10 Biggest Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

1. Starting a Garden in the Wrong Place

right vs. wrong location
Right vs. wrong location

The number one mistake that many people make is starting a garden in the wrong place. No matter the type of garden you start, choose the right spot. The right spot must have favorable growing conditions for the plants you will grow. Consider factors such as exposure to sunlight and drainage.  In addition, the location should be easy to access when taking care of the garden. Other considerations to bear in mind include pets and children. Moreover, the garden should not interfere with the existing landscape architecture of your home.

2. Failure to Prepare the Soil

Preparing soil
Prepared soil

Another common gardening mistake to avoid is failure to prepare the soil well.  When you do not prepare soil before planting, the plants will not grow as desired. Some plants can even die when planted in poorly prepared soil. Soil preparation begins with testing to identify the nutritional condition of the soil as well as its pH. Nowadays, soil testing is very easy with the availability of affordable soil testing kits you can use at home.  After the testing you will know which soil amendments to make if any. Another soil preparation activity is the addition of manure or compost.

3. Overwatering or under watering

watering plants
Watering plants

The plants in your garden require adequate amounts of water in order to thrive. This is achieved through proper watering procedures. You should therefore know the water requirements of the plants in your garden. This prevents watering too much or too little. When you overwater, air supply in the soil is interfered with and this affects the health of your plants. Inadequate watering on the other hand can lead to water stress and the plants can die. In order to water your garden properly, it is advisable to check the soil daily. The moistness of the soil can alert you if to water or not. You should also have the correct watering equipment for the plants in your garden. 

4. Planting out-of-season plants

a frown plant
a frown plant

Seasonal garden vegetables, flowers or herbs should be planted in the right season. Failure to observe this simple rule will definitely lead to disappointment. It is therefore important to plant plants during the correct seasons. You should know which plants do well in a particular season. Talk to other gardeners in your locality and learn from them too. If you are planting exotic plants, read more about them. Even if you are doing indoor gardening, some plants only thrive in specific seasons.

5. Growing Many Plants at Once

new plant checklist
New plant checklist

One of the other biggest gardening mistakes to avoid is planting too many plants at once. Even experienced gardeners can be overwhelmed if they do not plant a few plants. It is therefore important to plan your gardening activities. With a plan, you will know what to plant, when and where to plant. This will help you to stay organized and have adequate time for your plants. If you are new into gardening, it is advisable to start a garden with two or three types of plants.  With time, if there is space, you can add more plants in the garden.

6. Failure to Prune


Pruning is an important garden maintenance exercise. Failure to prune therefore affects the growth of your plants. Pruning can help with disease control as well. In addition, if you have ornamental plants, pruning ensures the correct shape and structure is maintained. It is therefore important to learn the correct pruning techniques so that you can prune the plants in the right way. You should also know the flowering patterns of the plants in your garden so as to prune at the right time. This is because, pruning can affect flower and fruit formation.

7. Avoiding Plant Rotation 

common garden rotation
Common garden rotation

Many gardeners decide that one plant will always grow in a particular spot year after year. Doing this increases the chances of disease and pest infestation in the garden. Plant rotation, breaks the lifecycle of the pests or the microorganisms. In addition, planting the same plants in one spot all the time exhausts soil nutrients. This in essence increases the use of fertilizers. Plant rotation on the other hand can be a natural way of replenishing soil nutrients since different plants have different growth requirements. Therefore, always vary the plants in your garden.  You can do this through seasonal changes.

8. Overcrowding the Plants

over-crowded plants
over-crowded plants

Another gardening mistake to avoid is overcrowding. This is mainly because of the desire to have too many plants growing in a small space. It is counterproductive and must be avoided because it leads to poor plant growth. When planting, leave the correct space between plants. Correct spacing ensures each plant gets adequate supply of nutrients and has enough room to grow. If you realize that you did not leave enough space between your plants, thinning is the solution.

9. Using Too Much Herbicides and Pesticides


Many of us are tempted to use a lot of herbicides and pesticides in our gardens. These chemicals unfortunately do more harm than good. Before you use any herbicide or pesticide, consider other alternatives such as organic herbicides and non-chemical pest control. Avoid using too much chemicals in your garden.

10. Wrong Fertilizer Use


Fertilizer use can affect the health of the plants in your garden. It is therefore important to use only the correct amount of fertilizer. A soil test as well as the growing conditions of the plants you have in your garden can guide you when deciding the type and the amount of fertilizer to use.



These are the biggest gardening mistakes to avoid if you want your garden to flourish. Continue learning on the best way to nurture your garden and you will enjoy gardening even more.

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