3 Garden Planning Mistakes to Avoid

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Ready to start garden planning? Here’s a timely video with three normal mistakes gardeners make when planning their gardens, but you really want to avoid!

Making sure your plants are spaced correctly, using companion planting to defend against pests and sowing in batches every few weeks so you have backup options are all important.

It’s helpful to watch the video so we can show you how to plan your garden and insure that your crops have the best chance of producing a great harvest.  Or, see the full script below.

After you watch this video, why not try the Garden Planner here: http://gardenplanner.almanac.com

3 Garden Planning Mistakes to Avoid

1. Overcrowding

Plants need space to grow and produce the best harvest. If they’re grown too close together each plant’s root system has to compete with its neighbors for water and nutrients from the soil, resulting in a disappointing harvest.

The solution is to only grow your plants at the recommended spacing shown on the seed packet. If you have poor soil it’s a good idea to leave a little extra space too.

 2. Ignoring Nature

Pests are an inevitable part of vegetable gardening, and the routine use of pesticides isn’t the answer. Instead, work with nature to outwit them. Mix in several different flowers to attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies so that, when pests descend, these natural predators will control them without you having to lift a finger.

Mixing up crop families helps to confuse flying insect pests, but for some crops it’s necessary to use further protective measures. For example, prevent cabbage white butterflies from laying their eggs on your brassicas by covering them with fine netting, or cover carrots with fine netting or garden fleece to eliminate carrot fly attacks.

3. Planting Everything at the Same Time

Planting out all your tender crops at once can be disastrous if there’s an unexpected late frost, or imagine transplanting your whole crop of pea seedlings outdoors only to have birds or slugs eat every last one!

Instead, sow seeds in small batches every two or three weeks.  As well as ensuring you have backup options if disaster strikes, this also prevents gluts by spreading your harvest out over a longer period.

If you can avoid these common mistakes you’ll save yourself some hard work and heartache, and get your vegetable garden off to a great start!

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growing corn

I want to grow corn this year for the first time. One concern I have is planting enough plants to cross pollinate while planting them every few weeks for a successive harvest. I have a small garden. How many plants should I plant at once for fertilization of the plants - a minimal number?

Planting Corn

Corn is wind-pollinated, so should be planted in blocks rather than rows to ensure good pollination. An absolute minimum would be 4 plants, but pollination will be better with more.

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