5 Mistakes New Gardeners Make

Gardening should be a rewarding experience and many times a newbie will get discouraged because things didn’t work out in reality like they worked out in our visions.  Many times our dissatisfaction can be avoided by following a few simple guidelines to finally have the garden of your dreams!

1. Planting Too Deep

One common mistake that many new gardeners make is planting their plants too deep into the soil. This is true for most shrubs, trees, and perennials.  Planting depth is not only determined by how deep in the ground it goes but also by how much soil is on top of the roots.  Planting too deep can deprive plants of much-needed oxygen and water, which can ultimately lead to poor growth or death. We recommend placing the root ball slightly above the ground level with no soil on top of the roots and mulching heavily with an organic mulch.

2. Ignoring Soil Quality

The soil is crucial to a plant’s overall health. New gardeners often ignore soil quality, which can lead to poor plant growth or plant death. Soil can be too sandy, too clay-like, or lacking in nutrients. It’s important to evaluate the quality of the soil and amend it as necessary.

3. Choosing the Wrong Plants For The Location

New gardeners may choose the wrong plants for their environment, leading to an unhappy garden experience. When selecting plants, it’s important to consider the mature size of the plant, the amount of sunlight, soil type, and precipitation that your plant will require.  I you know what your plant wants, you’ll be able to make it happy.  A happy plant means a happy garden for you!

4.  Using Fertilizers Incorrectly

Nutrients are a vital necessity to a happy garden.  Plants need food just like people need food. As humans we require special food for us, just like dogs eat dog food, cats eat cat food and so on.  It’s important to know that all fertilizers are not created equally.   You should never use a fertilizer on your plants that is designed for another plant.  There are a lot of general-use fertilizers out there to choose from for your specific plant needs.

Timing – It’s important to pay close attention to your fertilizer type and follow the guidelines they set for application timing.  If your label says every 30 days, or 60 days, or weekly, follow their recommendations so that your plants don’t run out of nutrients.  Always Read The Label

5.  Not Investigating A Plant Problem

So many times we have seen new gardeners guessing and acting on a problem before they know what the cause is.   Every plant symptom tells a story and before you grab a chemical, get a 2nd opinion from a qualified source.  Not long ago a customer came to us with a yellow leaf on her camellia with clear signs of Tea Scale, but her friend told her that it was a fungus so she hit it with multiple applications of fungicide only to find that it did not improve and was spreading to other plants.   Watch out for those who don’t know but think they do!


Blackcreek Nursery & Garden is a family-owned business located in Southern Bulloch County Georgia with over 30 years in the retail and wholesale horticultural industry.  Over the years, We have grown many plants and solved many problems and we are always available to help you Grow A Happy Garden!   Contact Us With Your Garden Questions!