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5 Most Common Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Gardening seems simple in the beginning but there are key things to consider if you want to be successful at it. Here are 5 of the most common gardening mistakes & how to avoid them.

a cluster of beautiful yellow roses growing on a bush

Gardening seems like an easy job in the beginning – you only need to know how to dig a hole, turn on a hose and snip dead flowers. Anyone can do it. However, there are a lot of things that go into gardening that are rarely talked about. For example, you need to know in which conditions each plant grows best and how much space they need to grow. You truly need to understand the subject at hand. To help you out, we’ve included the most common gardening mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.

Gorgeous gravel garden path

This can easily be done with some plant research or reading the back of the seed bag. But there are some mistakes that gardeners often make and they could mean that their garden will not last as long as they thought. Here are some of those mistakes and simple ways to fix them:

1. Forgetting about the sun

When you walk into the store, you probably pick plants based on the way they look. People often do this. They don’t focus enough on the conditions they have at home, but choose their plants based on what would look best in their garden or home. The same happens during planting – people plant sun-loving plants in the shade of a tree because it looks good. It will look good for a while but then will die.

How To Fix This:

Instead of going to the store and buying a plant based on your liking, try talking to the salesperson about all of the conditions you can give the plant once you bring it home.  “Maybe you live on a very wet place and that’s why you would enjoy a certain plant or you get a lot of sunshine so you could get some other plant. If you can have both of those, be careful about remembering which plant should go where,” explains Paul Matthews, a nature writer and editor.

2. Using too much water

This mistake is similar to the previous one. It comes from the place of being uninformed about the subject at hand. Sure, plants love water and they need it to survive and grow but if you tend to overwater your plants, they will not live for much longer.

How To Fix It:

Water your plants moderately. Again, talk to an expert and have them give you plenty of information on watering for each one of your plants. It’s enough to water them just so that they can survive and be nourished. You can even create a schedule for watering and follow it each day.

Beautiful mature garden bed with shrubs

3. Over-fertilizing

Fertilizing is good for plants and this is a well-known fact. However, because new gardeners hear from experts that it’s so good, they tend to put too much of it. And while the plants get enough nutrients that they need, you can also kill the plant by putting too much fertilizer.

How To Fix It: “This is another case where you should definitely consult someone with previous knowledge of the subject. Have them inform you on moderate quantities of fertilization and follow their tips. Remember that being moderate with everything is the key,” explains Deanna Bryer, a gardener and blog editor.

4. Planting without a plan

Most gardeners make a mistake of not planning their garden or home for plants. They sometimes don’t even know where certain plants can grow and where they can’t. Something planted without a plan can certainly grow but if you are planting an entire garden, you should make a drawing of what it will all look like.

How To Fix It:

Before planting makes a solid plan of where each plant can grow freely, where it can get enough nutrients and water and enough sunlight for it to flourish. You can also combine colors and greenery with flowers and so on. Find nice places for your succulents and cacti and make sure that you do all of this in accordance with the plant’s requirements.

5. Planting too close together

Plants may look good if they are planted closer together, especially if it’s a good match of color, but this is another trap. Homer Gomes, a gardening blogger explains this: “Each plant needs its space – depending on how much they’ll grow in width and height. They also need space to be able to take nutrients and water from the land without having to fight for it. Take this into consideration when planting”.

How To Fix It:

If you are already done with the planting, it might be a bit harder to fix but if you just started working on your lovely garden, you should definitely plan for enough space between different plants.

Garden with green trees & shrubs

Wrapping Up

While gardening doesn’t seem hard at the beginning, it certainly requires a level of knowledge. Get to know the plants you want to plant! Luckily, this knowledge is easy to acquire by simply talking to some of the experts or reading about it online. Follow these tips to make sure that your garden flourishes.


Freddie Tubbs is a gardening writer and editor at Ukwritings. He regularly takes part in exterior and interior design conferences and webinars, and contributes articles to Boomessays and Essayroo blogs.

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