Throughout the summer months, we spend our time outside maintaining our property and cultivating our gardens. Make sure that you aren’t making any of these ten common gardening mistakes:
1- Pruning Trees
An easy guideline is to only prune trees in the months that have an “r” in them. Pruning trees midsummer can weaken them and leave them vulnerable to future damage. Keep in mind that you should never cut back more than 30 percent of a tree at one time.
2- Cutting the Lawn Too Short
Leaving your grass a little longer may be counterintuitive to the act of mowing. You mow to shorten the grass, why not cut it short and get the most out of your time on the mower? Leaving the grass longer actually encourages root growth and retains moisture in the soil. Cutting your lawn super short is a shortcut to having a yellowing lawn in the hot summer months.
3- Overwatering Grass
While moisture is important for grass growth, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Most grasses only need three to five minutes of watering from a sprinkler at a time. Watering any longer, unless the summer is exceptionally hot and dry, is simply unnecessary and even wasteful.
4- Underwatering Trees
We tend to overlook established trees on our property. After all, they can take care of themselves, right? Not so. We recommend watering large trees an hour a week with a soaker hose. A soaker hose will concentrate water just where you need it most and reduce wasted water.
5- Ignoring Your Veggies
Many vegetables, such as tomatoes, are considered easy to grow throughout the Vancouver/Lower Mainland region. While they are easily grown in our climate, you cannot simply ignore them for the weeks on end. If you stay on top of problems such as pests and weeds as they arise, you will enjoy better yields come harvest season.
6- Using the Wrong Products
Make sure you purchase the right product for the task at hand. For example, sand based dressings encourage water run off and are inappropriate for use in your flower beds or gardening. A composted bark mulch is a much better choice as it will add nitrogen to the soil and help retain moisture.
7- Blowing Your Budget Early in the Season
It’s tempting to spend your entire plant budget as soon as the nursery opens for the season. Hold a little back and you will have plenty of money to indulge yourself in the midsummer when perennials are deeply discounted or you need to replace a few plants that may have died.
8- Letting the Garden Go
A clean garden is a happy garden. Fallen leaves and yard debris are a hotbed for festering fungi and bacteria that can negatively impact your garden space.
9- Forgetting to Maintain the Flowers
Deadheading, or removing dead blooms, from your flowers will encourage your plant to develop even more buds.
10- Not Knowing When to Call It a Day
Plants have a natural life cycle and attempting to encourage a little more life out of the Basil plant may not be worth the effort. Instead, cut the remaining leaves off, remove the plant, plant a fall annual, and make a nice batch of pesto for dinner!