6. Not Knowing a Plant's
Light Requirements

Planting vegetables in too much shade is another common mistake beginners make when starting a vegetable garden. Fall vegetables perform okay in partial shade—in hot climates, they perform better—but summer vegetables need a minimum of 6 hours of full sun a day, and 6-12 is even better.

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Growing Spinach in a Terra-Cotta Pot Carrot Varieties—‘Babette’, a “Mini” Variety Suitable for Growing in Containers and Heavy or Rocky Soil Buttercup Squash ‘Bonbon’ Harvest

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

A tomato planted in ideal soil that gets 2 hours of sun a day will produce lush foliage, but little or no fruit. Lettuces or spinach planted in full midsummer sun will fry in one day. Knowing the light requirements of your vegetables is critical if your garden is to be successful.

Many gardens have side yards or areas that get sun for only part of the day. These can be challenging places for gardeners.

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and Asian greens will often thrive in gardens that get only morning sun, then partial or full shade the rest of the day. But if the area gets full sun only at mid-day or in the afternoon, it's too hot for them.

Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and melons are the opposite, they'll languish if they only get morning light, but thrive in full sun from mid-day on.

If you're not sure a plant will get enough light where you want to plant it, widen the spacing between plants, to give them more room to spread out.

Choosing small-fruited or early varieties can also help. Where light is marginal for tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and small salad tomatoes perform better than the larger beersteak varieties.

Back to Starting a Vegetable Garden

Top Ten Mistakes Beginning Gardeners Make:

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