3 Common Garden Planning Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

[Music] In this video I’m going to discuss 3
common mistakes it’s easy to make when planning a vegetable garden, along with tips on how to avoid them. First up, is overcrowding. Although it sounds obvious, even
experienced gardeners will tell you that every now and again, they succumb to the
temptation to try to grow more in the space they have. Perhaps it’s because seed packets typically come with generous quantities of seeds so it’s tempting to raise more plants
than you actually need. And when first planted, they’ll look like
they’re growing perfectly well see you don’t notice the issue straight away. It’s only as the plants start to reach their full size that the problems start. As each plant’s root system starts to
compete with its neighbors for water and nutrients from the soil, the plants fail to mature properly,
resulting in a disappointing harvest. To avoid this, make sure you use the
recommended plant spacing, as shown here. If you’re using our Garden Planner, it will automatically space plants along rows or in blocks, calculating how many will fit, and you
can use the colored area around the plant to see how much space the roots require
for good growth. Leave a little extra space if you have poor soil. And if you’re using the Square Foot Gardening method, be sure to switch to SFG mode to see how many plants can fit
into each square. The second common mistake is ignoring
nature. It’s tempting to imagine our gardens as
miniature farms, with big areas of beautifully growing crops. This all sounds fine at the planning
stage, but try it and it won’t be long before pests such as
aphids strike. They like nothing better than a large area of their favorite crops to eat. But a little forward planning can ensure
that Mother Nature is on your side. For example, it’s a good idea to mix in
several different companion planting flowers which will attract beneficial insects
such as hoverflies. When the pests descend, these natural
predators will keep them at bay, and your plants will thank you. If pests strike early in your area, remember to include some of the early-flowering companions – a few onions, garlic, or carrots left in
the ground from last year and allowed to flower provide an excellent first source of nectar
to attract nature’s defenders. Scientific studies have shown that mixing up crop families – shown here by the different colored
backgrounds – helps to confuse flying insect pests, but for some crops it’s necessary to use
further protective measures. For example, brassicas (plants in the
cabbage family, which have green backgrounds) are a favorite plant for cabbage white
butterflies to lay their eggs on under the leaves. When the caterpillars hatch,
they can decimate your crops in a few days. To prevent this, many gardeners keep
their crops together in one bed using netting or other protection over
them to keep the butterflies off. Similarly, carrots are often covered with
fine netting or fleece to prevent carrot fly. The third common mistake
is planting everything at the same time. The old adage ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ is good advice for vegetable gardeners. Planting out all your tender crops at once can be disastrous if there’s a sudden
late frost. Similarly, transplanting pea seedlings only to have birds or slugs eat them all is all too common. The best method is to sow seeds in small batches every
2 or 3 weeks. If you’re using the Garden Planner,
switch to the Plant List where the blue and green bars indicate the
window of time during which you can make multiple sowings in your local area, and you’ll receive
email reminders every 2 weeks. As well as ensuring you have backup
options if disaster strikes, this has the added advantage of
preventing gluts by spreading your harvest out over a longer period. The Plant List also shows the number of plants you need for each vegetable, which can be a real time and money saver helping you to raise just the right number of plants for the space you have. Of course, there’s much more to gardening success
than just these 3 tips but by avoiding these common mistakes
you’ll give yourself the very best chance of success in your garden, and be off to a great start. [Music]

99 thoughts on “3 Common Garden Planning Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

  1. Hi Kate, Glad you like the video! The 'long link' can be found in the address bar at the top of your browser. I'm afraid we can't post that link here as YouTube don't allow links in comments.

  2. If we'd had time we would also have included your idea of taking notes and tracking which plants do best – very sensible advice. Just remember that seasonal variations mean that it can be a few years before a clear pattern of best planting times emerges for your area.

  3. Also never overfertilize small crops which can be sensitive to nutes. And add earthworm castings to germination mixes to speed up germination

  4. A counterpoint to the over-crowding mistake is the slightly less common mistake of over-spacing, where way too much space is left between each plant. In addition to reducing the total yield of your garden, the empty space proves irresistible to weeds, which will rapidly take over. It also increases moisture loss and may well result in individual plants performing less well than if they'd been somewhat closer together…

  5. Great tips, thank you! I'm planning my first ever vegetable garden right now! Can't wait to see how it turns out! Fingers crossed!

  6. Hi, The Garden Planner is available from several major websites and seed suppliers which you will find in the description of the video.
    It's completely free for the first 30 days, no obligation.

  7. Agreed, though in our experience this problem of over-spacing is much less common. Spacing should always be dependent on the quality and depth of soil, which is why in our Garden Planner it's easy to adjust the recommended spacing from the defaults if required and there's also an SFG mode if you're using the Square Foot Gardening method. Thanks for the comments!

  8. The Garden Planner does list common companion plants in the Grow Guides for each plant where there is good scientific evidence for the association. However, we don't currently have templates for companion planted beds, though you'll probably find some in our extensive Garden Plans Gallery from people who have used the software. The Garden Planner also gives recommendations for where to place each plant based on the principles of crop rotation – see our other videos for details.

  9. @HumbleAMi – You don't sow seeds where the space is already taken. Instead, you simply sow a proportion of your seeds each 2-3 weeks. For example, I might sow half a row of peas every 2 weeks over 2 months, aiming for 2 full rows by the end. I usually sow a few extra and then 'thin them out' to the correct spacing (ie remove extras) which also gives you a few 'backups' in case slugs or birds eat some of them. I hope that helps explain it. You'll find lots more advice on our GrowVeg.com site

  10. @TableWolfMusic – we are going to include some more 'hands on' video in future episodes, so hopefully those will help you. It's just too cold where I live to actually be filming the plants quite yet!

  11. Please see the video description for where the Garden Planner is available. It adapts to most locations including the US, Western Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

  12. The program is called Garden Planner. Please see the video description for where the Garden Planner is available as it's on many websites.

  13. Yes, we cover the whole of Canada as well as the US. Also Western Europe, South Africa, Australia and NZ and other places can use it too if you know the approximate frost dates for your location.

  14. Very informative as I am very guilty of crowding plants in my 4×10 foot beds. This is great. thank you.

  15. To deter snails and slugs I plant white and red onions around my crops. They do not like the smell. Great way to save the seedlings all the way into adulthood.

  16. As a newbie gardener, I learned a lot. Thanks for the great gardening tips. I thought you just stuck the seeds in, and great software.

  17. мне понравилось но правдо английский а не знаю спасибо

  18. Polyculture planting or companion planting guild arrangements can overcome the setbacks of crowding by sharing nutrients and helping each other along.  The real problem of crowding in gardens stems from growing a group of all the same species on one place because they are all after the same nutrients and their wastes cannot be taken up by the same species.

  19. I've over planted my mustards and kale this year . This is very helpful. How do I find the garden planer ?

    Thanks in advance.

  20. When planning a vegetable garden it's easy to ignore problems that can occur when plants are in the ground. In this video we look at 3 common mistakes gardeners make when planning their gardens and give simple solutions.
    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. This video shows how to use the Garden Planner to insure that your crops have the best chance of producing a great harvest.
    3 Common Garden Planning Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

  21. Which 3 common mistakes do gardeners make when planning their gardens and how do you avoid them?
    3 Common Garden Planning Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

  22. Is there any planning software for those of us who want to design symbiotic poly-cultures, food forests etc ?

  23. I am building grow boxes and want to create my own soil. is there a formula you will share with me? I was thinking of peat moss, composted cow manure, Epsom salts and lime.  Thanks

  24. Good rules … much better the simple-minded moronic stuff many of these fake gardening channels spout.

  25. Good stuff.  Thank you.  I like to look into getting this "Garden Planner" software as it looks like a good & effective way for a beginner like me to bring "technology" into the mix without getting too fancy.  Where can I get it, and does it have settings that take my location into account?  I'm betting my growing season here in Atlanta, GA might be a bit different and longer than what you "Brits" deal with over there! 🙂  

  26. thank you so much for this video. I made a lot of mistakes and will be able to now get a better growing cycle and harvest.

  27. I also would like to know if this program would take my location into account as i am from New Zealand. This looks interesting

  28. i planted about 4-5 watermelon plants around my small square garden area with it coloraby, peppers and lettuce.  the watermelon plant took over the entire area and are going way out of the garden limits they grow SO FAST, im not sure my other plants will ever grow larger now

  29. Good advice.  I know many gardeners who plant a dozen tomato plants and a half dozen courgette plants, and then find themselves drowning in vegetables at the end of the season.  They struggle to find people willing to accept the surpluses.  Plant fewer plants and space them over time so that you don't end up with more vegetables than you can handle.

  30. to help speed up termination time of your seeds, one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water in a spray bottle proceed to put seeds in starter pellets to germinate spray regular & will germinate within 3 to 4 days don't forget to keep your starter pellets moist

  31. We're trying out the Vegetable Garden Planner this year. We will let everyone know how it works! Sounds like it SHOULD be a great help. Thanks for the very useful videos!

  32. Damn this is smart! it should be an android version of this. I just decided to start a veggie garden on about 300 sq meters for myself. but I sincerely think that already r so many things to think about.

  33. hello from mexico!!! your channel is awesome, thanks so much for sharing all this knowledge….thanks…greetings

  34. Re :Cabbage White b/flys–I netted my brassicas with identical netting to yours and they were able to squeeze through the gaps.
    I could hardly believe it!

  35. How about leaving dog shits for a short time in the yard around the vicinity of the garden? Because it attracts flies is that good?

  36. the 3 biggest mistakes in UK allotment gardening are;
    1 raised beds, why turn your huge plot that can grow all your vegetables for one year, in to a few tinnie tiny raised beds seriously limiting your growing area ??? pointless.
    2, landscaping fabrics, have you ever tried to dig these out from areas want to put in to vegetable production ???
    3, wood chippings, and what's worse is paths made of fabric and wood chips, it takes a age to remove them and it doesn't work after a year or 2 as the chips rot down at the bottom making compost and the weeds love it !!!

    in short if you want to really limit your vegetable production on your allotment then cover it with all the above.

    And weeds I love them !!! this week I've cleared enough weeds and grass to make one huge compost heap that's 1m by 1.5m by 1m which next year will be great free compost

    stop listening to the so called experts on YouTube giving you duff ideas

    one last thing, potatoes in pots ? what's the point, my potato harvest is around 500lb per year not including early potato's, all from rows in the ground, you try doing that in pots

  37. Hi there, how do I get the garden planner software please? I am from Thames in New Zealand, will it work for this country?

  38. As a beginner with woodwork, I usually feel overwhelmed with the whole plan. But Ryan's plans led me through with much clarity and simplicity [ Check Details Here=>deam.design/9trw ]. I now work like a pro. That's good!

  39. Hi,

    Super cool Video.

    What other hacks have you got?

    Right now I am looking at other tip websites



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