Gardening Mistakes Most Beginners Make and How to Fix Them

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For many people, gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. However, it can also be a lot intimidating at first. There’s a lot to do to keep a garden looking its best, from weeding and watering to mulching and pruning.

But, the effort is often worth it. A beautiful garden can add curb appeal to a home, provide a place for spending time outdoors, and even help to improve mental health.

Research has shown that gardening can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider spending some time in your garden. You might just find that it’s the perfect antidote to the stresses of daily life.

If you’re new to gardening, it’s essential to avoid making common mistakes that can lead to problems down the road. By learning about basic gardening techniques and researching the plants you want to grow, you can avoid making these blunders.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common gardening mistakes made by beginners and how to fix them.


1. Not preparing the soil before planting

soil preparation - gardening mistakes

Most beginner gardeners fail to prepare their soil before planting. This can lead to several problems, including poor drainage, compaction, and nutrient deficiencies.

Preparing the soil helps ensure that your plants will have the best chance to thrive. There are a few simple steps you can take to prepare garden soil for planting.

First, use a spade or tiller to loosen the soil and break up any large clumps. Next, remove any rocks or debris that might impede plant growth.

Finally, add a layer of organic matter such as compost or manure, which will help improve the drainage and fertility of the soil. By preparing garden soil properly, you can create a thriving environment for your plants.

Want to improve your garden soil quality and yields? Check out our guide on how to breathe life into infertile soils.


2. Over-fertilizing or under-fertilizing

Over-fertilizing and under-fertilizing garden plants are yet another common mistake by beginners and even pros.

Maintaining healthy plants requires a delicate balance of nutrients, and one of the most critical elements is fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can lead to nutrient overload, causing leaves to yellow and stunt plant growth.

On the other hand, too little fertilizer can cause nutrient deficiency, resulting in weak and unhealthy plants.

To achieve the perfect balance, it is vital to understand how much fertilizer your plants need and apply it accordingly. Over-fertilizing and under-fertilizing are both common mistakes that can significantly impact plant health, so it is critical to be mindful of the amount of fertilizer you are using.

With a bit of practice, you will be able to keep your plants healthy and thriving.


3.  Over-watering and under-watering plants

watering garden plants

Another common gardening mistake by newbie gardeners is over-watering and under-watering their plants.

And, who can blame them? Sometimes you’re just too excited about your plants and become overzealous with the watering can.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to water your plants only when they need it. It’s tricky determining how much water your plants need if you’re new to gardening.

Over-watering can lead to root rot and fungal growth, while under-watering can cause leaves to wilt and flowers to drop.

One way to tell if your plant is getting enough water is to check the soil. If it’s dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a drink.

Another way to judge the amount of water your plant needs is its appearance. If the leaves are drooping or the flowers are wilting, it’s a good indication that your plant is thirsty.

By monitoring the soil and the plant itself, you can ensure that your garden remains healthy and happy.

Be sure to water slowly and deeply so that the roots have a chance to absorb the water.


4. Choosing the wrong plants for your garden

Choosing the wrong plants for your garden only leads to misery. You have the green thumb, alright, but you choose the wrong plants for your region and climate conditions.

Spring is when many of us start thinking about sprucing up our yards. If you’re planning on adding some new plants to your garden, it’s important to choose ones that will thrive in your region.

One way to figure out what will work best is to ask a local nursery or gardening center for recommendations. They’ll be familiar with the climate and soil conditions in your area, and they can help you select plants that are well-suited to those conditions.

Another option is to look for plants that are native to your region. These species have evolved to adapt to the local climate, so they’re more likely to prosper in your garden. With some research, you can ensure that your new plants will be right at home in your garden.


5. Ignoring pests and diseases

dealing with garden pests

One of the most frustrating problems new gardeners face is pest infestations. This can happen even if you take all the necessary precautions, such as using mulch and choosing disease-resistant plants.

As any gardener knows, dealing with pests and diseases is an inevitable part of the job. However, it’s essential to approach these challenges sustainably.

This means using methods that are gentle on the environment and avoiding harming beneficial insects and other wildlife. One sustainable approach is to use traps and barriers.

For example, you can set out sticky traps to catch aphids or place Physical barriers like fine mesh around vulnerable plants. Another sustainable approach is encouraging natural predators, such as ladybugs, into your garden.

These predators help keep insect populations in check, minimizing the need for pesticides. By using sustainable methods, you can help keep your garden healthy and protect the environment simultaneously.



If you’re new to gardening, it’s easy to make mistakes. But don’t worry – we’ve all been there! The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep trying.

Ultimately, one the most common gardening mistakes is underestimating how much time and effort gardening takes. It’s not just a matter of planting seeds and watering them – you also need to weed, fertilize, and pest control.

Gardening can be beneficial, but it does require some work. So be patient and don’t give up if things don’t seem to be going well at first.

  • Simon Elstad

    As assistant editor at Greener Ideal, Simon champions clean energy, mobility, tech and the environment. He’s passionate about uncovering innovative solutions that power a sustainable future. When he's not dissecting envirotech data, you can find him exploring nature, actively supporting wildlife & environmental conservation efforts.

    To collaborate, support, give feedback or sponsor a post, please reach him at: [email protected]

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