What should you not do when gardening?

Do not use any type of pesticide. Don't plant in too much shade. Gardening can be a fun and easy way to put food on your family's table. But it can also be frustrating when things don't grow as expected.

Here are 12 gardening tips to help you avoid common mistakes made by novice and experienced gardeners alike. Mulching is ideal for controlling weeds and improving moisture retention. However, adding too much mulch can have the same effect as planting too deep. And if you use compost as mulch, it also serves as a nitrogen source.

If you plan to mulch with compost, it may be all the organic matter you need to add to your garden each year. How to cover a garden involves knowing the right amount to use. Not watering your garden can be a problem when the weather is hot or dry, or both. Insufficient watering is especially a problem for seed germination or new transplants.

A good gardening tip is that the finger test can tell you if your garden needs watering or not. If your garden is clayey, stick your finger 2 inches into the soil; if it's damp, you don't need water. For sandy soils, check 4 inches down. With clay, if you can't easily stick your finger 2 inches into the dirt, it needs water.