10 Common Gardening Mistakes To Avoid (Pt 1)
Simply adding a few plants to your backyard can turn a lifeless area into a relaxing oasis. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as driving to the nearest garden centre, buying any plant you like the look of, and dumping them in a garden bed. So, if you want to make sure your garden thrives, avoid these 10 common gardening mistakes.
1) Not Aerating The Soil
Before you can plant anything in your garden you will need to prepare the soil. This is particularly important if you have clay-like soil as it will be much harder for a young plant to penetrate the soil with its roots. You will need to turn the soil to aerate it and, depending on the type of soil you have, you may need to add compost. This will allow the roots of your plants to establish themselves deep in the soil, and will also help to remove any weeds growing in your garden beds.
2) Not Testing & Amending The Soil
To ensure that your plants thrive you will need to test and identify what kind of soil you have. For example, if you have heavy clay soil it will have poor drainage and will harden and crack in the sun, however, clay soils are usually more nutrient-rich. Conversely, sandy soils do not retain water and nutrients well which can make it difficult for plants to survive.
Once you have identified what type of soil you have, you will need to amend it to promote the healthy growth of your plants. So, if your soil is clay-like you will need to add organic matter to help improve drainage, and if you have sandy soil, you can use materials such as compost and manure to improve water retention. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have or what you should add to it, ask the friendly staff at Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscaping Supplies, your local garden centre.
3) Planting Too Close To Other Plants
If you’ve never tried your hand at gardening before it’s important that you plan out your garden before planting anything. You will most likely not be able to tell how a plant will grow based on a seedling, whether it will grow tall or wide, and how much space it will need. So, to avoid an overgrown mess of a garden in a few years time, do some research on the plants you want including how much space they will need to grow.
Additionally, planting your seedlings too close together could mean that they will be competing for food and water, which can negatively affect their growth, causing your plants to grow straggly and weak.
Note: your plants will likely look sparse to begin with, but in the end you will be left with a healthy and full garden, rather than an overgrown mess.
4) Not Using Mulch
Mulching is a great way to simplify gardening for beginners. Not only will mulch give your garden a tidy, low maintenance look, it will also retain water, and even improve the soil and feed your plants as it breaks down. Additionally, mulch helps to prevent weeds from sprouting up and weed seeds from getting into the soil. This will reduce the amount of time you have to spend pulling weeds from the garden, and ensure that your plants aren’t competing with weeds for nutrients.
5) Watering Incorrectly
Another gardening mistake that beginners often make is incorrectly watering their plants. In general it is best to water your plants deeply and less frequently, rather than light, daily watering. This is important as light, frequent watering will create shorter roots and can even cause fungal growth as the leaves of the plant will be constantly wet.
If you’re not sure if your plants need water, check the condition of the soil. If it’s rock hard, your plant is dehydrated and needs water. Conversely, if the soil is moist and you can squeeze it into a ball in your hand, your garden is well hydrated.
It is also important to water in the morning rather than in the middle of the day where more water will evaporate before penetrating the soil, or at night when watering can cause fungal growth.
Looking to start growing your own plants? Visit your local garden centre at Wellers Hill Hardware & Landscape Supplies. Our friendly team are experienced in all things landscaping and gardening, and will provide you with the best advice on how to grow a thriving garden. Visit us on the corner of Denham Terrace, Tarragindi or give us a call on 07 3848 1682 for all of your gardening needs.