Gardening is an easy and interesting way to make use of your backyard to put food on your family’s table or simply to just express your creativity. However, some homeowners may find it frustrating when some things they planted don’t grow as they have expected.

First-time gardeners may have a lot of questions, such as the perfect time for watering, the proper placing of mulch and even ways to get rid of pests. And along with these questions come plenty of possible mistakes as they try to create that enviable outdoor space.

Here are some of the most common:

1. Planting way too early

There’s a right timing for planting all kinds of seeds. They have an optimum temperature for sprouting. For example, those that are meant for warm temperature won’t sprout properly if they’re planted way too early in the spring.

There are many things that could happen: they could rot, sprout but then the seedling freeze the following winter, or they may go dormant. In the case of the latter, many gardeners tend to forget about them, so they replant on the same place with an entirely different set of seeds.

This becomes a big problem when the first sown seeds unexpected sprout along with the second set. Avoid making this mistake by knowing the average last frost date in your region and getting yourself a high-quality soil thermometer.

2. Not using the right watering techniques

This is a very common mistake among many amateur gardeners. If you choose to water your plants in the heat of the day, you risk losing a good amount of moisture due to evaporation. At the same time, you’ll also scorch the leaves, as the water droplets could work as the sun’s magnifying glasses.

So, the best time to do this activity and retain as much moisture in your greens as possible is either first thing in the morning or late in the evening. Also, some gardeners tend to not use enough water for their plants.

You need to keep the soil saturated. If it doesn’t absorb water easily, use a broom handle to poke the soil and fill in these holes with water so it can seep deeply and gradually.

3. Not pruning your trees and bushes

Woman digging in her backyard

New gardeners find pruning to be a lot of work, so many tend to skip on this seasonal task. However, this can be a costly mistake. Without proper pruning, especially for bushes that have been grown solely for decorative purposes, you lose the shape and structure you’ve most likely worked hard on at the start of your garden planning.

Berry bushes and fruit trees grow to their fullest and yield depending on how meticulously they have been pruned. Without it, unnecessary branches grow instead, which take all of the energy and nutrients meant for fruit setting and flowering.

Make sure to learn proper pruning techniques; otherwise, you can’t expect as many fruits in the next season. The same is true if you’re growing flowers for ornaments. In fact, many expert gardeners claim that it’s even more important than observing the right fertilizing and watering schedules.

If you’re planning to start your own garden, take the time to educate yourself about the proper ways to grow plants—as well as things you shouldn’t do. By doing this, you can avoid all these amateur mistakes.