7 common gardening mistakes to avoid this spring

If you’re getting out in the gardening now that it’s hotter, make sure you know what not to do so you can avoid any garden mishaps.

There’s a lot to learn in the garden but the benefits outweigh any small issues.

Here’s how to make the most of your gardening to prevent and fix some common gardening mistakes:

1. Not properly preparing the soil

Without good soil, no garden can thrive and look wonderful, so before you plant, you really need to prepare your soil. Disturbing seeds after they’ve been planted will not allow them to grow properly and you’ll have wasted time and money.

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Prepare the soil as early in spring as you can by digging the holes and filling with 50 per cent native soil and 50 per cent manure. Let the soil rest until the weather is warm enough and then you can plant your seeds.

2. Not enough light

It’s a no-brainer that plants need sunlight to grow properly and process soil and water nutrients. When choosing where to plant your seeds or pot plants, make sure that the area gets enough sun. Check the needs of your plant as some plants require more sun than others.

3. Over or underfertilising

Too much, too little or the wrong type of fertiliser will kill your plants. Make sure you check at your local gardening centre about which will be right for your plants as it’s all about the amount of nitrogen in the formula.

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4. Planting too deep or too shallow

In general, the larger the seed, the deeper it needs to be planted. The back of the seed packets offer information about how deeply to plant the seeds. Make sure you pay attention to this information, because planting too deeply will cause seeds to fail to sprout or tire out the young seed sprout.

By the same token, planting seeds too close to the surface can cause the seed to dry out quickly and fail to sprout.

5. Getting too excited

It’s spring and it’s a wonderful time to be in the garden but with all the excitement it’s easy to forget that every planting comes with a commitment. Before you know it, you need to weed, water, thin, plant, prune, stake and harvest, all at once! If you’re a novice gardener, start small with only a few rows or beds, allowing yourself to focus on the plants you’re growing and learn more about them.

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6. Planting too close together

It’s important to follow the planting directions on seed packets and seedlings. But if you choose to plant more, experiment by (for example) rowing shrubby plants such as basil under tall vining plants like tomatoes.

7. Accidentally pulling flowers instead of weeds

You might find that when all the flowers sprout, along come some weeds. Be careful not to pull out your flowers’ roots when you’re weeding – it can be easy to do. The most efficient way to mark your plants is to use the nursery tags your plants come with so you’re very sure that the pretty looking weed or ugly flower is not the opposite way around!


Tell us, what gardening mistakes have you made? What other tips do you have?