Whether you grow plants, vegetables, or flowers, there is a lot more to being a good gardener than meets the eye. In fact, gardening is a hobby that continuously teaches you something new, and whether you’re new to this hobby or you’ve been doing it for years, there is always the possibility that you are making mistakes in your garden – sometimes without even knowing about it.
Gardening is a hobby enjoyed by millions of people all over the world, and even though it is a very fun hobby, it can be time-consuming to learn all there is to know about it. After all, you have a lot of decisions to make regarding gardening in general, including when to plant, how to plant, how to eliminate bugs and insects, how much water is just right, and tons of other things that are crucial to the success of whatever you’re planting.
The good news, however, is that you can easily learn what to do to eliminate these common growing mistakes, and it all starts with knowing what they are and why you are doing these things in the first place. Below are some of the most common gardening mistakes that many people make, and a little insight into what you can do about them.
- Watering Incorrectly
Let’s face it, few things are more important to successful gardening than understanding how to properly water your plants or flowers. The best time to water your garden is either first thing in the morning or in the early evening hours. Why? Because when you water in the heat of the day, the water evaporates quickly and doesn’t get to the plants like it should. In addition, the droplets that form on leaves and even on the ground can reflect the sun and cause the sun to scorch the plants. Always water plants when it isn’t so hot outside.
- Planting Huge Trees in the Front of Your Home
Your front garden shouldn’t have huge trees planted there because this can block the sun from getting to your house and keeping the inside of your home nice and cosy. Often, people choose huge trees that block not only the sun from getting to your home, but they also block the view that your beautiful home provides to both you and to visitors. It’s better to plant medium-sized or even small trees, and some good suggestions include Japanese maples, weeping cherry or pear, and the Kilmarnock willow, to name a few.
- Planting Things in the Wrong Spots
When you plant in your garden, you can’t just start planting without doing a little bit of planning ahead of time. Always, always read the description on the plant’s label and follow the directions exactly as they are printed. If they do not do well in direct sun, don’t plant them in an area that gets plenty of direct sun. If you plant things in the wrong locations, they can either scorch, die, or not thrive the way they’re supposed to, and no gardener wants this to happen.
- Digging up Clay Soil When It’s Wet
When you dig up clay soil that is wet, you actually damage the structure of the soil because it gets broken down and becomes less healthy. For the best results, wait until the clay is not wet (although it doesn’t have to be completely dry), then mix it first with about half a spade of well-rotted manure. If you like, you can add a little sand to the mixture as well. Once it’s mixed up very well, you can start doing what you need to do with the clay, and the manure is an added touch because it enhances the structure of the soil so it is better prepared to have something planted in it afterward.
- Not Weeding Properly
Weeding is no one’s favourite gardening chore, but it’s a necessity if you want your garden to grow and thrive. Some people take a hoe and dive into the weeds, tearing them apart in the process. This might sound like it’s effective, but you need to get at the roots of the weeds as well. Weeds such as thistles and dandelions have very strong roots, so you’ll need to either dig down deep and remove them or use an herbicide that goes down into the roots to kill them. If you miss the roots, the weeds will simply come back quickly and be more difficult to get rid of.
- Not Understanding a Plant’s Mature Size
When you buy any type of plant, the instructions on the label will tell you how large the plant is going to get, and it’s a good idea to remember that number. Often, gardeners will ignore the mature size of a plant and plant them anywhere they like. This can result in serious problems that include crowding its neighbours, growing too close to the house, and even stunting its growth. You’ll have a lot of repairs and maintenance on your hands when these things happen, but you can avoid them altogether if you heed the instructions on the plant’s label and plant accordingly.
- Adding Potting Soil to Your Plants
While adding potting soil or peat moss to your planting hole sounds like a good idea, it can actually be detrimental to the plant, causing drainage problems and problems with the roots not having enough room to spread out. Instead, when you dig a hole, dig it two to three times the size of the container but the same depth as the container, then add only the soil that you removed when you start to plant. You simply don’t need to add anything else to the plant to make it grow and grow well.
- Pruning Either Too Early or Too Much
It’s only natural that when winter leaves, you’ll want to get out there and prune your plants, but if you prune too early or too aggressively, it can backfire on you and cause your plants’ growth to be stunted. Flowering shrubs either bloom on new wood or old wood, and you’ll need to know this before you start pruning. You can always wait until the flowers start to bloom, then shape it like you want it once the blooms start to fade.