Learn from Gardening Mistakes

Gardening Mistakes

Gardening is as much an exact science as it isn’t. Many generations of gardeners have learned through trial and error, becoming better with each mistake. Thankfully the internet has made it easier to share experience. We at Fantastic Gardeners Melbourne made this post for this exact purpose. We’ve collected information about some gardening mistakes shared by enthusiasts on Australian Gardening Group. Maybe you’ll find yourself in their words.

“My dad killed a mango tree once because there was a typo in the newspaper. Used 30 kg of blood and bone (I think it was blood and bone) instead of 3kg mixed in the soil.” – Kimberley Macklyn

“Letting buffalo grass start taking over our nice couch lawn, now in the process of digging it out! Slow job, but it’s exercise, LOL.” – David Schubert

“Moved into a new house and poisoned what I thought was onion weed. In fact, it was a Gladioli and 10 years later it reappeared.” – Cathy Millard

“Losing my patience trying to use the straps on a pair of spiked lawn aerator shoes. Binned the straps and zip tied the shoes to my feet instead… a little too tight!” – Claire York

“Planting a vegetable garden in the backyard which became a buffet for bandicoots. They got my cauliflowers, broccolis, capsicum and tomatoes.” – Robbie Lee

“Asking hubby to cut a clump of dahlias in half to give to a friend I didn’t mean half across the middle !!! Murder was nearly committed that day as they were a beautiful wine coloured dahlia!” – Chris Watters

“I sprayed for weeds and then walked over hubbys precious lawn, the dead footprints were a giveaway.” – Liz Algie

“In the dark cause I was late home grabbed the spray bottle to do the roses, didn’t realise till next day it was glyphosate.” – Catherine Roberts

“I had been looking for an osmanthus for months and when I finally got one I accidentally watered it with boiling water from leaving the hose out in the sun all day.” – Matilda Rose

“Unbeknown to me my weed sprayer had punctured a hole in the bottom. I didn’t realise until a week later when my back yard started looking like an etch-a-sketch!” – Garry Gibbs

“When I first started gardening (pots only in a rental) I got some great advice: to put a ‘barrier’ of salt around your plants to deter snails. Trouble is I took it very literally and put a thick line of salt around the inside rim of my pot plant. Luckily, after posting a proud moment picture on Facebook, someone pointed out that it needs to be around the outside of the pot and I may kill my plant.” – Shell Iredale

“Just prior to weeding and feeding the lawn – I laid down canes to show a pattern of one-metre squares – applied the granules and forgot to cover where the canes had been. Naught and crosses board created 5 days later.” – John Allsop  

“Left an open bag of blood & bone in the garden (kids interrupted my fertilising. Found it two weeks later wriggling with maggots.” – Vanessa Hagon

“Putting my veggie garden in a spot that only gets morning sun.” – Elke Rose Ridley

“It’s not really bad, just dumb. I sprayed seasol in the yard twice over the past couple of months with the hose attachment. I thought it was getting lighter as I sprayed away, and then at the end, I looked at it was still really full. I somehow thought the water must have been leaking into the container or something. Did it again a few weeks later and same thing. My hubby tells me the other day that I need to put the little straw thing into the container for it to work. So have not actually seasol’d shit for the past few months.” – SJ Swan

“I planted Marion berries and Jostaberries not realising they spread so much.” – Sharon Parker

“I didn’t see the red spray flag at the azalea grove nursery once….got deliberately boom sprayed by diapell….sick for days…” – Penelope Wrench

“I was setting cuttings and my water was in a similar cup to the rooting hormone. Which doesn’t taste very nice, but at least my lips didn’t sprout Correas.” – Gill Muller

“I thought a tree fern would make a great indoor plant and placed it on top of a gas heater. It didn’t last long.” – Lorraine Schweikert

“Not me, but my dad’s friend. They stuck a TV aerial up a beautiful big old tree in the Build-Up, amidst many people telling him it was an extremely bad idea. A week later a lightning bolt blew the tree apart.” – Kristie Wells

“An open bag of Dynamic Lifter slipped off the trolley, close to the front door. Spread as much as I could with a spade, but the smell lingered for weeks.” – Jocelyn Keast

“I nearly divorced my husband after a lavender incident. I spent months watching lavender cuttings grow to a decent enough size to plant a long hedge about 10 metres long. A few weeks after planting them I saw him watering the ‘hedge’ and when I went out to have a look he had pulled them all out to plant spinach! In the FRONT yard.” – Tina Workman

“Placed my 5 foot high potted silk trees along the fence , next day they were 30cm high. Our draught horse Big Ned had found them.” – Paula Bindarri

“For many decades of gardening, I thought that the name, “oxalis”, meant onion weed (well, both begin with “o”) and that all these 3-leaved plants in my garden(s) were clover. I used to carefully weed around this “clover” because clover is beneficial as it fixes nitrogen into the soil, didn’t you know?!? It was only in the last 12 months or so, after gardening for many decades, that I’ve realized all the “clover” in my garden(s) had been oxalis all along!!!” – Andrew Paw

“Well I wasn’t going to admit this but uh well here goes… I accidentally saturated 4 plants with Roundup instead of what I thought was Eco Neem Oil. I never rushed to the garden hose so fast to try save them from what I stupidly did. All ended up ok except for 2 passionfruit vines. They didn’t die off completely but their growth came to a screeching halt. One of them has a few new shoots and the other one has just begun to show signs of new growth. I have now marked the bottles quite clearly of what’s inside the sprayer now!” – Chrystal Hutchinson

“Asked my hubby to fertilise the grass and he poisoned half of our wedding garden where we were getting married the next week. There was nearly a divorce before the wedding.” – Stephanie Martini

“Planting 31 plants in 35 degree heat one day. Nearly killed me and they all died.” – Barb Maguire

“Dropping a box of lawn seed in the brick-paved outdoor area that is a 2×2 brick configuration. I been pulling those weeds from between those bricks out for years.” – Catherine McLaine

“ “Helping” mum as a kid, I put fertiliser on the lawn, loads of it and didn’t water it in properly – very burnt and unhealthy lawn for a while lol” – Lucelle Oliver

“Using a whiteboard marker pen (by mistake) to write on plastic labels the names of seeds that I put out. Had 12 trays….” – Lawrence Williams

“When I was first married, back in the late 60’s we bought our first house, a 2 bedroom miner’s cottage and I wanted a garden so I went to the nursery and bought a tree. My next door neighbour had a fit and told me it was a gum tree and to take it out…I didn’t really know what a baby gum looked like and in my 17yr old ignorance didn’t bother reading the label..I can’t remember if there even was a label. Yes..I was married at 17 and first bub on the way.” – Sue Morris

“So many come to mind but planting an ‘ornamental weeping willow’ over our septic outlet then having to pay $1000 to have it removed (it did very well) is probably my biggest blunder.” – Vicky Ley


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