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Solve Your Gardening Problems

A garden is one of the most important aspects of your lifestyle. They provide a means of growing your own food and plants which is quite a rewarding activity. However, you might not be blessed with a green thumb and can find yourselves struggling to keep your food and plants alive.

In this blog, we discuss common gardening mistakes and how to troubleshoot them. 

Watering your plants. 

Growing your own produce is a great solution to numerous health, environmental, and economic problems. With the cost of living increasing month by month growing your own produce is a great way to save money. Whether you are growing a small tomato plant or have a back garden full of plants, it is all beneficial to your health, as well as the environment.

However, one of the most common mistakes in growing your own plants is underwatering them. It’s very easy to starve your plants of water which can reduce growth or even kill them. Especially with all the warm weather, we are getting in the UK at the moment your garden could be in danger of drying out quickly if not regularly watered.

Watering plants

This is why it is important that you regularly add compost to your garden soil to improve plant health and make them more resilient. Compost has a lot of moisture in it so is great for keeping the garden damp for longer periods of time even in extreme heat. Compost also stores all the key nutrients your plants need to grow. 

Another way to make sure your plant's moisture levels remain high is to water them regularly. Overwatering your plants is very common and is similar to underwatering them, it will also reduce their growth. Unfortunately, you can't stop precipitation, so you want to provide good drainage since heavy rain or excess water depletes soil nutrition and starves your plants.

Although your plants need plenty of water it’s important to give them the right amount of water at the right times. It's very easy to overwater your plants, especially in hot weather. We recommend, watering either night or early in the morning, this means less water is lost immediately to evaporation this allows you to give your plants a good amount of water without overwatering them.

Sunlight for your plants  

Similar to watering your plants, your plants and produce can have too much and too little sunlight. The amount of sunlight your plants need changes depending on the type of plant and how far through its growth it is. This makes it difficult for us to recommend the length of time your plants should be in the sun. But something to remember is that high light intensity means less light duration, but low light intensity means high light duration. 

The Light duration of a plant refers to the number of hours of light a plant receives each day while intensity is the quantity of light per unit area, usually measured in Lux or foot candles

When out in your garden check your plants for any that are looking visibly burnt and parched. Leaves will be brittle and break easily. Similar symptoms to that of underwatering.

Those symptoms show your plant has had too much sunlight. To save your plants find shade in the garden and move the plants to that location if they are in a container that gets high amounts of sunlight. Allow them to recover giving them plenty of water and low amounts of sunlight. It may be worth considering planting fast-growing trees and shrubs around the garden as a long-term solution if this is or was a continuous problem. 

Sunlight on your plants

It can be difficult to tell the difference between plants that have had too much sunlight or not enough sunlight. So regularly check your plants for Leaves that are losing their vibrant colour and turning yellow and/or mottled. Leaves that have fallen off earlier than expected or plants' growth seem stunted if you see any of these symptoms it means your plants or produce are not getting a sufficient amount of sunlight. 

To fix plants that are showing these symptoms, If in containers, move plants to a sunny location. If in raised beds you can relocate them if they are small. Those with permanent gardens installed may have to cut down trees and bushes. Or any other ways that will allow your plant to get the required amount of sunlight. This applies to fruit and veg too. 

If you find you are having trouble with your garden, consider whether you’re making one of the mistakes we have mentioned so far. It is always a good idea to consult with your local gardening centre or any green thumbs you know if you are having a problem with your garden.

Weeding your garden

It’s important to gain control of your weeds early preferably in early spring before they become much larger and begin taking over your garden.  Weeding isn't fun and not many gardeners enjoy it. But unfortunately, weeds are a persistent issue in the garden, and like most plants, they thrive in the summer light and rain. 

Wedding your garden

There are hundreds of solutions online for the best ways to remove weeds but really it can be quite simple if you target the locations early on. The longer you leave your weeds the harder it becomes to get rid of them. It’s important to target your weeds down at the roots as this stops them from growing back. If you just take the top off the soil in a matter of days weeds will begin to grow back. So these are 4 easy steps to stop weeds from growing back anywhere in your garden. 

1. Use weedkillers, either as a spray or a topical application, such as a gel.

2. Hoe your weeds.

3. Dig out weeds completely by hand, including the roots. If you leave even a scrap of root behind, it can re-grow.

4. Cover weeds with a very thick mulch or black plastic. This deprives them of light so they can’t photosynthesise and eventually die off.

Insects 

No gardener wants to see insects wreaking havoc on a bed full of ripening produce. Or eating their way through the beautiful plants you spent all spring taking care of. Luckily, it's possible to keep unwelcome visitors away without using dangerous chemicals that could harm you, your children and your pets. 

We also want to keep our pets away from plants and produce as they may see them as areas to play in or eat depending on the type of pet you have. Dogs will tend to run wherever in your garden with no real care for your plants. You also don't want your dog watering your plants either. But pets we can control, keeping your pets away is easy but keeping insects away is a bit more difficult. 

You need to be careful which insects we scare away and which we want to invite. Bees, butterflies and ladybirds are whimsical and welcome guests in our gardens as they help with the spread and growth of your plants. But some critters aren’t quite as useful and can be damaging to your plants. 

Caterpillar crawling along plants

Here are some top tips for keeping these unwanted visitors away. 

1.  Make pests work harder - Building barriers around your plants will reduce the chances that they attack your plants. Insects won't bother plants that are well protected and focus their time on something they can easily get to. 


2.  Healthy plants can defend themselves - Over time evolution has meant plants have had to create their own defence mechanisms to protect from these types of insects. So keeping your plants healthy will keep them safe too. 

3.  Keep your plants Wet  - Insects hate water. Keeping your plant leaves and stalks wet will stop insects from landing and crawling onto your plant's leaves. This will also wash away anything that has managed to find its way up. 

Gardening can indeed feel overwhelming. However, it is not a good enough excuse to quit. No garden is immune to problems, so you want to know what you are up against and how to resolve them as early as possible and watch your garden blossom in no time.

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