the do’s and don’ts of gardening everyone needs to know
Gardening is therapeutic.
Working with your hands, creating and sustaining life, watching plants thrive, each of these key parts of being a gardener have exponential benefits on our mental wellbeing.
But while tending to a garden might usually feel like therapy, it can also be equally as stressful if done without the proper knowledge. There are so many gardening rules to keep up with, many of which novice gardeners learn through trial and error. But don’t stress! To help you put your best green thumb forward, we gathered these simple, straightforward gardening “do’s and don’ts” you need to know.
Read your seed packets: They typically have all the information you need to make sure you’re planting your seeds deep or shallow enough, using the right amount of light, and watering the ideal amount and frequency.
Give your plants space: Overcrowding can cause real conflict! Plants that grow too close together will compete for sunlight and nutrients, which will negatively impact their growth and chances of survival.
Time your watering: The best time to water your plants is in the AM. During the day, water will evaporate from their surface, protecting them from fungal diseases that happen when plants stay wet for too long. Can’t commit to an AM watering routine? The second best time is in the early evening.
Remember to include flowers: They do more than just add colour and beauty. They also attract bees, which help keep your garden thriving by pollinating your other plants.
Ignore signs of pests or disease: Notice something off about your garden? Take action immediately. Pest invasions and plant diseases, if left untreated, can become much more difficult to control as they get worse.
Overwork your soil: Course, textured soil is full of healthy organic matter. It allows for easier water and nutrient penetration, because it’s less compressed than fine soil. So keep that in mind when working yours!
Work the soil while it’s wet: This can make it more tight and compact – which leaves less room for water and air to get through. As worked soil dries, it forms clumps, which are hard to break apart and contribute to slower drainage. It can take YEARS to rebuild healthy soil once that happens!
Walk in your garden beds: This compacts the soil – which, as we mentioned above, reduces its ability to retain water and nutrients that your plants need to survive. Instead, use a board to walk on, which can help distribute your weight more evenly.
Forget to roll with the punches: Gardening is about the journey, not the destination. It’s about learning new things, experimenting with new methods, and letting your creativity shine. It’s inevitable that you’ll experience roadblocks throughout your journey – but the key is to learn from them, and roll with it!
Add a layer of mulch around your plants! It can help them retain moisture, inhibit weed growth, and regulate your soil’s temperature.