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Know These Common Garden Mistakes

Ok, the chipper, charming vision of planting an excellent garden. Hold that idea! On the off chance that you are genuinely new to cultivating, you should know a couple of things that will keep you out of inconvenience. Indeed, even furnished with cultivating know-how and planting counsel, being a planter implies, in addition to other things, committing errors.

Above all else, before setting any blossom, vegetable, vine, tree, or bush into the ground, you should set up the dirt. You can buy the most elevated review plant material accessible; yet in the event that your dirt is not legitimately arranged, your garden might be bound to disappointment. Know your dirt. You can begin with top soil on the off chance that you wish; but since without anyone else it is too overwhelming and thick and is constrained because of porosity, water maintenance and absence of supplements, you should add lighter material to it.

You may add any of the following materials to top soil to make it “good” gardening soil: sphagnum peat moss (aerates the soil to promote strong root systems, helps retain moisture and nutrients); perlite (white, lightweight little “pebbles” that improve aeration and drainage and help promote root development); vermiculite (similar to perlite); humus (rich, dark soil); composted cow manure (contains a wide range of minerals and nutrients, adds to the composition of the soil and holds moisture). Do not use fresh manure as it can burn young plants; composted manure has no offensive odor. A generally acceptable mixture is two-thirds soil and one third amendments, well mixed.

Know your conditions. For example, do not plant impatiens where they will receive 6 to 8 hours of sun daily because they will not survive. A better choice of annuals for that space would be petunias, verbena, geraniums, daisies, vinca, or cosmos. Plant your impatiens in a place that receives either a little morning sun with shade the rest of the day or where they receive dappled shade all day.

Do some planning. Another common error beginning gardeners make is to pack the garden with as much as possible. Allow room for growth and spreading. To do justice to a plant is to give it room to grow and be as attractive as it was meant to be. One of my more easily corrected mistakes was when I planted “Gayfeather” liatris in front of tall garden phlox. I didn’t allow for the fact that the liatris was the tallest variety and grew to 5 feet, so the poor “tall” garden phlox disappeared into the back of beyond and they’re too gorgeous not to be seen. I’ve moved them now.

Plant at the proper depth. A very common error is planting too deep. It’s a natural inclination to plant a somewhat floppy-stemmed annual out of a market pack deep into the soil in order to support its stems. However, it’s not a good idea. Instead, the floppy-stemmed plant should be pinched back from the top, then planted so that the rootball sticks out of the soil just a fraction of an inch.

While on the subject of planting in general, when you remove a plant from the container in which you purchased it, be sure to look carefully at the rootball. Half of the rootball will probably be bound up or encircled in its own roots. Before planting, the rootball must be opened and the roots separated, or the plant will just continue to be root-bound and will simply not grow. Opening up the rootball will allow the roots to spread.

Purchase healthy plants. This practice greatly increases your chances of success. Beware of spindly, dry, browned, or droopy looking plants. Symptoms like these often mean they were not well cared for and will probably not make it through the growing season.

Water well. A common mistake is to give the garden a light sprinkle and let it go at that. After you plant anything, be sure to soak it immediately and thoroughly. Be careful of sprinklers; remember that they only water the foliage. In the hot summer, most of that water evaporates before it does any good, and the roots rarely get the water they need. Water deeply, not daily.

Watering well promotes the development of a deep and extensive root system. Frequent and light watering only promotes shallow rooting. The preferred deep-rooted plants will be able to survive hot dry weather much better because their roots will be able to reach the moisture deep in the soil. Generally speaking, a flower garden needs at least one inch of water per week. You need to remember, too, that over-watering will wash the nutrients out of the soil and also encourage the spread of fungal diseases.

Gardening is a labor of love for most of us, mistakes and all; and if you realize that mistakes are actually important in the learning process, it will help keep your frustration level down. Happy gardening from a gardener who is still making mistakes and still learning – there’s hope for all of us.