Nip these common garden mistakes in the bud and enjoy gardening this year.
A few beautiful days of 70 degree weather is enough for anyone to catch spring fever. But before you say ready, set, grow; do your homework. Resist the urge to rush into breaking out your gardening arsenal of tools too early! As many seasoned gardeners know, patience is key.
First things first. Understand your local climate. A great resource which will help you to understand your planting zone’s climate is the United States Department of Agriculture’s interactive map.
Having a plan will not only ensure that your garden has a theme but will also help you to stand firm against impulse buying once you get to the store. Write down a list of what you will need prior to purchasing seeds, soils, tools and all other garden essentials and stick to it. The bare minimum that any green thumb needs to get the job done includes a shovel, spade, garden fork, pruners and a hose (splurge on one that won’t kink up).
It may sound like common sense but many people aren’t aware that it is possible to drown a plant. Too much water can be deadly to a plant. Conversely, relying on rain alone as your plants source of water is a mistake as well. There are three keys to ensuring that your plants are being water properly:
1) Touch Test: This is an easy one! Stick your finger in the dirt, if it is wet then skip watering until the soil feels dry again. When the time comes to water, focus on the soil, not the leaves. Again, this may sound silly but this is a very common mistake.
2) Time of Day: Prime watering time is in the morning. By giving your plants a drink in the morning you will avoid water evaporation.
3) Amount: When it is time to water make sure you water deeply, meaning water your plants with at least an inch of water. It is better saturate your plants less often than to water only a bit at a time.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
While many cringe at the sight of bugs in their garden it is important to understand that many bugs do play an important role in cultivating healthy gardens. Many bugs are good for soil, others help to pollinate flowers and some even eat other bugs which could be potentially harmful to your garden.
According to http://www.varanasiestate.com these are some of the good guys:
- Ground beetle
- Hover fly
- Beneficial nematodes
- Big-eyed bug
- Braconid wasps
- Damsel bugs
- Minute pirate bug
- Rove beetles
- Assassin Bug
Animal control *TOP SECRET*
One of my mom’s best kept gardening secrets (don’t tell her I told you) is shaving Irish Spring soap bars over all of her flowers. This trick does a great job deterring deer, rabbits and other animals from munching on her beautiful flowers.
What are your green thumb secrets? Please share with us in the comments section and feel free to post pictures of your gardens on our Facebook page.