July 6, 2011

7 Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you're improving curb appeal to sell your house; you're planting a garden in your new home, or you're just an avid gardener, HouseLogic.com published a list of 7 Common Gardening Mistaking to Avoid that are vital for any garden lover to read. Evade wasting your time and money by paying special attention to these factors:

Mistake 1 - Too many changes, too soon
The excitement of buying a new home, plus a stretch of warm spring weather, often creates a passion for yard work. But don’t just do something, stand there!
- Try this instead: Live with your land for a year. Observe sunlight, pH of the soil, grass activity, etc. to get a better idea of what type of land you'll be dealing with.

Mistake 2 - Too much togetherness

Trees and shrubs that look properly spaced when you plant will crowd each other and compete for water, sun, and nutrients a few years down the road.
- Try this instead: Before digging, read spacing instructions. Give trees plenty of space and stagger bushes/plants in two rows. This may look sparse, but in a few years the shrubbery will fill out.

Mistake 3 - Planting without a plan
Planting new garden beds without a long-term landscape plan is like pouring a house foundation without blueprints. Your haste results in a waste of time, money, and muscles.
- Try this instead: Draw a sketch of your yard - what's there now and what you might add later, such as a patio, shed or pool. Go online and look around landscaping sites that help you pick plants and design beds.

Mistake 4 - Neglecting the root of it all
Even the hardiest plants need a little help putting down roots in new locations. Sprinkling the foliage doesn’t nourish the roots, the plant’s nerve center. You must deliver water to the root ball below the ground, or your plants will be stunted and short-lived.
- Try this instead: Place the hose at the base of new plants and let the water trickle out for 20 to 30 minutes, twice a week (more in heat), for 4 to 12 weeks. Or snake a soaker hose through your beds, which will slowly deliver water to the roots.

Mistake 5 - Forgetting the sun
Too many gardeners pick plants based only on looks, not the growing conditions plants require and the conditions that exist.
- Try this instead: Observe the spot where you'll plant and estimate the amount of daily sun during the season. To translate that into growing language: full sun is 6 hours a day or more, partial sun/shade is 3 to 5 hours and full shade is less than three hours.

Mistake 6 - Over-watering
An automatic irrigation system is a luxury, and auto-watering can bring disease, root rot, and a premature death to plants; it also wastes water. Many gardeners set watering timers for 15 to 20 minutes each morning, which wets the surface but doesn’t soak deeply enough to nourish.
- Try this instead: Water for 40-60 minutes only two to three times a week. A deeper soak helps lawns develop deeper roots.

Mistake 7 - Budget blunders
Unfortunately, many home owners don’t include landscaping in their construction budget. They end up with a beautiful new family room, screened porch, or solarium, and a few lonely azaleas planted around the foundation as an afterthought.
- Try this instead: Allocate 10% to 20% of your construction budget to the landscape.

Make sure to check out HouseLogic.com! A great resource to "help you increase and protect the value of your home by helping you make confident decisions."

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