Top five gardening mistakes

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Top five gardening mistakes

We were all gardening novices once. Not one person was born with ‘green fingers’; gardening, as with all hobbies and skills, needs time, research and practice. We’ve all killed plants. We’ve all made ridiculous choices that ended up being a total waste of time, effort and money.

If you are a beginner in the garden and it looks more like a desolate wasteland instead of the beautiful blooms and juicy, ripe tomatoes you were expecting, don’t be disheartened. Learn from those mistakes and try to avoid them in the future.

Here’s a list of common mistakes and possible fixes:

Mistake 1 – failing to decide on a colour scheme

Every colour is beautiful but it doesn’t mean that they will automatically look stunning when put together. You may think that you’re being wild and creative, but in reality you may just end up with a mess of clashing colours.

Make sure that you don’t think of the plants you’re buying as separate entities; think of them as a collection and make sure you base your purchases on the palette you’ve chosen for your garden, from cool colours such as purples and blues to a hot, vibrant mix of reds, oranges and yellows. And if you want a bit of everything, simply plant them in different beds!

And don’t forget to buy enough of each specimen; if you just buy one of two of each variety you’re not going to get a well-designed unified look – just a lot of different plants all competing for your attention.

Mistake 2 – under or over-watering

Are you a ‘clueless waterer’? Every day or so, you go out with your watering can and douse everything with gallons of water in the hope it will grow? Or worry that you’re watering too much and then let your plants dry out too much?

The key is to know each of your plants’ watering needs. Some will need to remain moist at all times, whereas others like to dry out a little in-between being watered. If you think you may forget, why not just leave the labels close by so you can remind yourself?

It’s also recommended that you check your soil on a regular basis; if it’s dry about an inch below the surface you need to get watering.

Mistake 3 – putting the wrong plant in the wrong place

It’s so tempting to buy plants purely because of how they look. But the fact is that you need to take into consideration a range of factors, such as the direction your garden faces, the type of soil and how much sun and shade your garden gets. Put the wrong plant in the wrong place and you’re facing an uphill struggle.

The best way to ensure success is to buy plants that suit the conditions of your garden. Don’t ignore the labels as they contain vital information, such as its water and light requirements, when and if it should bloom, and how large it may become.

Mistake 4 – buying flowers, not foliage

The majority of us will buy a plant based on how it looks once it’s flowered and in full bloom. And yes, for a relatively short time, it will look beautiful. But what about the rest of the year? It’s important to consider a plant’s foliage as that’s what you’re going to see for most of the time.

Make sure you include specimens with striking leaves in order to keep your garden looking great even when it’s not full of flowers.

Mistake 4 – too much clutter

You buy a lovely little perennial and don’t quite understand why the tag says it need 15 feet of space. So you plant it amongst some other pretty little shrubs (which apparently need about 10 feet of space) and a couple of seasons later, your garden is completely overrun with a massive, tangled mass of shrubs.

What happened? Well, it’s simple – certain plants need a lot of room to grow as they won’t remain sweet little perennials forever. If you’re unhappy with the idea of planting a small shrub in the middle of nowhere while you wait for it to grow, there’s no reason why you can’t add a few annuals to fill any voids for the time being.

If you would like help or advice on what plants or shrubs suit your garden, or whether you would like a complete garden makeover, give us a call here on 01277 652594


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