Lea Cohen | Brookline Real Estate, Newton Real Estate, West Roxbury Real Estate


No matter how much experience you have as a gardener, mistakes happen to everyone. Some gardening mistakes are actually avoidable. Below, you’ll find some of the most common gardening mistakes and how to stay clear of them. Next time around that you decide to plant, you’ll have an even greener thumb than you did the season before. 


You Planted Too Early


When the springtime hits, it’s easy to feel eager to plant and get your crops going. Planting too early without proper grow cloths or warm enough temperatures can be completely detrimental to anything that is trying to grow. 


Watering Too Much Or Two Little


There is a finite amount of water that’s required for plants to thrive. The general rule is for plants to receive about an inch of water per week. Plants that have not been watered enough will show certain signs including yellowing leaves and wilting leaves. Any fruits that are produced will be deformed. Be sure that you make up for the deficit of water during dry spells that occur by watering accordingly.   


Plants that have been overwatered can also cause yellowing leaves. You don’t want your water to pool or cause puddles in the garden. If this happens, you’ll need to add a bit more organic matter to the soil itself. 


Not Planting In A Bright Enough Place


It’s a basic scientific principle that plants need sunlight to grow properly. If you have planted things in the shade, they may not thrive. If you don’t have a sunny spot to plant your garden, try using portable gardening containers that you can move around. Shoot for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for your plants.       


Not Weeding


Weeds can obviously choke your crops, sucking moisture and food away from the plants. If you don’t actively work to eliminate weeds, your plants will suffer greatly. Eliminate weeds as soon as you spot them. Allowing one weed to flourish is to allow them all to take over! Mulching can be a great start in helping to keep weeds away. If any weeds are found after the mulch has been put down, be sure to move them promptly. 


Planting Too Much


If you plant too much, space can become a problem. Focus on planting what you and your family like to eat and will actually use. This problem comes down to a matter of preference and taste. You don’t want to spend a ton of time gardening just to realize that  you’ve completely wasted your efforts. 


Keep in mind that there’s always something new to learn when it comes to gardening. Know that no matter what level of gardener you are mistakes are inevitable but not completely unavoidable.         



To save water and equally maintain your lawn, you need to ensure your sprinkler system is working correctly. During the winter months, keeping your garden might take a toll on you. Improving your sprinkler system requires that you regularly check for damaged or faulty sprinklers. 

Improving your sprinkler system means you would produce a better and healthier lawn. Below are tips to guide you in enhancing your sprinkler system.

Replace Conventional Controller

To better improve your sprinkler system, replace conventional irrigation controllers with smart controllers that are user-friendly and has built-in water saver option and allows you to restart multiple time. The smart controller uses weather-based data received from local forecast to adjust its watering system each day. These intelligent devices would help you save water.

Raise Irrigation Heads

Irrigation heads that are bent and settling towards the soil cause too much water to get into the ground at that particular part. Raise the irrigation head as it will help prevent grasses and shrubs from interfering with how far the water sprinklers get. Be careful though will doing this to avoid damaging the lawn mower. Install A Built-In Pressure Regulator Replace pop-up spray heads with built-in pressure regulating devices to reduce the excess amount of water wasting in an area when the sprinkler is in operation. Doing this is estimated to save you 30% of water. 

Change Water Wasting Heads

Replace sprinkler wasting heads with high-efficiency nozzles that are guaranteed to save about 30% on your water consumption. These efficiency nozzles reduce wind drifts and allow water to distribute over the lawn and landscape evenly. 

Install Rain Moisture Sensor

A rain moisture sensor is a smart way of controlling your sprinklers from double wetting your lawn or landscape after a rainfall. The sensor will turn off the sprinkler system automatically when it rains saving you 15-20% of water. 

Place Plants Into Groups

Grouping plants into various sections is a smart way to ensure each plant gets adequate water without the problem of too much watering or too little watering. Some plants require more water than others; turf needs more water when compared to shrubs. 

Even Distribution Of Water

Ensure sprinkler heads are installed close to each other to avoid water from overlapping. Installing your sprinklers close to one another would also ensure all the planted areas get enough water. 

Same Irrigation Head

To maintain your sprinklers, you want to ensure all your irrigation heads are all working at the same time. If there seem to an issue with the heads, you can detach and clean dust or debris from the head of the sprinklers. 

Deciding to upgrade your sprinkler system is something you can do yourself, it won't take time, and it would save you money. 


Problems with the soil are one of the main reasons that the vegetables or fruits do not yield as expected. Gardeners with inadequate knowledge about the land then apply ineffective means to solve these soil issues. These methods, however, do not produce any tangible results. Here are some common soil issues that many gardening enthusiasts face as well as how to go about correcting them:

1. Inadequate organic matter. When a piece of land has been raising crops for long without manure, the soil’s natural strength will decline. This loss of nutrients will manifest in various ways like poor water holding capacity, failing crops, and minimal organic activities. You can fix low soil organic matter by adding manure to the soil. Use only fully decomposed compost to enable plants to absorb the soil nutrient fully. You can also plant cover crops. Avoid tilling wet soil and practice crop rotation.

2. Excessively Dry Soil. Dryness is typical to sandy soil. You can prevent your garden soil from drying out too quickly by adding manure. The manure will increase water retention capacity and also help the dirt to retain nutrient. You should only use fully decomposed compost. It will help improve water retention and reduce water loss by evaporation.

3. Excessively Acidic Soil. This poor soil condition usually happens when there is excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilizer, high rainfall and a vast population of evergreen trees in the area. You can fix acidic soil in your garden by adding lime in a controlled amount, depending on the type of land as well as the present pH levels. Wood ash also works to reduce soil acidity, however, in more controlled levels as too much can make the soil more basic which is also inferior. Growing acidic soil tolerant plants is also a good idea to provide natural support for the land.

4. Soil with Excess Sodium Content (Excess Salinity). Excessive salinity is typical in low lying areas close to waterfalls as well as semi-arid climates. Testing the land is the best way to confirm that the soil has excess sodium content. The best remedy is to add elemental gypsum and sulfur. The addition depends on the type of dirt and how serious the issue is. Talk to a soil expert before use.

Having good soil is a prerequisite for great gardening, or else most of your efforts will be in vain. If you are planting a garden without knowing the soil type, visit a landscape expert to help you access your garden soil and recommend professional solutions for you.


Farmers who produce a large number of food crops require a large amount of fertilizer just as well. Fertilizer boosts soil fertility and increases crop production. A soil that not fertilized would produce plants that are not so healthy and at a prolonged pace. For this reason, fertilizer is essential for growing crops on a large scale. Fertilizers are supposed to remain in the soil after application and help plants grow; but unfortunately, not all fertilizer stays in the ground after a rainfall. A typical farmer would apply a lot of compost into the soil – and the land would not be able to soak it all in at once. 

Applying excess fertilizer to soil gives room for wastage of fertilizer which washes away during rainfall into some environmental water system. It's no news that fertilizer causes a significant amount of pollution to soil and water globally – which in turn harms living things. Excessive fertilizer in soil and waterways affect the habitats of particular living organisms because of the reduction in oxygen level caused by fertilizer pollution. 

More so, it's a complete waste of cost and waste of benefit to the crop when fertilizer washes away. In other to reduce wastage and the negative impact caused by traditional fertilizer on the environment, environmentally friendly fertilizer is a better alternative. 

What are Environmentally Friendly Fertilizers?

The concept of going green seems like an idea embraced everywhere in the world, including on the farmland. Environmentally friendly fertilizers stay longer on crops by giving the soil enough time to absorb all of the compost. The component of the ecologically friendly fertilizer is made up of a natural substance that gradually breaks down into the soil. The time interval it would take to break down the manure eliminates loss of nutrient caused by rainfall. The coating composition of these types of fertilizers is made up of various organic substances like plants and chitosan. The plant-based coating is made up of plant residues like wheat and starch while chitosan is from the exoskeleton of animals like crabs and shrimp. 

Advantages of Using Environmentally Friendly Fertilizers

- Environmentally friendly fertilizer is just as effective as the traditional fertilizer but comes with a significant health benefit. 

- It reduces water and land pollution.

- It eliminates cost wastage.It ensures the availability of nutrient to the soil for a more extended period.

- It helps to reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere converting it into organic matter. 

- It gives rise to healthy soil and repair degraded lands. 

- Reduces air pollution by decreasing nitrogen oxide. 

Living in an eco-friendly environment without having to worry about chemicals contaminating the air or water gives rise to better health.


Cooking vegetables from your own garden is a great experience. In the same way that you appreciate a meal made from scratch more than a frozen dinner or takeout, cooking food that you grew yourself is an extremely rewarding feeling. Aside from being delicious, growing your own food can help you save money, waste less food, consume less plastic packaging (helping the environment), and try out new recipes you normally wouldn't. When it comes to planting vegetables for cooking, however, there's more to it than simply tossing some seeds in your garden. Here's how to get the most out of growing your own vegetables for use on the dinner table.

Plant smart

One of the first mistakes beginner gardeners make is planting the wrong vegetables or the wrong proportions of vegetables. One or two squash plants, for example, will provide ample amounts of squash for most small families. So, think about the meals you love to cook and what vegetables they require. Then find out how much those plants yield. Some vegetables can be planted and harvested at many times throughout the growing season. If you eat lots of leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.), don't plant a huge row all at once. Instead, plant in intervals of two or three weeks so you can reap the rewards throughout the season. Similarly, many lettuces (such a romaine) are able to be continually harvested--that means there's no need for pulling the whole planet out of the ground and replanting.

Plan your meals

To get the most out of your garden plan a weekly menu that incorporates items from your garden. If your tomatoes look like they're ripening, plan for making tomato sauce, pizza, or caprese sandwiches the following week. Get creative with recipes. If you have a surplus of peppers, try different stuffed pepper recipes. The internet is your best friend when it comes to discovering new uses for surplus vegetables.

Preserving

A garden should be useful to you year-round, not just during the autumn harvest season. There are several methods of preserving your vegetables. The way you choose depends on your own need. Common means of preservation include:
  • Freezing meals. Remember those stuffed peppers? You don't have to eat them every day of the week once your peppers are ripe. Cook up some rice, beans, and sauce, stuff your peppers and bake. Eat however much you want and place the rest in airtight bags in the freezer. They'll make great lunches for when you're in a rush.
  • Blanching and steaming.  If you're not quite sure how you'll want to use your vegetables but you know you'll use them later blanching and steaming are great options. Boil or steam them for five minutes then toss them into a bucket of ice-water to cool. Once cool, drain them and freeze them in bags.
  • Canning.  This method takes some preparation and research but canning is a great way to save fruits and vegetables for use throughout the year and are great if you don't have extra space in your freezer for frozen vegetables.



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