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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

How to avoid these common gardening mistakes

How To Avoid These Common Gardening Mistakes

Most gardening is learned by trial and error – for many people, mostly error.

Planting a shade-lover in full sun isn’t likely to bring success, nor is letting your feelings rage in the nursery, but we’ve all been there. The good news is that we can learn from our mistakes and those of others. First, we have to admit that we are not perfect.

I’ll go first: Several years ago, I planted a handful of morning glory seeds at the foot of the arbor surrounding my front gate. Labeled as a “fast-grower” and a “self-seeder,” I was sure the vine would give me lush foliage, flowers, and instant gratification. Unfortunately, it did its job too well, and these days, I spend about a half hour every week during the summer pulling up seedlings that grow up to 50 feet away.

Ditto for my mint-planting debacle, which I casually thought I might avoid by planting in a container in the garden bed. Sure, that first summer was all sunshine and mojitos, but mint is a pot-jumper, and it spreads with abandon through seeds as well as roots that emerged from the planter’s drainage holes and travel underground. . By the third year, I had to dig up the entire bed to remove it. I learned to recognize invasive plants quickly, even if they weren’t labeled as such.

Here are five other common gardening mistakes—and how to avoid them.

no soil test

Proper soil pH is the No. 1 ingredient for success, but there’s no one-size-fits-all number to strive for. For example, tomatoes grow best in soil with a pH between 6.0-6.8. Blueberry plants, on the other hand, are likely to turn yellow and will produce little, if any, fruit if the pH exceeds 5.5. This is because nutrients are available to plants only at target pH levels, which vary for each type of plant.

Testing kits are relatively inexpensive and widely available at garden centers. Pick one and test the soil in each garden bed individually, as pH often varies even on the same property. A reading of 7.0 is considered neutral. Anything less indicates acidic soil; High alkaline.

The path of least resistance — and the best course of action — would be to select the plants best suited for your garden’s conditions. But suppose you need to reconcile your love of tomatoes with the low pH value of your soil? In that case, you can add dolomitic lime (follow package directions) to raise the level. And just as lime raises soil pH — or increases alkalinity — amendments like elemental sulfur will lower it (opt for pelleted over powder, and again, follow directions).

watering incorrectly

Most garden plants require 1 to 1½ inches of water per week, either from rainfall or supplemental irrigation. Leaving the job to sprinklers, when appropriate for lawns, puts shrubs, annuals, perennials and edibles at risk. Mildew, mildew, fungal and bacterial diseases spread because water gets trapped between plant parts or spreads from infected leaves to healthy leaves.

Instead, snake a porous soaker hose or drip-irrigation system made of perforated plastic tubing across the surface of the soil. This will direct the water to the roots, rather than to the leaves, fruits and flowers, where it is needed.

manure skipping

Compost is a gardener’s best friend: It improves drainage of heavy clay soils, increases the moisture holding capacity of sand and adds high-quality nutrients.

Incorporate generous supports into new beds and borders, or add an equal amount to half-removed soil in individual planting holes.

Wrong plant, wrong place

A plant is labeled as requiring “full sun” if planted in partial shade, and vice versa. And no matter how much you expect otherwise, “drought tolerant” will never mean “poorly drained, prefers wet soil.”

Choosing plants best suited to your growing conditions will result in a better looking, healthier garden that requires less care and maintenance.

improper mulching

Multani retains soil moisture, suppresses weeds and helps maintain soil temperature, so it is an essential component of every garden. However, mulching incorrectly can kill your plants.

Always opt for natural materials such as shredded bark, wood chips, straw or pine needles, which will enrich the soil as it rots.

World Nation News Desk
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