Gardening can be an exciting and fruitful hobby – whether you are growing vegetables or lovely roses, it is a great experience to watch your hard work bloom and grow. You may be a very seasoned gardener with many years of experience under your belt, or you might just be a few months in and still learning the tools of the trade. You may be making a few mistakes – or rather not doing things that you should be doing. However, things may be going fairly but not as well as you thought they would. You may not be producing as many vegetables or blooms as you thought you would. Fret not! Here are a few common gardening mistakes, and how to solve them:
Not Testing Your Soil
The soil is essentially the heart of the plant. If you have a large garden, your soil can vary from one spot to another. The soil is where your plants will get their nutrients, so it is very important to know what nutrients – or lack thereof – that soil has. A quick and easy way to test your soil is with our Soil Test Kit. This kit will test for the pH balance as well as nitrogen and phosphorous levels. Remember, it is important to re-test your soil every year as the soil can change from season to season.
Now you’re probably thinking, “What?! I water my plants regularly! How can I be doing it wrong?!” Well, if you’re watering only from the top of the plants, especially shrubs and roses, it isn’t the most effective. There’s a few reasons overhead watering isn’t the best way to water your garden. Too wet leaves can become a breeding ground for fungus and disease, and it’s the roots that need the moisture! For easy and effective watering, consider a Garden Complete Drip Kit or a soaker hose.
Adding nutrients to your soil can be easy – just add compost! Compost can be purchased from local farmers, farmers markets, gardening centers, or you can even make it yourself! It is so easy to start your own compost – read our recent blog “Beginners Guide to Composting” to get started. By adding compost, you plants will gain nutrients and grow bigger and more beautiful!
Ignoring Pest Control
Garden pests can be silent but deadly. Before you know it, aphids and other garden pests can quickly destroy your plants. Pest control can seem daunting, you may be avoiding it because you don’t want to add poisonous chemicals to your garden. Don’t worry – there are many natural solutions to pest control that are safe for your garden, the environment, and your family (pets, too!).
Not Using Mulch
Don’t let all the hard work in your garden go to waste. One of the most common, but easily fixable gardening mistakes is not using mulch! Mulch is a way to ensure that your soil retains its moisture, and certain types of mulch can add necessary nutrients back to your soil. It not only keeps your plants safe, but it helps them grow stronger! There are many different types of mulch to suit various gardening needs. Almost every gardening supply store carries mulch so stop by your local store to decide which one is right for you.
See, no reason to worry! All of these common gardening mistakes are so easy to fix! With patience, determination, and dedication I’m sure you will begin to see the fruits of your labor very soon!