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Gardening at Home: 5 Beginner Pitfalls to Avoid

By    |   Tuesday, 24 May 2016 08:49 AM

Gardening is a rewarding hobby for nature lovers. If you are new to gardening, be aware of these common beginner pitfalls that could diminish your garden and dampen your enthusiasm.

1. Doing too much too soon — Beginner gardeners can let enthusiasm get in the way of good judgment. Visions of lush gardens brimming with colorful flowers and tasty vegetables can inspire new gardeners to take on too much. Before you know it, those tiny seedlings all need to be watered, weeded, fertilized, and pruned. Instead, start small so you can focus on providing the proper care for a few varieties of plants, suggests Barbara Pleasant of Mother Earth Living. You’ll learn more and have far greater success.

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2. Poor soil According to Hobby Farms, no garden can thrive in poor soil, and it is too late to fix poor soil once your plants are in the ground. Start preparing your soil as early as possible in the spring by adding amendments and working them in. Then, leave the soil undisturbed until it is warm enough to plant.

3. Improper watering — Plants need water to survive. Not enough water can cause undue stress to plants from which they might not recover, says Hobby Farms. Too much water can rot the root system. Most plants, especially vegetables, benefit from deep watering up to three times each week to encourage deep root growth. Watering at the root zone using drip line irrigation is better for plants and wastes less water than overhead watering.

4. Crowding plants — It can be hard to imagine that a tiny seed or small potted plant will grow to a large, full-sized plant in a short time. It can be tempting to crowd plants and ignore their spacing requirements, says Lori Elliott in Our Heritage of Health. Crowding plants and not thinning them out later on will result in poor growth, fungal diseases, and lower vegetable yields.

5. Unrealistic expectations — A garden is a natural, living thing, asserts Tomato Envy. New gardeners who expect their gardens to always look pristine or like something out of a magazine will fall prey to becoming dependent on lots of toxic chemicals and unnatural gardening techniques. Accept that your garden can coexist with some garden pests and even some weeds.

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Brande Plotnick is an ambitious home cook, gardener, beekeeper, writer, and speaker who started her website, Tomato Envy, to inspire others to find their deliberately decadent life at home. Brande’s down-to-earth style and approachable manner have been winning over the readers who follow her blog. Her work has been featured in Urban Farm Magazine, Natural Awakenings, Mother Earth News, and the Whole Seed Catalog.

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If you are new to gardening, be aware of these common beginner pitfalls that could diminish your garden and dampen your enthusiasm.
gardening, home, beginner, pitfalls
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 08:49 AM
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