The Top Ten Mistakes Novice Gardeners Make(Part 2)

6. Spacing.

Some plants can cope with being in a crowded spot in your garden while some like a lot of room to spread their roots and stems. Sometimes new gardeners fall into the trap of  under or over proportioning , and think that putting a plant that needs a lot of space in a pot for instance would be alright. What happens is that the plant’s growth is stunted and it does  not reach its full potential in that container. The same applies to potted plants. A really small plant does not need to be in a large pot or container. Let the size of the plant dictate the size of pot you use , choosing to go for a size or two bigger than your plant and no more. As the plant grows you can always re-pot if need be.

7. Timing

I know we live in the age where most plants can be sourced almost all year round but really only experts  and experienced gardeners can do that. For the majority of us we have to let the seasons dictate when to plant and how to plant. An example is sweet peas, I planted some late in the summer thinking that I’d get some flowers early in the autumn. Boy, was I wrong. I got no flowers although the plant is fairing okay I’ll need to wait till early spring this year I suppose to see any flowers. So plant at the wrong time and you’ll get nil returns. Do your research and time it just right.

8. Feeding

As with every living thing plants need food to grow. Most established plants are able to source their nutrients from the soil through their roots but occasionally need some help.  The challenge is if you are growing a plant in a container like a pot or tub. If you haven’t used a good quality multi purpose compost initially then the chances are your plant doesn’t do well. Even if you have,  you still need to feed. Tomato feed is usually a safe option for many plants, I’ve used it on clematis, peace lilies and even my pepper plant. The best is to check what feed your plants need. If you are have loads of flowers in your garden  I’d recommend a general purpose feed , some can be diluted and last for ages. Many experienced gardeners use manure or home made compost. I’m no where near that type of experience in all honesty.  Even if you have bought well established plants or young plants they still need a feed now and then to keep them flowering or producing their crop.

9. After Care

I remember my first proper summer I lived in the U.K. I had moved into a flat with some friends and decided to tidy the flower bed in the front garden. I pulled out loads of plants I thought were weeds only to find out later that they were geraniums which had finished flowering. I don’t think the landlady was best pleased. In the course of my early gardening days I have mistaken new poppy seedlings I had sown directly in the soil for little weeds and pulled them out only to realise a few days later  my error. Another common mistake is pruning plants that don’t require it . Another common mistake in relation to after care is disturbing plants that grow from bulbs  after flowering as they prefer to be left undisturbed.  The exception to these are probably snowdrops who cope well with being lifted and divided. There might be others similar to snowdrops but as with every thing do your research.

10.  Wrong Depth

This mistake is actually quite easy to overlook, you might just think I dig a hole and put the plant and ‘viola’ , I’m done. Not so.. For maximum output you need to consider the size of the plant and the depth of the hole. You need to ensure that if you are planting either a small or big plant you leave enough space in the hole for the roots to spread . When planting bulbs and corms it is crucial not to place them too far down in a hole as they will struggle to shoot up if buried way under the soil. Read and follow instructions on the packaging if possible.

So in conclusion try and steer clear of some of this novice gardening mistakes by researching a little bit about your plant.

Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 

 

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