10 Tips to Prevent the Most Common Veggie-Growing Mistakes
- Plan your garden: get out paper and pencil, grow what you like and remember plant spacing! Plant in rows or squares (or any other geometric shape) and think vertically to get the most from your space!
- Don’t treat your soil like dirt. Know what’s in it, add what it needs to grow healthy plants. Remember NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) and organic matter (compost is black gold)!
- Respect the growing season. Some veggies like it cool, some like it hot. Some take a long time others don’t. (See handout.)
- Be kind to transplants. Plant them on a cloudy day or in the late afternoon. Keep them watered.
- Sow seed thickly and thin later. READ THE SEED PACKET!! There’s a wealth of information there. Unthinned plants won’t thrive, they need space to grow. Eat your thinnings!
- Weeds are unwelcome guests. Keep the weeds out! They will compete with your plants for nutrients and water. Cultivate (dig and pull) and mulch!
- Feed your plants. Fertilize in the spring before planting and half way through the season. Some plants need an extra boost when flowers or bulbs set.
- Water after transplanting, after seeding, after fertilizing and whenever Mother Nature has been stingy with rain. Veggies need about an inch of water per week…don’t you be stingy!
- Be vigilant with regard to disease and bugs. Figure out what’s going wrong before you get out a spray bottle. Research the symptoms, identify the problem, determine how severe the problem is, find the safest remedy. Ask for help!
- Vegetable gardening requires a commitment throughout the season. Don’t just visit once a week. Be there for your plants and you will be rewarded with a great harvest.
Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County