8 most common gardening mistakes and how to avoid them

Here are eight common gardening mistakes to avoid:
1. Planting without taking space into consideration
It's easy to forget that your plants, be it vegetables or fruit, need space to grow. According to Mother Earth News, placing plants too close together can cause them to compete for sunshine and other critical nutrients. To ensure proper spacing, Mother Earth News recommends keeping the bed clean of weeds. Weed early and often, particularly during the first few weeks of a plant's life.
2. Overwatering
This is definitely one that many gardeners are guilty of. Roots that are soaked or sitting in water can cause plants to wilt because they don't get enough oxygen. Remember, roots need to breathe! Natural Living Ideas recommends that gardeners properly manage watering frequency, especially in plants where the roots are fully mature.
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3. Picking the wrong plant
All plants are different and thrive in varying climates. Some require more moisture, whereas others require more sunlight. On top of this, you need to know yourself and the type of gardener you are. For example, are you a lazy gardener who often forgets to water (this is me!)? Succulents might be the answer for you. You need to water them only once per week.
4. Not prepping the soil / garden bed
Especially during the early stages, it's important that the soil is rich and healthy for the young seedlings. You don't want the soil to get too hard or dry. Countryside Daily states, "For soil that is heavy in clay, you’ll need to add sand and organic matter to relieve compaction. For soil that is sandy, you’ll need to add compost or well-rotted manure to improve retention of moisture and nutrients." Both suggestions enable your plants to firmly establish their roots.
5. Not using the proper mulch amount
Mulching is intended to slow down or prevent weeds from growing in your garden. It also helps retain moisture content in soil. Too much mulch can prevent seedlings from getting enough light. Too little mulch can lead to dry soil that prevents seedlings from thriving. Gail Damerow from Countryside Daily suggests adding an inch of mulch when seedlings are a couple of inches high and a couple more inches when they are half grown.
6. Underwatering
Sometimes it can be confusing to tell whether or not your plants are under- or overwatered. In both cases, your plants will turn brown and begin to wilt. So how can you tell if your plants are missing that extra H20? The finger test is what is recommended by most gardening sites. Run your fingers 1 or 2 inches down into the soil. If the soil is wet, you are good. If it's dry, it's time to water!
7. Improper use of weed killers
Weed-killer sprays can travel by air or mix in water and run downstream (during rain), causing you to unintentionally harm nearby plants or flowers.
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8. Forgetting about crop rotation
Crop rotation is important because it prevents the same plants from encountering the same pests or insects that were there during the previous harvest. In addition to that, plant rotation helps to renew and restore the soil nutritional levels.
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