ere are some pointers to think about before going out and buying those plants. I write about this every year errors and mistakes people make. I know when the weather starts warming up; you just want to get outside in your yard and start planning those flowers, and doing some landscaping. Remember in this area it is not safe to put out those plants before Mid May; I use Mother’s Day a date; easy to remember! And these last few days sure were a good example how the temperatures can get here in this area; highs in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s. Most plants don’t grow very well until the soil is nice and warm anyway; and there is a good chance they will get zapped by a frost if you put those seedlings out to early. Here is another good reason to start that garden; not only is working in one’s gardens good for physical health, it’s a great way to mental health. It’s just nice to be away from the everyday grind, the hustle and bustle we go through at our jobs, fighting traffic, etc. Another factor is the high stresses found in today’s fast-paced and busy life. Gardening can be great to just get away from stress and relax and even get some exercise, but if you want to have good experience and results you need to plan ahead. Gardening means different things to different people. Thousands view gardening as a hobby, a relaxing escape from the pressures of an urban environment. And now with this COVID-19 (stay at home order) more reason to get out and do something like gardening and stay busy!
Gardening errors and mistakes most common whether a beginner or expert: Gardening by its nature is going through trial and error, but no one wants the errors. Here are some of the problems and mistakes and how to avoid them. So you can enjoy the experience of gardening and have a great growing season. Making mistakes is just part of the process, but wouldn’t it be nice to avoid them altogether? I will go through some of the most common gardening mistakes and some tips on how to avoid or prevent them.
Don’t overlook: the soil we just went over how critical good soil preparation is to a garden’s success. That is why loam soil is ideal for most plants, because it has a good balance between clay and sand. Loam has better drainage than clay, but retains water and nutrients better than sandy soil. To get a good loam, amend the soil with compost, well-aged manure, and other organic matter regularly. It is easy to get excited: in the early phases of garden planning for spring. I will give you some of the most common gardening errors and mistakes a person may make. One of the most important is underestimating the time it will take to actually plant, weed, water, and maintain that garden space. So I would suggest be realistic about how many hours you can devote to your garden during the growing season. You will save yourself a lot of headaches if you start a small part of your yard to design and plan this year. You can always add on in a future season. Remember it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the chores, but ultimately, gardening is about spending time enjoying nature.
Here is a couple of more mistakes: a lot of people will do. Spend on gardening plants without a plan. When spring finally arrives, we all want to get out doors and start our gardens. It is tempting to rush to the nursery and buy each new plant that may catch your fancy. Then once you get home you start wondering where you are going to plant those purchases. And then it is a little late to realize you just have a great big mishmash of different types of plants, colors that just don’t go together. Picking the wrong plants: We have all tried to grow plants that just will not work in our climate. And there are those that overlook the soil. Yet healthy soil is critical to a garden’s success. So think carefully about your growing conditions before you start shopping for those plants. Not when you are already at the nursery or garden center. Things like that pretty perennial you want to buy, can it withstand the conditions, such as humid or arid weather in your climate? Have you researched if the shrub or tree grows well in your area? Check the USDA hardiness zone you live in. Most plants will have a tag are some kind of information that will provide on the plants cold hardiness. Remember although these tags are important factor they do not consider things like wind, altitude, heat and humidity. Check with your local nursery, master gardener or the university extension office. This will give you a good idea for what grows best in your climate.
Gardeners also tend to overlook: the soil’s pH level (this is a measurement of the soil’s acidity and alkalinity). Many plants grow in a range of pH levels from 4.5 to 7 but remember that some plants will suffer nutritional deficiencies if the soil has the wrong pH. If your soil is above 7 it will not be easy to grow plants such as blueberries and azaleas, which require acidic soil. To be sure about your soil’s pH levels order a test from your local cooperative extension office or you can purchase a kit from a nursery or garden center.
Over or under watering: is a very common problem for most beginners. Some gardeners drown their plants by watering too much and others not enough. Neither is very good. If you water too much will make plants susceptible to pest and diseases like root rot. Not enough water will weaken plants and eventually kills them. Water in the morning to allow plants to dry off before evening. Although container plants need to be watering daily in hot weather, ground plants rarely do, especially with several inches of mulch. A rule of thumb is to give ground plants an inch of water a week. And of course; you can always purchase my book; just google (George Edward Weigel book The Blue Barn. com) easy to read method on gardening, setting up a plan and strategy for gardening, How to prepare soil, flower, vegetable seeding through harvest. Homemade pesticide and fungicidal recipes and a whole lot more, etc.
You can purchase my books (The Blue Barn) and/or (An-Apple-A-Day) google (www. iUniverse publishing. com) Books, Author: george edward weigel
FOOTNOTE: George Weigel, a Platte County resident, is the founder of Cedar Creek Research, and a freelance writer and a published author specializing in nutrition and organic garden strategies. He is a member of the National Home Gardening Club; member and supporter of Arbor Day Foundation, National Wildlife Federation.