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5 Deadly Sins of Gardening

It’s easy to let your love for gardening become one of your life’s sins. It starts with the excitement of growing your own basil leaves indoors. Next thing you know, you’ve got more photos on your phone of vegetable and flower beds than your kids.

For many people, no matter how much they love them, they end up killing their plants. While sowing seeds and watching new life grow can be one of the most rewarding hobbies out there, it’s possible to take it too far.

Today, we’re exploring the top five gardening sins and how to avoid them.

Let’s dig in!

Don’t Fall Victim to These Gardening Sins

Growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables can be a gratifying experience. But it takes patience and perseverance. So once you experience success, wanting to do more is natural.

But what happens when your hobby becomes an obsession? It can be easy to clutter your house with seed packets and potting soil you plan to use in the garden. Or maybe you’re weather obsessed and anxious about the next frost that’ll kill your crops. You might also bore people to tears talking about Latin plant names at your friend’s BBQ.

Then there are people who want to grow their own food or ornamental flowers but ignore the basic rules. Gardening is a skill that takes practice. If you’re not that into it, there’s a good chance you’ll kill your plants and waste a lot of money. And if you’re overly concerned, you might smother your poor seedlings to death.

Pro Tip: Don’t know where to start with reviving your garden? Use these tips on How to Bring Your Garden Back to Life this Spring.

Man relaxing in garden
Successfully growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables takes time and practice.

#1 Lust, the Sin of Harvesting Early

Many newbie gardeners get excited about planting veggies but pull them out of the ground too soon. Potatoes are a perfect example. If you harvest them too early, you’ll get small, less-than-flavorful spuds. And once you pull their stalks from the soil, there’s no turning back.

The same goes for anything you plant indoors. You can grow herbs like thyme, mint, and oregano inside. And root veggies like carrots and garlic do well too. But if you’re not patient, you might kill the plant. Avoid this gardening sin by reading all directions and exercising patience. You may be waiting for over six months for your first garlic bulb.

Another manifestation of too much garden fervor is an overabundance of yard decor. Is your backyard suddenly looking like a munchkin scene from The Wizard of Oz? Figurines are cute until your property looks like a junkyard.

#2 Gluttony, Overfeeding Your Plants During Gardening

Indoor plants are so lovely that it’s easy to take care of them a little too much. Overwatering can be more damaging than drought. And although your leafy pals will be happy getting some fertilizer, it’s way too easy to overdo it.

Carefully read directions on your plant food. And make sure to feed less during winter months. Signs of gluttony on house plants include yellow or brown tips on leaves.

As for outdoor plants, know when it’s time to let go. Just because you had great luck with your first petunias, you shouldn’t leave the stalk there long after they pass. Annual plants mean you’ll need to start new ones every year. Do your garden a favor and compost those dead shrubs.

#3 Sloth, the Lazy Gardening Sin

Out of all deadly gardening sins, sloth is by far the most common. We all have busy lives. And even in the best of circumstances, tending to your garden year-round is a task that can easily fall by the wayside.

Being lazy when growing plants inside can cause significant problems. Too much watering can cause mold or rot, while too little may result in dehydration. You want to be mindful that each plant requires different amounts of sun, watering, and feeding. In addition, if you don’t take action soon after you see gnats or other pests, your slothful sin may result in an insect infestation.

Knowing when to prune, rake, and tidy up is key for outside gardens. If you ignore the poop left by wandering animals, your plants may die. And if you don’t prune in the fall, your spring harvest may be less bountiful.

Yards and gardens require maintenance. The best way to stay on top is to mark gardening tasks on your calendar and stick to them.

Pro Tip: Plan your garden by shopping at this Big Box Store With The Best (and Cheapest) Garden Center.

Harvesting vegetables in garden
Ensure your garden is a success by not committing any common gardening sins.

#4 Anger, Don’t Take It Out On the Plants

If you’ve ever gotten attacked by mosquitos while weeding, you know it can be a major annoyance. But whatever you do, please don’t yell at the plants. Mother nature is full of so much wonder that we’ll always be at her mercy.

And gardening with ease is a process. You’ll always come up with challenges. Maybe you wake up to harvest your cucumbers, only to find them devoured by squirrels. Or perhaps that blueberry bush you spent a pretty penny on never grows fruit.

Don’t give up! Gardening can be a fun and empowering journey if you can learn from your losses.

And speaking of lessons, make sure you know which plants need spring pruning and which don’t. It’s worth learning the best time of the year to cut certain trees and bushes back. If you end up killing shrubs by mistake, try not to fret. Take the opportunity to learn about a new things you can grow instead. 

Envy has to be the most bizarre gardening sins of all. Your planet beds don’t need to look like anyone else’s. And try not to pay too much attention to what’s trending. Go with what you want to grow.

Your backyard garden should help you feel happy and at home. It should bring you joy. Gardening for any other reason, aside from helping your community, is an exercise in futility.

If you want to attract butterflies and bees, check with your local nursery about buying native plants. Likewise, focusing on ecologically correct flora instead of someone’s Pinterest board will make local wildlife feel at home. And that’s much more likely to make you happy. Skip staring at green grass and focus on small achievements in your garden instead.

Gardening Can Be Fulfilling

Gardening has many benefits. It’s a natural form of exercise. And nothing tastes better than fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs you harvest five minutes before a meal. 

But sometimes, our passions can become poison. Especially when they involve growing and taking care of living things. Take time to know your garden as well as your personal limitations. Don’t plant that extra cabbage patch if you don’t have time to tend to it. Avoid falling prey to gardening sins at all costs!

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