is at least finding pleasure in what you do.

This happiness needs to be shared with someone for it to have any meaning. However, you will find some people who have a difficult time interacting with fellow gardeners for the fear of being judged or losing his/her valuable gardening secrets.

These people end up losing on so many opportunities and hold them from breaking out of the ordinary gardeners they are.

3. Inappropriate spacing (Too low or too high)

Spacing forms an integral part of the whole gardening process.

Some gardeners choose to underestimate its value and end up facing the consequences. Under worst case scenario, small spacing causes overcrowding that in turn leads to widespread of fungal diseases.

Under best case scenario, competition increases amongst the crop, and you end compromising on the yield.

Other consequences of overcrowding are accessibility to other parts of your garden is impeded thereby inhibiting other management operations.

On the other hand, space too long and the question of resource, underutilization comes in. Whichever way you look at it, too low or too large spacing will cause you more harm than you are willing to accept.

4. Over watering your garden

Watering your garden is the only way you can guarantee its success. Correct watering practice should result in good infiltration.

This ultimately leads to thick, well rooted, healthy garden crops that can withstand temporary dry spells.

As noble as this practice may sound, overdoing it will result in excessive leaching of fertilizers, weak root system, ill thrift, and in some unfortunate cases, development of algal or fungal problems.

5. Under watering your garden

Under watering results from ignoring the fact that water is life. If your garden does not get enough water, chances are the crop will become stunted, not produce or under worse conditions, die.

An ideal garden should be clean and green, if yours is yellowing or showing some signs of chlorosis, then you need to try something else rather than gardening.

6. Underestimating the power of nature

Don’t forget that we live in the world where nature reigns supreme. Our role as gardeners is to work with it. Weather changes normally have a significant impact on our gardens to some extent that we shouldn’t underestimate or otherwise fail to plan about it.

Sadly, most people overlook this important fact.

Understanding your local weather conditions will help you in deciding what to plant and what not too. What does well and what doesn’t under what terms. This understanding will save you a lot of money and time.

7. Treating gardening as dirt

Gardening means getting your hands dirty before you can smell the roses. Unfortunately, most people want to smell the roses but don’t wish to pay the price. If you are going to be gardening for the rest of your life, then you must consider appreciating soiling your hands as well. One thing I had forgotten to mention, gardening isn’t for everyone. So, if getting your hands dirty isn’t your thing, then you just have to contend with being fed by someone else willing to soil his/her hands.

8. Turning your garden into a lab specimen

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardening pro, at one point in time, you have been guilty of this crime. I have personally made this mistake way too many times that I’ve lost count.

With all the talented, aggressive salespeople out there creating hype about this and that product working miracles, it is nearly impossible to resist the urge to want to try some of those products in your garden.

Caution! Not everything pale yellow is gold. Carry out your due diligence and make decisions based on a clear understanding of your goals. Especially when it comes to pest control products and fertilizers.

Related: Should You Worry About the Use of Glyphosate?

9. Thinking Big and Starting Big

Let’s be clear here.

I don’t have any problem with thinking big as a gardener. In fact, I encourage all of us to practice this in our visualization therapy.

It’s starting big that I have real issues with. We sometimes look and admire our neighbors’ garden, and think we could also achieve the same.

We then end up setting very high expectations at the beginning only to realize that it takes a time to get there.

A successful garden takes time, start small, and you will get there. Start big and you get discouraged even before you know it.

Take one step at a time trusting that you will get there.

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You’ve just read about nine mistakes that are holding you back from achieving your gardening goals.

These are just a few of the thousands of gardening mistakes that make us weak or average gardeners. Do you have any others to add? Let me know in the comments.


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