They say gardening is a a huge lesson in humility and that couldn't be farther from the truth. For 2 years and some change I've been growing and helping others grow their own food and I still learn new things every day.
There's more than hope for you if you think you're just not meant for growing food. I was once that person. I'm just reeeally good at killing shit and fucking it up in the kitchen. I've been cooking since I'm 7. While I've always had a connection to food with cooking, I can admit it's a way different ball game with food production. Still, growing is one of the most beautiful things I've ever done. I've made plenty mistakes so do learn from them!
Whether you're a beginner or someone who wants to start again, you'll soon realize there's a huge learning curve. Just be patient and respect the process. Our climate is constantly changing with plants and bugs evolving to stay alive (dude, we have robotic bees now! Eeeek!). While I'm a vertical gardener myself (I grow everything using methods like aeroponics to hyrdroponics to some traditionally in soil), I know there's plenty of mistakes all of us gardeners make that we could all use help with. And in reality, we are all beginners in something, so this works for you too even if you think you're a G. ;)
Major Mistakes Gardeners Commit + How to Fix Them
Mistake #1: You are not putting in the work. Growing doesn't have to be difficult, but I can understand how it can be. Nature knows what to do and will just act up if it wants to, plus it's time consuming. So we can't blame people from buying groceries. But we also know it's safer, more nutritious and more rewarding when we grow food ourselves.
Solution: Put the effort. Start with a plant. Start with a mini-herb garden. Just start. #growhealthyfood
Mistake #2: You're not watering enough. Every summer is hot, but this HOT summer year is killer. Some plants are heat resistant and don't need much, but plants need more water during this time. Same way we get thirsty, the plants do too!
Solution: Water your plants regularly! Take the night to water your plants or put them on timers if you're a low maintenance gardener like me.
Mistake #3: You are not checking the water. For low maintenance gardeners like those who garden with Tower Gardens, this is step is super important to do once weekly. Even more important in extreme weather, like this HOT summer. Plants get hot and thirsty, and take up much more water than usual. You might notice some leaves looking super sad? That's heat stress.
Solution: Check your water reservoir at least 2x weekly or when plants are looking less perky than usual. If the water is hot, feel free to throw in frozen water bottles in.
Mistake #4 You're not eating your food. I see this over and over again, and it truly surprises me. If your greens and herbs are looking droopy like Cousin It's hair, then you need to harvest and eat (or donate!) your food asap. I've seen gardens start to bolt (flower and die off) when not given the attention needed.
Solution: Harvest your food. If you're growing too much food, then it's a good idea to freeze the food or share with your neighbors. Harvesting from your garden stimulates your garden to keep producing, which also keeps it from bolting.
Mistake #5 You're pruning too much. I've been guilty of over-trimming and pruning a little too much. This is a good idea in theory, but you've got to know a little more than the average Joe about your plants before you start trimming off essential leaves and stems that support your plants.
Solution: Do some research on pruning or hit up your local gardener before going cut crazy. It will save your plants and flowers ready to give your fruits!
Mistake #6 You're not keeping the right bugs on and off. This one is majorly subjective. You can be one with nature but do you want nature eating up your foods? That's your call and I know different growers have different opinions.
Solution: Check to see which bugs are beneficial to your garden and which ones are not. Anything you wouldn't want to ingest yourself should be off limits to your garden or farm. I don't use pesticides, but I suggest using lemon or garlic water as a natural bug spray and keeping a close watch on your food.