It's never too late to take up gardening, but you don't have to be a novice to make mistakes! Here are 10 common backyard blunders to avoid.
Blunder #1: Not planning.
Before rushing out to the garden centre, take the time to plan out your garden in detail. This will prevent a flawed "hodgepodge" design, as well as the tendency to buy more plants than you have space for.
Blunder #2: Overlooking poor soil conditions.
Before planting, prepare your soil. Plants generally do better in "loamy" soil that is rich in organic material and doesn't drain too quickly. Compost enriches the soil, improves drainage and helps to fight off pests and diseases. Other tips:
-- Once you've planted your garden, try to avoid walking on the soil. Every step compacts the soil, making it difficult for plants to grow roots. Instead create footpaths between rows.
-- Avoid working the soil when it's wet – or you'll end up with clumps of hard-packed soil once it dries.
-- Don't overwork the soil. The best soil isn't fine or powdery but consists of particles of varying sizes and shapes.
Blunder #3: Overcrowding shrubs and trees.
Remember that new shrubs and trees are immature when you buy them. Make sure to find out how much space they need to grow healthfully.
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