Even the best vegetable gardeners can make rookie mistakes. Here are 4 no-no’s to avoid. Look for more mistakes in the next article.

Even if your garden is the envy of your neighbors, it’s still easy to make rookie mistakes that waste precious resources and growing time.

  1. Unwise Watering--Too much or too little most people can understand, but too hard or too soft can also be a problem. They are all watering mistakes that can wreck your garden. Before watering, poke a finger a couple of inches into the soil. If it’s moist, save the water. If it’s dry, train a gentle spray at the base of plants. Better yet, a drip hose wound throughout the vegetable garden will deliver moisture to the roots without wasting water on leaves and evaporation.
  2. Not Testing– 4-in-1instantsoiltester_r   Even if you’ve tested your soil in the past, it really should be tested every year to be sure it has the pH and nutrients vegetables need. For about $10 you can send a sample to Nassau Coop Extension and receive a complete analysis. Giordano’s has a DIY test that can identify the pH easily. When you know what your soil is composed of, either select plants that will thrive in that type of earth, or amend the soil to match your garden needs.
  3. Planting Garden “Divas”-diva-crownOf course you love your summer tomatoes, but they can be tricky to grow during summers that are too hot, too cold, too dry. So newbies should try growing a couple of tomato plants for fun, then load your garden with foolproof veggies and herbs such as beans, peppers, oregano and parsley. If you must plant tomatoes, plant cherry tomatoes that can survive anything summer can throw at them and even yield fruit until fall.
  4. Growing Too Muchcrowded-garden  You can get 80 or more tomatoes from a tomato plant, and a single zucchini plant can keep you and your neighbors in zucchini bread for the winter. So don’t plant more vegetables than you can eat, put up, or share with friends.