10 Mistakes to Avoid Next Gardening Season
1. Starting Too Late
Ok, let’s get real. Gardening is hard work. You can garden smartly and avoid doing unnecessary labor, but if you ask me the whole ‘lazy gardener’ idea is a load of hooey. Part of the necessary work of gardening is a little planning and preparing in advance.
I just want to say in advance that any garden is better than no garden at all. So if all you can do is go out to a nursery on a Saturday morning to get a few pepper and tomato plants going, that’s okay. But if you’re trying to get some real productive gardening going and you have a few minutes that you can consecrate to it a few times a week, you will want to get started on time.
Mother nature gives us a window of opportunity for most gardening tasks that need to get done. If you miss the window of opportunity you won’t get another chance until next year. A huge part of the art of gardening is timing.
If you are going to start your own plants from seed, now is the time to order up your seeds. Planting can start as early as late February for leeks and onions!
2. Starting too early
This is a mistake of the over-zealous like myself who can’t wait for winter to end and to get into it. Kicking off the season too early will mean that plants will be ready to be put in the ground and the ground won’t be ready for the plants.
This translates into additional work taking care of plants that are getting too big for their flats and pots indoors. If you manage to keep them unstressed and growing strong it will mean a lot of extra care, watering more often, adding fertilizer, and potting-up. If they end up stressed from lingering too long in cramped quarters they will have to recuperate from this stress before they get growing full steam ahead.
Commercial growing taught me that planting extra early is useless in most cases also. Early in the season, the days are gradually getting longer and warmer. This means that later plantings will not be slowed down by cold and limited sunlight, and they will often catch up to early springtime plantings that had to endure more stress and less than ideal growing conditions early in the season.