6 Mistakes We’ve All Made When Starting a Garden
Common Gardening Mistakes
April is practically here, and it is the perfect time to start preparing your garden. The recent cold snap might have some green thumbs nervous, but April is a great time to plant your garden. Usually the last freeze occurs by April 10th.
Ignoring Your Garden Site
A garden requires a bit of forethought. Before purchasing seeds or plants, you’ll need to do some reconnaissance. A few simple observations will help you understand your garden’s geography and guide you in which plants to grow.
- Aspect. How does the garden plot lay on your land? The direction of the slope can change the amount of sunlight your plants will get, which will impact what can be grown
- Wind. Strong wind can be particularly harsh for plants. Planting young plants near barriers such as fences and walls may help to reduce wind damage.
- Rainfall. Here in Western North Carolina, the mountains and valleys can disrupt traditional weather patterns. A rain gauge will help you understand how much rain your yard actually receives.
- Wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, raccoons, and deer can eat a weekend’s worth of work in one night. Fences are the only surefire way to keep animals out, and this guide provides advice pertaining to which type of fence to build in order to keep certain animals out of your garden.
Ignoring the Layout
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Plan your garden before you step foot inside a our store or a nursery, so the employees can better help your purchase decisions. Measure the dimensions of your garden to know how many seeds to purchase bring home. When planting, don’t plant too close together, and restrict invasive plants during the growing season.
Ignoring Your Dirt
Your flowers need more than a hole in the ground to thrive. Some simple preparations can turn dirt into soil. Because the garden bed needs to be free of other vegetation, remove existing grass, other vegetation, and large rocks with a flat spade. Next, spread two or three inches of organic matter, well-rotted manure, composted leaves or compost over the bed. Turn the soil over to a depth of eight inches with a garden spade or fork, breaking up heavy clods and finally, rake your newly prepared soil so that you have a level garden ready for young plants or seeds!.
Picking the Wrong Plant, Seed, or Bulb
If you start your gardens with plants, nursery employees will be your best guides when you’re new to picking plants! Knowing the dimensions of your garden will help you avoid buying insufficient amounts of a single variety. If you prefer to start with seeds or bulbs, which are usually less costly options, we have a large variety of flower seeds and spring bulbs that are selected specifically to thrive in the southeast. Growing instructions are found on each of the seed or bulb packages. You can typically sow the seeds directly into the garden, or start them indoors and then transplant the seedlings after a few weeks. Bulbs are also easy to plant – just make sure they are turned with the right side up and are planted at the recommended depth.
All Flowers, No Foliage
Pay attention to the plant’s health. Avoid unhealthy plants and flowers already fully bloomed. Check the root system by turning the pot upside down. You want the roots reaching the bottom of the pot, but not extending through the bottom. Roots extending outside the pot can become tangled, congested, and can choke the plant. If the soil crumbles because the roots do not extend far enough, the plant is too young to take home and plant.
Transporting Plants from the Nursery
Imagine you have planned your garden layout, understand its geography, and purchased a menagerie of lovely flowers and foliage. When you return home from the nursery ready to plant, you don’t see neatly potted plants, but a loose pile of dirt, stems, and flowers strewn across the backseat of your car!
Transporting your flowers home is an oft overlooked step in gardening. For safe transportation,lay a small step ladder on top of a tarp. The rungs serve as compartments for potted plants.
If you’re looking to start gardening this spring, come visit us at Town Hardware and General Store. We have an abundance of knowledge and tools. Our experts can help you find the right tools (like this precision seeder), advise you on what seeds or bulbs to plant, and explain how to care for your garden! Make sure to visit our neighbors Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack and Painter’s Greenhouse as the go-to sources for plants.
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