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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Common Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

From our friends at Homes.com

With gardening season here, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Homes.com wants to make sure you keep your garden in full bloom this season by avoiding these basic gardening mishaps. Here are five common gardening mistakes and some solutions to help you and your garden!

Too Much or Too Little Water

Each plant is different when it comes to watering. Some plants need consistent moisture while others need to dry out between each watering. It is crucial to know your plants and their moisture requirements to avoid over watering or drying your plants out. Make sure to read any labels that come with your selection so you are well informed of the plant’s requirements. To help with irrigation, use a watering can that has measurement marks. This will help you accurately provide the correct amount of moisture your plant needs. 

If you decide to pot your plants, make sure to check how many drainage holes that pot has before moving your plant to its new home. When a plant grows in a pot, the drainage holes take on an important role in retaining or releasing moisture. A good rule to go by is; larger the pot, the more holes are needed. If your pot doesn’t have enough holes, consider drilling extra holes rather than buying a brand new pot.

Sometimes though, simply forgetting to water plants can happen as well. This can be easily avoided by scheduling reminders in your smart phone or on a calendar in your home. 

Not Prepping Soil

A simple task that is often overlooked, prepping the soil can immensely impact your garden’s results. Prepped soil helps plants retrieve vital nutrients and minerals as well as retain valuable moisture. To prep the soil, simply loosen at least 12 inches of soil and then add several inches of compost. 

Not Planting In the Correct Area

We know that plants need sunlight to survive but how much sunlight can differ from species to species. Plants and crops such as tomatoes, roses, and butterfly bushes need lots of light while others like aloe, peace lilies, and Boston ferns, require little light to flourish. Be mindful of the area you choose to place your plants as the wrong area can be severely damaging to them. Too much sunlight can not only overheat your plant but it can lead to rotting and an eventual infestation of pests. 

Homes.com encourages you to do some research on your desired plants, or consult a specialist, to find the perfect place to put your garden.

Mixing in Invasive Plants

Though you may think they look great together, some desired plants can produce undesirable results. Invasive or aggressive plants can take over a garden so it is important to do research when introducing new species in your garden. Examples of invasive plants include horseradish, spiderwort, and English ivy; among many others. Research or contact a specialist about the plants you wish to fill your garden or home. You can also take a look at Botanical Latin to help you understand your plants better.

Until you have a solid understanding of your new introduction, it is best to keep new plants in separate containers and away from others.

Using Too Much Pesticide

Weeds and grasses are very common nuisances in any garden but improperly eliminating them can lead to worse issues down the road. Pesticides, though easy, are not always the best solution to your weed problems. Using too much pesticide can cause your soil to become unusable, making it difficult or even impossible for your plants to thrive. A natural and very inexpensive solution is to mix an equal amount of water and vinegar with your chosen pesticide and using that to spray your garden. This dilutes the pesticide enough to not harm your garden while still eliminating your weed problem.

If you are considering starting your own garden this season or are simply updating your existing one, Homes.com wants to help. Do your research and plant the type of plants that work well together and for your family. For more summer inspiration ideas, visit the Homes.com idea gallery!