Gardening is a healthy and relaxing hobby, and if done with passion and care, it’s able to give us satisfaction especially when we can enjoy the “fruits” of our small urban garden planted on the balcony or on the terrace of the house.Source: Flickr.com
But, like many other passions, it requires a considerable wealth of knowledge and a lot of practice. We’ve all aspired to be “gardeners”, and along the way we’ve probably made some serious mistakes that often dramatically skew the development of our plants. But as you know, you never stop learning; and mistakes (without whom we wouldn’t be able to expand our knowledge upon), will be a friendly reminder to our previous gardening endeavors. Often the mistakes made in the beginning only add to our character, but they can make this stage daunting.
Being in front of a wasteland when you’ve fantasized for months about juicy tomatoes and flowering meadows is certainly not an uplifting experience, so avoiding these mistakes will hopefully prevent that:
1. Watering variables
One of the most common mistakes among beginners is related to watering their plants. There are plenty of plants that die because they are left in too arid of land and many are literally drowning in copious liters of water. To solve this problem, here are two simple rules:
Know the species of plants you wish to grow to provide a right amount of water for the soil.
Constantly check the substrate. Just stick a finger up to the second knuckle in the ground to see if it is dry and if you need more watering.
2. Planting the wrong plant in the wrong place
If you are trying to grow tomatoes on a wall facing north under a majestic maple, they’ll certainly need a lot of luck. This is perhaps an extreme example but being familiar with the characteristics and needs of the plant to grow will make everything easier. They might crave sun or shade in a dry or extremely wet terrain to get good results. Be sure to buy plants that are best suited to the characteristics of your garden, which will curb pests and disease.
3. Proper distance
Knowing what you want to grow also means knowing how to grow them for how long. In a short time the plants will compete with each other for light and nourishment. If the spaces left between them aren’t up to par, you can add other small seedlings between them until the trees are grown properly.
4. Know your Climatic Zone of Tolerance
Most of the manuals and catalogs for flower and plant gardening refer to the Plant Hardiness Zones , i.e. the Plant Hardiness Zone , also called the Climate Zones (Climatic Zones of Tolerance) or Growing Zones (Zones Cultivation).
Such zones represent a useful guide to help us learn which plants grow in areas where we live so they do not buy things that they will die soon because not suited to our climate.
5. Fertilize randomly
Often we tend to think that if an amount of fertilizer for the soil is good, more is better. This is a bad mistake.
Even if you use quality organic fertilizers and non-chemical ones, it’s always best to follow the directions on the package and use the recommended dose. Fertilization in excess can lead to an accelerated development of plants with irregular and consequent disease and parasites. If you use organic fertilizers that are environmentally friendly (even those derived from healthy compost) don’t forget to not overdo it.
6. Don’t make the mulch
Mulch is a process that mimics what happens naturally in the woods and consists in covering the soil with a layer of organic material, such as wood, leaves, or grass clippings, which prevents the growth of weeds and maintains high soil moisture and temperature. This makes the optimal medium for the growth of herbs, vegetables and trees. So remember to create a layer of organic material of at least 8-10 cm, especially in winter months.
7. The ground isn’t properly prepared
This is a pretty common problem. We tend to think that it is enough to have a piece of garden to cultivate, plant it and you’re done. But then we realize that the plants, despite their healthy look, do not bloom or bear fruit after a period of time. This is because the soil was not properly prepared before sowing. First, it should go to a depth of at least thirty centimeters and then a layer of good organic compost added up to a few inches. In this way you’ll have a nutrient rich soil ready for planting.
8. Insufficient light
This error is common to many newbies and also to more experienced gardeners. Imagine you want to plant a beautiful ‘New Dawn’ climbing rose in your garden. This plant requires complete exposure to the sun and the garden should be well exposed for no more than half a day. The most common error is to think that a half-day will be sufficient for the growth of these roses. The plant will live for a while, but its bloom will be less modest and its flowers will be smaller than a plant that’s properly exposed to sunlight. It will also be more susceptible to disease and parasites.
Similarly, you will have problems with your vegetable garden. Most of the plants require at least six hours of exposure to the sun to grow properly without a poor yield.
9. You don’t know your garden well enough
The common mistake of not being fully aware of the characteristics of the gardening area you’re working with, such as exposure to sun rays, prevents us from finishing the gardening chores. Know if your land is subject to windy elements, is prone to heavy rains, or if it’s more or less hot and humid.