Top 20 gardening mistakes new gardeners make

 It is human nature to not let our mistakes be known outside. We are also encouraged to learn from others mistakes. So unless the mistakes are shared, one cannot really benefit from it. In this post, I am going to share the mistakes new gardeners make(including myself). We all make mistakes and in gardening that results in the killing of plants sometimes. I have killed more plants than many of you. I started this post to write top 5 mistakes that people make, but then the list kept increasing as I started recollecting the my experiences and my experience after discussing with customers who visit my store.

So without further ado, here goes the list of top 20 mistakes beginners make. You better read this, before you start a garden!


  1. Not giving enough light to plants
  2. Watering them too little or too much.
  3. Watering them on their leaves.
  4. Underfeeding /Over feeding Plants
  5. Sowing one too many seeds and Not thinning them
  6. Not labeling the plants or taking notes.
  7. Choosing a container that is too small
  8. Planting plants that are either non-native or out of season
  9. Giving a wrong fertilizer to the plants
  10. Not pruning or over pruning
  11. Improper spray application/too much pesticide
  12. Transplanting too late
  13. Planting too close
  14. Planting too deep / planting too shallow
  15. Planting bulbs/cuttings upside down.
  16. Letting weeds/pests take over.
  17. All at once or nothing/ No staggered planting
  18. Not knowing when to harvest. Too soon or too late.
  19. Emotional Meltdowns.
  20. Not knowing how the seedling would look like. Nurturing a weed.


Its not end of the world, if something goes wrong. Keep calm and garden on!

Now tell me which is your favorite?


Share this with your garden buddies:

12 Responses

  1. You have touched the right cord and listed out the mistakes beautifully. All the points listed above are probably applicable to all gardeners at different levels. I would expect guidance from expert like you on to avoid these mistakes. Eagerly looking forward to solutions!

  2. Why Watering on leaves is bad? I have read that It clears the dust and open stomata pores. Is it for all types of plants or only for edible ones.

    • Tarun,

      Good question. Watering on the leaves are bad because, it can cause fungal infection and if you water the leaves in the hotter days, it can cause burns also. also, watering the top of the leaves( which is what people do) does nothing to the stomata present in the lower side of the leaves. I agree with you that dust will be cleared, occasionally it is good. not every day. Some plants take it. Some will not. Cucurbits get fungal diseases very soon.

  3. Hi GG… i think i can relate my self to most of your observations.. but now it is an emotional meltdown as i had to shift my house and move to a place with no sunlight.. but am happy i managed to find a huge open terrace though it takes effort to climb on top.. i tried amaranth and got a bumper crop.. but my tomatoes and coriander are not taking off..can i tri bhindi again.. last time it was ok.. but it did not give good produce.. probably my container was small ( 5 kg paint box).. else i followed everything that u said…i need to remuster some ideas and courage.. can i try cucumber or brinjal now…

  4. Hi GG,
    Tks for the reply.. infact delighted to see a response from u.. well i am originally from chennai and now in chennai.. but my job does not let me stay for more than 2-3 years in one place..and as regards my meltdowns..i have left it behind and moved ahead.. infact am rather excited because ..(a) I am soon going to set up a green house on the terrace. (b) All my brinjal seedlings have sprouted. (c) I just went on a shopping binge and managed to get large varieties of greens to incl siru keerai, red amaranth, arai keerai and palak.. from Good Governance guards, besant nagar for rs 5 per packet and was really impressed with their terrace garden.. infact the pumpkins were so tempting i picked one packet to try for myself… friends from chennai must make a visit there.. infact i came to know of this place from your blog.. otherwise it just a km away my parents house where i was born and brought up for 20 years till i joined this job..ok GG.. just a few doubts ( hoping i would be lucky again to get your response)…1. the amaranth that i grew gave an excellent produce first time and in the second harvest from the cuttings (just a week later) i noticed that there are small holes on the leaves.. i am not able to detect any insect or eggs as you have suggested in previous blogs.. i have tried neem oil and am hoping it will solve the problem… do u have any expert opinion.. 2. Do i need to add any nutrient for the greens?.. otherwise i am using panchakaya every week as suggested by you…3. can anyone suggest where i can find old plastic trays for planting greens.. thats all for now.. happy gardening..:-)

    • If you find holes, very likely there are insects. Look for them. Neem oil is good but I dont like to spray neem oil on greens that I consume. sometimes they tend to make it taste bitter because we apply it on the leaves. Old plastic crates.. you have to scout around. ask in oldpaper shops, they usually know.

  5. Hi,
    I’m inspired by reading ur blog about terrace I’m planning to have that.I’m staying at I need to do waterproofing?if so which one is better.need your help on to set water drainage for terrace garden.

  6. Hello !
    Tomato plants, one month old in my terrace garden in Chennai, the leaves stated curling. I guess ,it is infected. Pls suggest solution.

  7. WOW! I started terrace gardening only 2 years back and have done the entire list of mistakes!! I am somehow tackling the issues, after repeated meltdowns. I have also nurtured a weed, without knowing the plant.
    I am a resident of Chennai. The heat is killing.
    I love your blogs and repeatedly visit it for info.
    Thanks. Keep up the great work

    • Thanks for the kind words and keep working on the gardening skills. You will be an expert very soon. BTW, the list of mistakes are from my own experience :D..
      happy gardening

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hydroponics Starter Kit For Sale