How to Avoid Common Gardening Mistakes

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Thinking about starting a garden? We commend you for taking up this honorable hobby.

However, if you dive right in without a plan, what’s supposed to be a relaxing activity will end up being a frustrating chore.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Check out this guide on common mistakes new gardeners make and how to avoid them. With our advice, you’ll set yourself up to have the most beautiful backyard on the block.

Consider Your Surroundings

First and foremost, you should recognize that your garden isn’t a separate entity. It will look and function its best when it is cohesive with your surroundings.

So, when planning your layout, you’ll want to consider what you’re working with. For instance, if your backyard has a lot of hills, you might need to put in rocks to prevent runoff. Here are some other examples of being aware of your surroundings:

  • Not planting plants next to a road or driveway with black asphalt (to prevent scorching)
  • Building a fence to keep out animals and create separation from your neighbor’s property
  • Choosing flowers that complement the colors of your trim, roof, etc.

Use Your Home as the Perfect Backdrop

While you should consider all of your surroundings, perhaps the most important is your home. Your home will essentially serve as the backdrop to your garden.

Thus, it’s crucial to pick plants that match the building’s aesthetic. Gardeners with old-fashioned or cottage-style homes might benefit from informal layouts that feature a combination of flowers, vegetables, and herbs. A more formal layout with pruned shrubs and patterns will look amazing if you have a modern home.

Whatever layout you end up choosing, your home needs to look its best to pull it off. Now is the perfect time to invest in some improvement projects, whether it be siding repair in Harrisburg, PA or other types of services. Once you freshen up your home, it’ll be ready to act as the perfect backdrop for your new garden.

Enrich Your Soil

Many new gardeners think that all they need is some seeds and basic tools. Once they get these necessities, they dig up their backyard and start planting.

Unfortunately, your backyard’s soil may not be ideal for growing plants. It likely lacks the nutrients flowers and vegetables need to thrive.

Your best bet is to buy enriched soil from your local gardening center. By mixing a few bags into your plots, you’ll ensure that your seeds actually sprout.

Get Rid of Weeds

When you add new soil, don’t make the mistake of throwing it on top of existing weeds. They won’t suffocate; rather, they’ll thrive with all of the nutrients.

So, before adding soil, be diligent about getting rid of weeds. Pulling them all out will allow your new plants to thrive and make future weed-pulling much more manageable.

Use Pesticides Sparingly

If you’re already thinking about keeping pests away from your precious plants, you’re a step ahead of most newbies. But we warn you not to get too carried away.

Excessive use of pesticides can directly damage your plants. It can also indirectly affect your garden by getting rid of bees that pollinate, killing helpful insects that eat “bad” insects, etc.

So, when you use pesticides, don’t go overboard and make sure you know which pests to target.


Starting a garden is an exciting milestone for many homeowners. But, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself as you’ll spend lots of time fixing problems you could’ve avoided from the get-go. Use this guide to develop a foolproof plan, and happy gardening!