Five Gardening Mistakes I’ve Made

Posted on Feb 24 2010 - 6:10am by Mike Lieberman

Since I’m still new to this gardening thing, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my first year. I’ve also had many successes as well, with the most memorable being my first lettuce harvest.

For this post, I’d like to share the Top Five Gardening Mistakes that I’ve Made. Life ain’t perfect and neither are my gardens. I know hard to believe.

I’ve made these mistakes, learned from them and have become better at gardening (and life) because of it.

  1. Putting too many food scraps in the compost bin. This was one of my first mistakes and happened before I even planted my garden. Luckily, it wasn’t a tell-tale sign of things to come and easily rectified. Though the smell in my apartment was absolutely horrendous for a few days.
  2. Upside down herb gardening. When I first started this, it seemed like a great idea and looked cool as hell too. The first time around, they all died in less than a month. So I tried again with the same results – dead herbs. Then I realized I should turn grow the herbs out of the top, not the bottom…duh.
  3. Planting cherry tomatoes on my fire escape. It was great that I was able to get fresh, ripe tomatoes from my fire escape, but the plant grew to be way too large for my fire escape. I definitely won’t grow it again in such a small space.
  4. Plant fewer or single plants in each container. The celery plant that grew alone in a container was more than double the size of the ones that were packed together. Also I had combined herbs into containers, which stunted the growth of some of them. It was just a case of me being greedy and trying to plant as much as I could.
  5. Worm composting. I went through not one, not two, but three sets of worms that I killed. What can I say? I’m a worm serial killer. They were literally dying to get away from me. It was a major fail.

These are only five of the mistakes that I’ve made while gardening this first time around. There were plenty more and there will be plenty more to come. None of which will stop me from continuing to garden.

What are some gardening mistakes that you’ve made?

9 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. RawDamon February 24, 2010 at 10:18 am -

    I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm looking forward to making some more! haha.. Our last year was great for our small spaces, but :
    -Tomato plants were WAY too big, blocked the sun to our peppers and corn.
    -Cilantro was in a raised bed….bolted almost immediately; same for summer greens. We have a shadier spot for those now.
    -BUGS! The kale was soon infested with green/gray ones; big greens got snailed hard…using lots of wood ash helped.
    -Starting peppers earlier; the ones we started in the house were best by far.
    -We wish we would have made more small plantings often instead of doing it all at once. Makes total sense now.
    Thanks for making us sit back and think about it for a minute…. So this year it's planning first, we'll actually do that on paper with plant dates I think. Best of luck to everyone this year!

  2. Mike Lieberman February 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm -

    Nice man. It's gonna be another good season. We already got all that cilantro planting advice.

  3. Mike Lieberman February 25, 2010 at 2:52 am -

    Nice man. It's gonna be another good season. We already got all that cilantro planting advice.

  4. Ali May 7, 2010 at 3:20 am -

    I planted way too many tomatoes of the same kind. Now I have 40 plants, all the same, and no variety 🙁

    Also, I planted mint plants in a house with a cat. Major nono.

    I love your blog, thanks for all the great advice!

  5. Mike Lieberman May 7, 2010 at 2:46 pm -

    Hey at least you have 40 tomato plants. Sounds like a good problem. You gonna can and preserve some of them?

  6. Amy October 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm -

    Honestly? Living in Oklahoma during the extreme heat wave and drought was my biggest “mistake”. It actually HURT to see all of my beautiful plants with so much potential shrivel up and die, despite being watered as much as 3x/day. 🙁

  7. Mike Lieberman October 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm -

    Ugh. That’s no good.

  8. Kristi February 25, 2012 at 7:58 am -

    yeah, here in south carolina i lost everything between the heat and hornworms

  9. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 12:24 am -

    That sounds like a bad movie.

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