Having a garden in your home and taking care of it is the best way to stay connected to nature. You can start growing plants in your backyard, even if you are a beginner with no gardening experience. You just need proper guidance to do it.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of gardening that you should keep in your mind before starting your home garden.
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List of 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Gardening Every Person Should Know
Do prune your plants
Pruning isn’t done just to limit the size of plants; it is done to relieve the plants from the burden of saving dead leaves. Pruning does not harm the plant in any way; you would be doing it a favor by removing all the dead ends.
Flowering plants should be pruned after their blooms dry out, and foliage plants should be pruned when their leaves turn brown or yellow. You can also encourage the bushier growth of your plants by pruning their long branches. For this purpose, you should prune the bottom branches or leaves first.
It also lowers the risk of a disease or pest infestation. So prune your garden whenever you get the chance.
Do disinfect your gardening tools
Unsterilized gardening tools can spread disease from an infected plant to a healthy one. It is why every gardening tool you use should be disinfected before you use it on another plant.
Gardening shears should be disinfected before use, even if you will be using them on a single plant. It is because the plant wounds can get infected by the germs already present on the gardening shears.
Use 10% bleach to disinfect your gardening tools. To prepare 10% bleach solution, add 1 part of bleach to 9 parts water. You should then soak your tools in this solution for 30 minutes.
You can also use 70% isopropyl alcohol for the sterilization process. This process does not involve soaking. Just dip a rag in alcohol and wipe your tools with it.
Do remove the weeds
Like other plants, weeds need water, nutrients, and sunlight to grow. If there are weeds in your garden, they will absorb the maximum amount of water and nutrients from the soil. This will limit these resources for your other plants. With time, your plants will get weak and deprived of essential nutrients. It is why pulling out weeds from your garden soil is really essential.
Another disadvantage of having weeds in a garden is that these undesirable plants attract more pests and insects. So whenever you notice any weed growth in your garden, remove it immediately. Some of the plants like Alocasia Black Velvet, Philodendron Serpens and Alocasia Silver Dragon might not survive if the weeds are not plucked out as it would deprive the plants of the nutrients they require to flourish.
You should use a gardening fork to remove the weeds, but make sure to disinfect this tool beforehand.
Do set up pest barriers
Pests are detrimental animals that eat your garden silently and won’t know it until the damage is done on a large scale. Preventing a pest attack is better than fighting and getting rid of a large pest infestation.
You should set different pest barriers and traps in your garden to control pest invasion. Row covers, sticky cards, cutworm collars, and fruit bags are some pest barriers that you can set in your garden. You can also handpick the large pests when they are small in number.
It is advisable not to use any synthetic or chemical pesticide on your plants. However, you can use insecticidal soaps or a DIY-home pesticide. Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are the best DIY pesticides you can use.
Don’t water after noon
Noon and night are not the ideal times for watering your garden. The best time to water your plant is in the morning. In the morning, the plants have enough time to absorb the water before it starts evaporating due to the sun. If you water your garden in the afternoon, the water will evaporate quickly, leaving your plants partly dry.
If the plants are watered at night, the water will not evaporate completely due to the decreased surrounding temperature. Due to this, the foliage will remain moist throughout the night. This will attract more pests, cause root rot and many other fungal diseases.
Don’t overcrowd plants
Plants need proper space to expand their foliage and extend their root system. If you overcrowd your plants in a small space, the plants will have a limited supply of nutrients, so no plant will get its needs fulfilled. Due to this, all plants will have poor development and growth.
Overcrowded plants also have lesser air circulation. It will lead to fungal growth and pest infestation. It is why you should leave a space of 18 to 36 inches between two plants.
Some people have a misconception that if the plants are fertilized more than the recommended times, their growth rate will increase. However, over-fertilization leads to the opposite. If you fertilize your plants more than their needs, their growth rate will slow down. They might even stop growing at all! It is why over-fertilizing a garden is a big No-No.
The common signs of over-fertilizing are yellow or wilted leaves, brown tips, and the formation of a crust on the soil’s surface. So if you notice any such signs, do not fertilize your plant for another month. Remove the visible layer or crust of fertilizer and thoroughly water the soil for leaching the extra nutrients.