Whether you’ve been a gardener for years or are just starting out, knowing what to do – and what not to do – can help you have success in your garden this year. The first thing to remember is that everyone makes mistakes, and the great thing about gardens is that they can bounce back.
Not Understanding Soil
Soil is one of the fundamental elements of gardening, but it can be more complicated than you think. Soil not only makes your plants’ roots comfortable, but nutrients embedded in the soil makes sure your plants are healthy and getting everything they need. Depending on the type of things you’re growing, you’ll need to be aware of your soil’s pH levels; vegetables do well in acidic soil, whereas other plants don’t.
Doing Too Much At Once
Especially in the spring, gardeners love to get out as soon as they can and start planning dozens of projects to make their gardens perfect. But it’s important to understand that gardens are almost always a work in progress, and it takes time to build on them. Start small after the winter, and make sure you’re focussing on one or two beds before you move on to bigger projects. Identify what your priorities are, and work from there.
Sometimes, our plants can’t get everything they need from the soil, sun and water alone, and they need a bit of a pick-me-up. Vegetables and flowering plants often require a bit of fertilizing to keep their blooms blemish-free and looking healthy. You can buy organic fertilizers that contain calcium and magnesium, which plants need and can’t always get elsewhere.
When you place plants too close to each other, they start to compete with each other for light, water and nutrients. Make sure you’re giving your plants enough space, and not just when they’re seedlings. Find out how large your plants are supposed to get, and make sure they’ll have enough room when they’ve fully matured.
Forgetting to Mulch
Some gardeners don’t understand the importance of mulch, and forget to use any in their garden at all. But mulch is essential for keeping your plants happy and healthy. Mulching your flower beds with an organic mulch will give them more nutrients, and protect them from drying out too much. Mulch will also keep the heat of the soil regulated, so the plants’ roots don’t get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
Underwatering and Overwatering
Making sure your plants get the right amount of water can be a fine balance. If you overwater your plants, the roots will rot and the plant will die. If you underwater, it won’t grow and will be dehydrated. Consider installing an irrigation system if you’re having trouble with this problem, or just pay more attention to your soil. When it’s dried out and hard, your plants will need water. Grab a handful and squeeze it, and if it forms a loose ball, it’s just right.
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