Following the seed packet planting schedule
Ok, here’s a touchy mistake that goes back to understanding your climate – following the planting schedule on the back of seed packets. Some seed companies do a great job of putting good information on their seed packets. Some don’t.
There is one brand that every time I look at the back of one of their packets, it tells me I can plant from Feb-Sept; this is for tomatoes or lettuce, it doesn’t matter. Of the companies that do a good job, remember they can’t write everything on the back of the seed packet, the space is limited. This is where knowing your gardening zone and climate come in handy.
I know that it is very hard for most seeds to germinate in 100 degree temperatures. And yet, I see a lot of seeds packets that say I can sow the seeds during the summer in my zone. So, I just ignore that part of the seed packets.
Planting all the seeds in a packet
Most seed packets have way more seeds than you need to plant at one time. No one really needs 30 zucchini plants started at the same time – unless you’re selling at market.
Instead, sowing seeds should be staggered over the period of a couple of weeks. This is called succession planting and while it *can* get complicated, it doesn’t have to.
Not keeping gardening notes
Lastly, not keeping notes on what worked and what didn’t work can keep you making the same mistake year after year. Here’s how this one goes down for me. I’m in the garden and realize that a certain variety of tomatoes (we’ll call it X) just isn’t doing as well as my other varieties. I think, “I’ll have to remember that for next year.”
Then next January I’m looking at seed catalogs and I come to the amazing tomato section. And I think, “Oh we planted X last year and really liked the flavor” so I order some, forgetting that although we might have liked the flavor we only go 5 tomatoes off those plants.
I’m a slow learner sometimes, but I have learned that if I ever think “I need to remember that for next year”, I need to ahead and make a note of it in my gardening notebook.