There’s no denying it – gardening can be a tough hobby, especially for a newbie. Even with great soil, the best growing mediums (Farmyard Organics of course!) and a lot of sunlight, there is still plenty that can go wrong with your first vegetable garden. Here are a few beginner gardening “hacks” to take note of and avoid.
Gardening hack #1: Too much, too soon
It’s all too easy to plant more vegetable varieties than your garden space and time will permit. Rather start out small and plant only a few of your favourite, in-season veggies. This will allow you more gardening success and a greater feeling of accomplishment. The best vegetables to plant this October are pumpkins, cucumbers, sweetcorn, melons as well as bush and climbing beans.
Gardening Hack #2: Not investing in good soil
Your spring soil preparation will determine your gardening success. Your soil must have the right mineral and nutrient content for your plants to grow and thrive. The wise gardener will look to improve the level of organic matter (or humus) in their soil by adding Farmyard Organics compost. Our compost is made up of the best quality raw materials and will help with seed germination, good root development and water retention.
If you plan to have potted plants, remember that they need special care and are a little more challenging to nurture. A common mistake with pot planting is to not allow for good drainage, causing the plants to become waterlogged and therefore rotting the roots. Farmyard Organics’ Potting Mix is made up of 50% compost and 50% large particles of composted bark, making it fluffy enough to provide good drainage. It is therefore the ideal medium for the potting out of plants.
Gardening hack #3: Under and over watering
Plants need water to metabolize nutrients and to grow, but different types of vegetable plants need different amounts of water. Only healthy roots can absorb nutrients from the soil and hold the plant upright.
Too little water will cause plants to dry up and wilt and once seriously wilted, most plants will not recover, even if watered. And on the opposite end, too much water can rot the root system. Most vegetable plants prefer a good, deep watering one to three times each week. If you water too shallowly, the roots will grow near the surface instead of downward to seek water.
Gardening hack #4: Ignoring the sunlight needs of each plant
If you’ve ever tried planting tomatoes in partial sun or pumpkins in the shade, this one is for you. Ignoring the sunlight needs of plants is one of the most common gardening mistakes, and one that’s easily avoidable. Certain types of plants are well-suited for shade, while others won’t produce without full sun. Always read the seed packets or planting instructions carefully.
Gardening hack #5: Planting bulbs upside-down
Onions, garlic and other bulbs have a root-growing end that needs to be at the bottom and a stem-growing end facing the sky. Make sure that you know which end is which before you plant these bulbs out.
Planting bulbs wrong-end up will cause delayed growth as the root and top try to find the right direction to grow. This can use so much of the energy stored in the bulb that by the time the sprout reaches sunlight, the plant is weak and will fail to thrive. In most cases, the top of a bulb comes to more of a point than the bottom.