5 Common Mistakes Every New Gardener Makes 

A cold-climate rookie gardener rushes to plant petunias, tomatoes, and other summer blooming annuals and veggies in April.  

Planting Too Early

The new gardener's mistake: Overmulching a tree. Volcano mulching involves putting mulch in a funnel-shaped mound against tree trunks.  

Volcano Mulching

New gardeners' mistake: Early bulb leaf removal. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other spring bulbs need the weeks following blooming to absorb sunshine to recover for next year.  

Messing With Green Bulb Foliage

In subfreezing winters, crape myrtles, hardy hibiscus, butterfly bushes, figs, and other late-to-leaf-out plants may look dead, but everything else is green and growing. 

Digging Up Plants That Aren’t Dead

The new gardener mistake: Excess nitrogen from some chemical fertilizers causes discolor grass. Applying unevenly can generate streaks.  

Burning the Lawn With Fertilizer

Another familiar miscue is when DIYers dump granular fertilizer into their spreader and spill some on the surrounding lawn, which causes the unsightly lawn patches. 

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