Anyone who takes on gardening will tell you that it’s one of the most wonderful pursuits in their lives!
Think about it, is there anything better than placing your hands in the soil and seeing life grow right in your yard?
But if your cherished buds aren’t growing into lush blooms, then you may be disregarding a few essential factors that are key to growing a full, stunning garden.
Don’t worry; even the most skillful gardeners go wrong in ways they don’t even notice.
Let’s explore six of the most common missteps people make in flower gardening. But we won’t stop at the challenges. We’ll look at six easy fixes you can do to remedy them!
Interested in a formal course? Want to get certified as a gardening specialist? Look into associations offering classes in gardening and floristry, like:
National Gardening Organization
American Floral Endowment
American Horticultural Society
Many flower lovers take the relevance of seasons for granted. For instance, it’s easy to get giddy planting spring flowers early as soon as winter begins to clear.
But if you don’t have a greenhouse, there’s a great chance they’ll be left open to frost from spring thaw. This could wreak havoc on– or worse, even kill– those tender buds.
On the flip side, planting spring flowers too late leaves them open to rising heat. This could inhibit their growth and keep them from blossoming.
How to fix it
Follow a flower calendar that corresponds to your location. Stick to it and plant flowers at the suggested times.
Don’t hesitate to ask fellow gardeners about the right time to plant specific blooms in your area. You can also contact your local extension service for queries about weather issues and gardening pointers.
Too much or too little watering
Most gardeners love to water their plants. It’s a regular routine that helps you feel deeply connected to your plants. It also presents the opportunity for you to check if they have any issues or diseases.
But your act of love can be harmful to them! Over-watering your plants keeps them from having the capacity to access oxygen, which in basic terms means they’re drowning. It also leads to root rot, stress, and other health issues.
Under-watering can also be a huge concern! Certain blooms need water that go down deeper into the roots. Indicators of under-watering include slow growth, and falling leaves or flowers.
How to fix it
Look up the particular watering needs of every single plant you have. Blooms like yarrows, lavenders, lantanas, and russian sages don’t need a great deal of water. By contrast, cannas, elephant’s ears, callas, and turtleheads, absolutely love wet feet.
To make things much easier for you, group the plants with the same needs together. This also reduces your chances of over- or under-watering your flowers.
If you only have a modest garden or a few plants, hand watering is most definitely the way to go. But if you have plants that need a lot of water, an irrigation system may be a huge help for watering deeper! This would encourage better growth with a lot less hassle for you.
Not paying enough attention to soil issues
Every gardener’s slogan should be: take care of your soil! It’s the base of any plant’s health and growth, so it also needs a lot of treatment and upkeep.
When soil is rough and poor in quality, it can have critical repercussions on how well your flowers bloom. An additional factor to regard is whether the soil in your garden is suitable for the type of blooms you want to grow.
How to fix it
Testing your soil is the very first step. Soil tests will give you vital info on its pH level and nutritional structure. It helps you identify nutrient deficiencies. It also lets you determine whether your soil is compatible with the flower varieties of your choice.
You can do this by getting in touch with your trusted nursery or sending it out to a lab. There are also home kits available for soil testing.
The next step is to get your soil healthier. One of the simplest ways to do this is composting!
Compost is organic material that creates healthy soil by enhancing its texture and packing it with nutrients.
You can buy compost, but it’s quick and easy to make at home! Compost is typically made up of leaves, trimmings, manure, hay, straw, and other organic matter. Take note of the right composting techniques and soil-to-compost ratios for specific buds.
Planting in the wrong spot
Much like in real estate, “location, location, location” is key to flower gardening! Your flowers’ growth, health, and vitality depend a lot on where you put them.
Providing too much or too little light can lead to infestations, heat damage, health problems, and other unpleasant effects.
Another problem is falling in love with an out-of-state plant and getting it, only to find out that it just won’t thrive in your home town’s environment!
How to fix it
If you’re unsure about the amount of light your plant needs, head to your nearby nursery and see where it’s positioned. Sun-loving plants might be in much brighter areas than those that prefer shade.
Determine how much light your plant needs and, when possible, how much light your home is facing. It can help you place your plants in the best possible area where they’ll get the correct amount of light they need.
As tempting as it is, try to refrain from buying plants that aren’t within your location. Consult local gardening experts about the flowers that grow best in your local area. You can also take a look around your local botanical gardens for ideas on what other plants you can grow.
Wrong pruning techniques
Pruning is among the most essential things your blooming buds need. They keep flowers free from dead or diseased wood and encourage them to bloom healthily and perfectly.
But this particular gardening task can be tough. This is why some gardeners often use the wrong techniques!
The first is pruning too much. Some flowering plants develop flowers on old branches or have inactive buds that bloom a lot later. Cutting all old branches off won’t enable them to bloom well.
Next is pruning prematurely. Flowering plants that open late in their growing season should be trimmed when they go into dormancy. If you prune too early, they may produce new shoots that are susceptible to frost damage.
Last on the list is not pruning enough. It’s crucial to prune dead branches. They suck up all the energy from your plant, which can impact its health and bloom production.
How to fix it
Study the blooming pattern of your plant and create a pruning schedule based on what you find out. If you have various flowering plants or shrubs, this calendar will very likely change according to their specific needs.
Take time to learn about and use the right pruning strategies for each plant you have!
Giving up easily
There may be moments when you’ll consider if it’s time to nip your gardening dreams in the bud. When you keep spotting lifeless or wilting flowers in your browning backyard, it can get very frustrating.
How to fix it
Remember what draws you to gardening to begin with. Whether it’s the physical activity, the peace of mind, the stress release, or all the above, there’s a reason why you keep doing it. Starting from scratch is part of the process that gives you those wonderful experiences.
Keep trying and keep studying! It doesn’t always go right, but when it does, it’ll be worth it! With persistence, passion, and care, you can achieve the garden of your dreams over time.
Photo by Martin Templeman