However experienced a gardener might be, they will always be susceptible to making mistakes that can impact the success of their horticultural labours in the longer term. This is especially true for summer gardening, as there is often so much to think about and do those well-practised routines can go awry, and well-researched projects do not go according to plan.
Stay Focused to Avoid Gardening Mistakes
By following a few basic guidelines and horticultural know-how, there is no reason why any gardening mistakes need to cause issues with summer gardening this year. Here are five common errors that should be avoided by rookie gardeners and professionals alike if they want to get the best out of their summer flowers, lawns and plants this year.
1. Neglect Gardening Tools and Equipment
Even if a gardener has been wise enough to take time over the quieter winter months to condition and repair their gardening equipment, that doesn’t mean they can ignore its care and maintenance during the summer. Look for signs of wear and tear, rust or damage on your tools and always put everything away carefully after use. Check plastic trugs and containers for splits and weather damage. Store your hosepipe properly without winding it too tightly or leaving water inside it for too long. Buy suitable hosepipe attachments to prevent it from kinking – kinks that are left in the hosepipe too long can weaken the affected areas and cause damage and leaks to occur.
2. Be Heavy-Handed in the Watering
Just because the sun is out, that doesn’t mean you need to dash outside with your hosepipe or watering can straight away. Wait until the heat of the day has gone and water the garden in the evening. Or get up early in the morning to get the job done before the temperatures rise. Either way, don’t overwater plants, especially those in containers, or the roots can be at risk of rotting. Water grass once a week to prevent waterlogging the soil underneath or, conversely, water droplets scorch the leaves if the sun gets too hot. To help reduce the number of mains water used in the garden, collect rainwater whenever possible to use instead.
3. Don’t Bother With the Wedding
In summer, we are all tempted to put off jobs and lie in the sun with a cool drink and a good book instead. However, letting unwanted plants go to seed could be storing up problems for yourself later on in the year. If weeds are allowed to go to seed and reproduce, there will simply be more weeds to tackle when you do get back to the gardening work.
By weeding out the intruders while they are still small and unseeded, you will do yourself a huge favour. Also, keep on top of the deadheading, as this will encourage plants to produce more flowers for you to enjoy. Plus, a neat and tidy garden is so much more satisfying to enjoy and take pride in while sunbathing or chilling out in the summer.
4. Cut the Lawn Too Short
Talking of being neat and tidy, it is tempting to keep the grass as short as possible during your bouts of summer gardening so that you can bask in having a flat, smooth lawn. However, mowing the grass too often and too severely could harm the leaves, especially if the weather is very hot. Longer grass helps keep the soil underneath cooler and retains more moisture for the underlying root systems.
It leaves more wildflowers for nectar-seeking insects to visit and prevents bare patches from forming and ruining the overall appearance of the lawn. Shorter grass can also become prone to diseases and damage as people step on it and weaken the blades and stems while using the garden. Just don’t let it get too long, or it will be unmanageable, come the autumn.
5. Ignore Signs of Plant Distress
Failing plants often show very visible signs that they are struggling or have been planted in the wrong place. Yellowing leaves, wilting stems, signs of insect damage and stunted growth can all indicate that something is seriously wrong. Don’t just assume they need more water and give loads more, as this could be damaging to plants that only need a limited amount of water to thrive. Instead, take the time to look up details of the plant online or in a gardening book to see what growing conditions it needs to survive. This should also tell you how to deal with any problems and how to make sure that they do not come back, after your initial treatment.