10 Vegetable Gardening Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
A lot of gardeners lose hope when things go wrong. In today’s episode we take a look at ten common vegetable gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
One of the most common problems that gardeners run into are nutritional deficiencies with their plants. Now the plants take up nutrients from the soil and if your soil does not have adequate nutrients your plants will not grow very well .Well plants need three things to grow – water, sunlight and nutrition and nutrition is one thing that is overlooked by a lot of gardeners. Plants need adequate nutrition to grow. Here you can see some deficiencies due to missing nutrients in the soil. You can see a lot discolored leaves and although we are harvesting our beans you can see that the health of the plants are not that good. So how do you solve this problem to make sure that plants have adequate nutrition from the soil. Prepare your soil well in advance, add a lot of organic material like compost manure four to six months before you use the soil. Organic material takes about four to six months to break down. You can also use organic fertilizers and if you’re using organic fertilizers as well you need to wait for at least two to four months before they become available. If you’re using synthetic fertilizers they are immediately available to your plants. So the choice is yours. Make sure you have adequate nutrition in your soil so that your plants can thrive.
Letting container plants go root bound is one of the worst things you can do to your plant. What this means is that the plant is ready to grow it has all the nutrients it needs. It has all the vigor that it needs to grow but it doesn’t have any space. It’s constrained by the container. So how do you solve this problem every one or two years? Look at your plants and try to repot them into a bigger container. When you’re repotting your plant, and make sure that you free up the roots,you can even prune the roots a little bit. Use new potting mix. Use a good slow release fertilizer added to the soil. Make sure that the plant is no longer root bound has some space to grow and you’re good to go.
Tomatoes and peppers are one of the favorite plants every gardener wants to grow but they also suffer from one problem which a gardener would never like to see and that is blossom end rot where the bottom part of the plant rots because of lack of calcium in the soil.The treatment is very easy. If you see plants with blossom end rot or rather fruits with blossom end rot just remove them and then make sure that you add a lot of calcium in the soil. You can add it by fertilizers, you can use crushed eggshells which must be added months in advance and you can also use some calcium supplements for the soil that will help you avoid this dreaded problem. Also make sure that you are watering your plants very well on a regular basis.
Now let’s look at a problem which plagues all root plants like radish and carrots where you add a lot of nitrogen to the soil in the form of manure and you can see here that although our plant has produced a lot of leaves and a lot of greens the roots are really short and this is one common mistake that a lot of gardeners make. They add a lot of nitrogen to the soil and at this shows one container that had high nitrogen you do a lot of manure added in the soil and this is something you want to avoid for root plants. Here is a radish plant that shows severe damage from pests, probably slugs or earwigs, but you can see that the damage is so bad that the plant has lost all its vigor and there’s also a lot of crowding here. You can see over-watering is one problem that affects some root crops and tubers so in this case we’re looking at onions. You can see that the onions have started forming bulbs and at this stage we had to stop watering the onions. Now what happens is if you have too much water around the onions at this stage the outer part of the onion starts becoming soggy. The roots are don’t develop that well and although the plants still grows this is a situation that you want to avoid so when your onions start forming bulbs you need to stop watering or at least water very rarely like once a week or so and you should get better onion bulbs. There is nothing worse than harvesting vegetables earlier than you’re supposed to and i’m sure a lot of you are guilty of doing this, me included.
So here you can see that we’re harvesting this garlic from this container. . . and it’s really not time for harvest yet the leaves have not really turned completely brown and this garlic still had about two months into the growing season to finish harvesting so as you can see here the bulbs are very small hardly developed and although you can use these bulbs once you cure them they will form small garlic bulbs that can be used. It’s a better idea to wait for the vegetable or the plant to complete its life cycle and make sure that it’s ready for harvest. Cauliflowers are fun to grow but there are two problems with cauliflowers that might discourage you from growing them at all. The first thing is any insect damage like the one you see here. This plant is so severely affected with aphid damage that it’s almost given up. You can see that the leaves have shriveled the cauliflower head itself is and not very strong and to avoid this kind of a problem of what you need to do is spray this plant much earlier when you see the aphids. The first sign of aphids spray them with the soapy water or you can spray them that the some kind of an oil like neem oil or canola oil and make sure that you take care of them. Another problem with cauliflower is buttoning of the heads. As you can see here very tiny heads being formed and this happened because of two reasons. One is if the temperatures in your area have gone very high – cauliflower is a cool season crop that doesn’t like high temperatures and the other reason is high nitrogen in the soil again due to manure or some fertilizers that you use and also make sure that your watering your plants adequately and regularly.
Most plants need about six to eight hours of sunlight every day. Here we are planting two watermelon varieties in this tub and we kept it in a location that got about three hours of sunlight and what we realized was that even after about three months of growing the plants were very small. Most plants, most vegetable plants do need about six to eight hours of sunlight every day and you need to make sure you’re providing that to your plants. The next common mistake that a lot of gardeners make is not growing in the right season. For example we grew these potatoes here in July, in the heat of July and as you can see here the plant did not grow very well and the yield from this plant is very low so the solution is to make sure that you’re growing plants in the right season .For example in zone 10, where we are, potatoes should be started in spring for a late summer harvest. That’s the best way to grow potatoes and you’ll get a good yield if you follow this technique. Always by your seeds from a trusted source. I will provide some links to trusted sites in the video description and you might be tempted to buy cheap seeds on Ebay like I have done before so you can see here we ordered these purple carrot seeds on Ebay from some seller in China I believe or somewhere in Asia and we thought we would get what the product advertised. Now what happened is we spent a lot of time sowing the seeds preparing the potting mix and maintaining the plant and the plants actually grew well. No problem about that but what happened is when we got to the harvest time when we harvested our plants they saw that this was something completely different. It wasn’t purple carrots at all it was some kind of a yellow carrots that wasn’t good tasting at all. So it’s always a mystery when you do not order seed from a trusted source. You can get cheated you can even get something that you did not order so always buy your seeds from a trusted source.
So there we have it folks. What i want to know from you is how many of you have actually landed up in a situation where you had to face these issues or are there any other issues that you face that you would like to share with your fellow gardeners. Please take a moment to drop in a comment below; it will really help all our gardeners to know what your problems were and how you resolved it and please don’t forget to give us a thumbs up if you liked this video we’ll see you again soon happy gardening