Gardening 101: Avoid These Common Mistakes for a Successful Garden

Gardening is so much fun! However, as we embark on a gardening journey there are some common mistakes that beginning gardeners make, let's talk about a few things that you can take control of in your garden to ensure success.


One of the most common mistakes that new gardeners make is overwatering their plants. Yes, plants need water to survive, but too much water can be just as harmful as not enough. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues that can kill your plants. Overwatering is also a major cause of Blossom End Rot.

This is an example of what Blossom End rot can look like.

How to avoid overwatering

To avoid overwatering, make sure you are familiar with the watering requirements of the specific plants you have in your gardening space, and be sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. A super-cool trick I use is to poke your index finger in the dirt of your plant right up to that first knuckle, if it is damp you're good, if its dry, give it a drink.

Choosing the Wrong Plants

 Another common mistake that beginning gardeners often make is choosing plants that are not well-suited to their climate, soil, or other growing conditions. Here in north Mississippi, my Garden Zone is Zone 8, so I stick to mostly native plants and other plants suited for this climate like tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and herbs. Check your garden zone and make sure the plants you choose are for your climate.

How to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Plant

To avoid doing this, do your research and choose plants that are well-suited to your specific growing conditions. You can talk with a local gardening expert or local nursery to help you choose the right plants. I have heard many stories about how someone found this beautiful flower online and it turns out it just isn't suited for their climate. BE careful when choosing plants. ASK ME! Shoot me a comment below!

Planting too close together

 It can be tempting to plant your garden beds with all those beautiful and on sale plants, but this does not create a thriving environment for your plants. When plants are put too close together, they tend to compete for resources and become more attractive to pests and vulnerable to diseases.

This is a great example of plant spacing.

How to avoid planting too close together

To avoid this, make sure you are spacing your plants according to the specific planting instructions and giving them room to grow. Carrots are a great example, if you plant carrots too close together you get ugly, knotted carrots the size of your pinky or smaller.

Failing to Prune or Deadhead

Many plants require regular pruning or deadheading in order to stay healthy and produce new growth. Failing to do so can lead to leggy, unattractive plants that produce fewer flowers or fruit.

How to avoid not pruning or deadheading

 Make sure you are familiar with the pruning and deadheading requirements of the specific plants in your garden. What is pruning? Pruning is simply removing parts of the plants that are dead and overgrown. What is deadheading? Deadheading is removing dead flowers to encourage more growth and blooms. If you need to, make a schedule to keep up with these tasks. I recommend using a Garden Planner, so you do not neglect the needs of your garden.

Ignoring soil health

The health of your plants depends on the health of your soil. Make sure to use a good quality soil mix and regularly add fertilizer or compost (if you have it) to improve and maintain soil health. Additionally, consider getting your soil tested to determine if it needs any additional amendments.

How to avoid bad soil health

 To avoid this, make sure you are adding compost or other organic matter to your soil regularly. Sometimes I add egg shells to my tomato plants in order to discourage Blossom End Rot. If you are planting a Plot Garden you may consider testing your soil to determine its nutrient levels and pH balance. I have a container garden because the soil in my area is mostly clay and limestone. I usually use Black Kow or Miracle-Gro soil mix. By keeping your soil healthy, you can help your plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

Giving up too soon

Gardening takes patience, persistence, and consistency. Don’t get discouraged if a plant doesn’t seem to be thriving at first. Sometimes it just takes time for a plant to adjust to its new environment, or it may need some additional care or attention. Remember to follow the planting instructions and directions on the seed packet or the tag located inside the plant pot. If you still have questions, do some research.

How to avoid giving up


Join my Facebook Gardening Group. It is especially geared towards brand new gardeners, there is no judgement there! Or you can email me [email protected].

Talk to gardeners in your area, find out what they are planting, how they water, and the soil they are using! Keep trying and learning, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and bountiful garden.

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