Growing your own food can be a thrilling and rewarding adventure, but there’s no denying you can also be filled with struggles and frustration. Every gardener makes mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them and carry on gardening. And learning from other people’s mistakes can save you the time and heartbreak of making your own. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid in growing your own vegetables.
1. Sowing too early
We all get impatient when it feels winter’s been going on forever, and we want to see things start growing again. But seedlings sown too soon in the year can struggle because the conditions aren’t suitable for them yet. Follow the sowing dates on your seed packets, and you’ll have much more vital, healthier plants in the end.
2. Sowing too late
There’s so much to do in spring. It’s hard to get everything done on time. Plants are relatively forgiving, and in many cases, it doesn’t matter if you sow slightly too late, but plants like chilli peppers and tomatoes need a long growing season, and if you sow them too late, you won’t get as good a harvest. So get the important plants sown first, then catch up on all the less critical jobs afterwards.
3. Planting in the wrong spot
We’ve all made the mistake of being too optimistic about conditions in our garden when there’s a plant we want to grow, crossing our fingers and hoping the plants will cope with not enough sun or the wrong sort of soil. But if you want your plants to thrive rather than survive, check what conditions they need and make sure they have them.
4. Planting things no one wants to eat
There’s no point in growing vast quantities of vegetables if you won’t enjoy eating them. Plan your garden around the things you want to eat, not simply the plants that are easy to grow, so you’re not left trying to dispose of a mountain of unwanted veg.
5. Planting too many different things
It’s easy to get carried away when you get your first vegetable plot, but the reality is that growing vegetables can be tricky, so if you try to grow too many different things at once, you’re likely to be overwhelmed. Pick two or three vegetables and start with them, gradually adding more over time as you gain confidence and experience.
6. Forgetting to weed
Weeding is one of the most critical and never-ending tasks in a vegetable garden. Weeds compete with your vegetables for valuable nutrients and water, and they can also harbour pests and diseases. Get yourself a Dutch hoe and a hand fork, and weed your vegetable plot regularly.
Whether you’re new to vegetable gardening or an old hand, you’ll find all the tools, seeds, plants and equipment you need in our centres. Visit us today and get ready for next season’s gardening!