My 3 Favorite Gardening Mistakes

Gardening is a learning process, and in the process of all that learning I made LOTS of mistakes.  But I think that’s a good thing, because I tend to learn more from my mistakes than my success!  Here are my favorite mistakes, and what they taught me.

Mistake 1: Too much, Too soon.  As a brand new gardener, I was so excited that I went crazy ordering from the seed catalog, and, later, buying plants at the greenhouse.  I wanted to try everything, right now.  

Unfortunately, I ended up frustrated and overwhelmed.  A few things did grow successfully, but for the most part I wasted a lot of money on seeds and plants I either never planted or that didn’t thrive due to my ignorance.

Lesson Learned: Start small, and take things step by step (advice my dad likes to give me). 

Mistake 2: Waiting too long to start a garden. I was interested in having a garden for a few years before I actually planted one. I waited so long because I felt I didn’t know enough! 

You know what finally got me to start? Realizing that I would NEVER know all there was to know about gardening! I'm amazed by how far I've come in just a few years, and I sometimes wonder how much farther along I'd be if I just started instead of waiting.

Lesson Learned: Just get started! You learn more from doing something than reading about it or talking to other people about it (although those are important too).

Mistake 3:  Plant Without A Plan.  I actually made this mistake over and over again, until I took a landscape design class.  That’s when I learned that a little planning can make a big difference.  Before that, I would buy seeds or plants that I liked in the moment, while looking through a catalog or walking around a greenhouse. 

As a result, I’d end up with more plants than garden space, or plants that wouldn’t thrive where I put them, or, in the case of edibles, wasted vegetables and fruit.  Planning, however, helps me make MUCH better use of my space, have a much higher likelihood that the plants I buy will thrive.

Lesson Learned: Planning, which to me mean means thinking about how much space I have to grow things, my goals for that season, and my budget, means a much more cost effective (and often attractive) garden.  Although it is still a lesson I’m learning! 

What are some of your favorite gardening mistakes? Let me know in the comments!

Linda KelsoComment