When it comes down to gardening many people make costly mistakes simply because they are unsure of how to take care of their garden. For example, they don’t know how much water or sunlight a particular plant needs, or they are unsure if the soil in a pot is deep enough for a root vegetable to flourish, and so on.
1. Thinking Too Big
You may want to plant all your vegetables and fruits right now so that you can eventually stop buying them in the store. However, if you decide to cultivate everything at once without any experience, you might be setting yourself up for a big fall.
To avoid confusion, such as when to water which plants, and where to plant them, start by thinking small. Choose one vegetable or fruit to begin with and stick to it. Your garden will enjoy the attention and love, and you’ll feel more confident and satisfied. Once you’ve mastered one plant, start moving on to more, but be sure to plant seasonally.
2. Not Preparing the Soil for Planting
If the earth you want to use is infertile, your plants will never thrive. Preparing the soil must be done before you begin the planting process, because once the seeds have started to root, any changes to the soil may cause them to die.
The best time to add compost or manure to your garden is in the spring when the ground is not too muddy. Most plants need about a 6 to 10 inch (15-20 cm) deep soil to root well. If you plan on growing root vegetables (e.g. carrots or potatoes), dig deeper – one foot (30 cm) should be enough.
3. Not Knowing Which Plants “Play Nice” with Others
Certain plants, when planted in tandem, can be very beneficial for each other by deterring pests, protecting each other from the weather, improving soil fertilization, and so on. In other cases, some plants simply don’t play well together and should not be planted in close proximity. Potatoes do particularly well next to cilantro, beans, corn, or cabbage, but wreak havoc on pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
4. Forgetting the Sun
• Partial sun/shade – 3-5 hours a day.
• Full shade – less than 3 hours a day.