4. Poor Soil Preparation

Poor soil preparation is also a common mistake beginners make when starting a vegetable garden. Growing vegetables isn’t just sticking seeds or plants in the dirt.

Weeds need to be cleared, the soil turned and cultivated, and organic matter like compost or composted manure mixed in to enhance the soil. See Improving Garden Soil for ways to improve soil by adding organic matter.

Click Any Image to See a Larger Version
Melon Varieties ‘Charentais’ Slices 'Ambition' Shallots Growing Carrots—‘Yaya’ and ‘Purple Dragon’

Facts About Soil has basic information on soil structure, and links to pages on Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Changing Soil pH, and The Soil Food Web for those who are interested.

Depending on the fertility of your soil, specific organic soil amendments can be added to make up for deficiencies. Follow the link to find out more about Organic Fertilizers.

Top 10 Mistakes
 1.) Too Much Garden
 2.) Wrong Varieties
 3.) Planting Too Early
 4.) Poor Soil Preparation
 5.) Poor Garden Spacing
 6.) Not Enough Light
 7.) Incorrect Watering
 8.) "More is Better" Trap
 9.) Not Mulching
10.) Ignoring Pollinators

I’ve found that building a raised bed vegetable garden is the most productive way to grow vegetables organically. It costs more in materials and takes a lot of work at the outset, but it makes gardening much easier for all the years it's in place.

The deep root zone allows plants to be grown closer together, and trained vertically, so you can grow a lot more vegetables in a small space.

The plants form a dense canopy that shades out weeds, and holds in moisture. A raised bed vegetable garden uses 20-40% less water than single cultivation, so you can water less frequently.

Fruit is higher up and easier to harvest, so there’s less bending and stooping, which is better for fogeys like me.

Back to Starting a Vegetable Garden

Top Ten Mistakes Beginning Gardeners Make:

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