With summer only a matter of weeks away, more and more people are enjoying getting out and working on their outdoor areas. Many people rely on tips that they get online, or through peers. However, you should be extremely careful as even the smallest mistakes can have the most catastrophic consequences.
For beginners gardening is truly all about trial and error. For most, the error probably occurs all too often. Here we will list the most common gardening mistakes that people make and will advise you on how to avoid them.
1 – Over Or Under Watering Plants
This is without a doubt the most common mistake that people make when it comes to gardening. The problem is most plants have different requirements when it comes to watering and not many people are fully aware of this. Under watering to one plant may be over watering to another, so you have to be very careful.
There are many ways that you can spot signs of either overwatering or underwatering plants. Underwatering plants will have signs such as dry leaves, brown tips, leaf curling and even leaf dropping.
Overwatered plants, on the other hand, will have signs such as yellowing leaves, brown tips, wilting despite wet soil and in the worst cases even root rot.
One of the most important things to remember is to not water your plants too frequently. However, this does not mean that you should not water them at all. During warmer weather, it can be extremely tempting to water your crops more frequently.
Watering them less frequently, but making sure that when you water the plant you make sure that you thoroughly saturate the soil is the most effective way of watering. This way of watering helps to encourage the roots to reach deeply for residual water, even when the soil surface appears dry.
2 – Cutting Lawn Too Short
This is a mistake that a lot of people make without realising that they have ever made a mistake. This can cause a chain reaction of problems for your grass that can be truly catastrophic.
When you cut your lawn too short what you are doing is cutting away the food supply to the grass. In the summer months the grass relies on that food supply to survive the hot and dry conditions.
As well as taking away the lawn’s food supply, you also severely reduce its ability to produce more food as the leaf has been cut that helps to make the food. It then also has to work far harder to produce the new food that it needs which in turn sacrifices the development of the grass roots. This is extremely bad for your lawn as the grass has no where to store any water and cannot obtain any nutrients from the soil. All of this added up will undoubtedly lead to the death of the grass.
It’s understandable as to why people make this mistake, they feel like the shorter they cut the grass the less they will have to mow it. While this is correct, it is only because you do not have to cut dead grass.
Leaving your lawn slightly longer actually has far more benefits to it and will actually grow a lot slower. It will leave your grass looking fuller and healthier while maintaining all of the leaves and nutrients that the grass needs to stay alive, especially in the warm and dry summer months.
3 – Poor Or Lack Of Weeding
Deweeding in your garden can be a tedious task that feels like it comes with very little to no rewards. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for people to neglect it and avoid it altogether. This is a catastrophic mistake that can cause a huge amount of problems in your garden.
Weeds are the most common pests that are found within gardens and can be a huge nuisance to the plants that you want to be growing and nurturing in your outdoor space.
What you need to understand is that plants feed off the water and nutrients found in the soil and without them they will unfortunately die. Weeds compete with your plants for these crucial nutrients and therefore stop your plants from receiving what they need to stay healthy.
Furthermore, if they get out of hand they can hide your plants making it not only more difficult for you to find and nurture but also hiding the plants from all-important pollinators which is devastating as over 80% of the world’s flowering plants need pollinators to reproduce.
4 – Placing Plants In The Wrong Spot
Again this is something that your casual most likely will never even think about. However, it can be extremely important for a perfectly healthy plant. When thinking about where exactly you should place your plant, you should always know the exact needs of the plant.
If your plant needs shade then placing it in an area of your garden that is always in full sun during the summer months may not be very good for the health of the plant. For it to grow exactly how it should, then it should be placed in an area that receives a lot of shade and best suits its needs.
It can also be very bad for the plants if they are placed too close to each other. Much like humans, plants do not like to be too cramped and crowded. They need air circulating them and room for them to spread their branches and their roots as they grow. Crowding plants together can also help the spread of diseases and therefore spreading them out helps stop the spread of unwanted diseases.
5 – Not Pruning Properly
With all the overgrown shrubs from the previous winter months, it is understandable that you are eager to start getting your shrubs in shape. However, you mustn’t overdo it. If done too aggressively it can permanently damage a plant by stunting its growth and making it susceptible to diseases.
In addition to this, when a plant is in its growing stages pruning can potentially starve a tree. Pruning is simply cutting leaves and leaves are what a plant needs to make food. Therefore, over-pruning your plant means that it cannot make food.
In the warm and sunnier summer months the leaves are also super important as they help to provide shade to the branches, therefore, pruning too much can make plants extremely vulnerable to the harsh summer sun.
In the summer months, you should always make sure that you leave enough leaves on your plant to allow the plant to create food and provide shade to its branches.
Mistakes in gardening happen all the time, especially with new gardeners. The main piece of advice that we can give is to learn from the mistakes that you make and make sure that you do not make the same mistake again. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is hugely valuable information that can help you grow your skills in the garden.