Urban gardening has given city dwellers a shot at self-sustenance. It’s changed the way they eat, cook and live. However, some gardeners commit mistakes that prevent them from experiencing maximum yield. The good news is we’re here to help you out.
Today we’re going to talk about common mistakes urban gardeners make and how to avoid them.
- Choosing hybrids and GMO’s
It’s common among newbie gardeners to choose cheaper seeds that will help them grow their crops right away. However, hybrids and GMO’s aren’t the best choices for long-term gardening. Other than containing chemicals, these seeds aren’t strong enough to withstand environmental changes.
Heirloom seeds, on the other hand, are the superior seeds. They are 100% natural and can be saved, stored and replanted for next year’s harvest. They may cost more than hybrids and GMO’s but they will save you more money in the long run.
- Neglecting planting charts
Urban gardening is not as easy as buying random seeds and planting them straight away. There are right areas and time for the seeds. So make sure you follow planting charts to the dot. This way, you get the most yield of the healthiest plants.
For example, it’s best to plant your greens in early spring or late summer in Philadelphia. Otherwise, they’re going to burn. On the other hand, tomatoes, peppers, and squash need all the sun they can get to bear fruit.
- Failure to choose the right plants
Urban gardeners face the challenge of space. Many of them rely on a small area in their backyard or balcony. They have to make the most of it while making sure they are not overcrowding the area.
Far too many newbies choose plants solely according to their preferences. However, some of these plants grow outward. They may not get what they need if they are planted too close to others and in a confined space. That’s why we recommend choosing the right plants for your small space garden.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peas, squash and cooking herbs all grow vertically. When you choose these plants, you have the freedom to add more and are assured that these plants are getting what they need.
- Putting plants too close to each other
Since urban gardeners struggle with the space they have, they have a tendency to overcrowd their plants. They want to get as many in there as possible. However, that is one of the worst ways to build a healthy, high-yielding urban garden. When these crops are planted too close, there isn’t much airflow around them. When there’s not much airflow, they become more susceptible to pests and diseases.
It may be hard to imagine how big these small seeds can grow but we highly recommend keeping a decent amount of space between your plants. It may not look like a lot right now. However, in a few months’ time, they’ll be growing bigger and bigger.
- Not fertilizing your plants
When seeds are planted in small containers, the soil condition becomes more temperamental. It becomes trickier to make sure that your plants are getting enough nutrients when put in a limited space.
More newbie urban gardeners need to realize the importance of fertilizing their plants. This adds another layer of health and protection to your seeds that may not have the luxury of the healthiest soil. Besides, there are plenty of ways you can create your own compost. The best part is it’s totally inexpensive.
- Utilizing poor watering techniques
Watering is one of the trickiest topics in gardening. Some believe you need to water moderately but frequently. Others believe it’s good to dry out the soil once in a while so the roots will grow further in the soil. Whatever watering technique you choose to use, the most important thing is consistency.
Consistent watering allows you to develop a habit, which makes it easier for your plants to get used to. Another benefit of constant watering is it cuts down tomato cracking. When you water too much, the insides of your fruit grow rapidly that the outer skin can’t keep up.
- Skipping gardening seminars
Just about everything can be found online. From insider gardening tips to seeds for sale, the Internet is truly quite a resource. However, we encourage urban gardeners to attend meet-ups and seminars that can help improve their skills.
What makes these events special is you get to meet long-time gardeners and experts that will help you learn more about the essentials. Plus, many of these gardeners enjoy seed trades. Who knows? You might just find those seeds you’ve been looking for.