7 Gardening Tips to Grow Better

How to avoid common gardening mistakes.
7 gardening tips to grow better

While the activity of gardening is all about the journey — a series of discoveries mixed with frustrating struggles — most gardeners wouldn’t mind a little guidance on how to prevent disappointments and the wasted time, water or money involved. Here are ways to sidestep pitfalls and see more success.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Mistake:

Not researching how large specific plants ultimately grow and whether they are invasive, deciduous or evergreen, deer-proof or frost- and draught-tolerant.

Solution:

Read labels, ask nursery professionals and do online research before buying plants.

FROM THE GROUND UP

Mistake:

Buying a fully grown plant.

Solution:

Impatience can backfire: plants often grow faster and wind up healthier if you start cultivating when they’re small.

EYE THE PRICE

Mistake:

Underestimating gardening costs.

Solution:

When you’re starting a landscape project, make sure you have a reasonable budget.

PLOT IT OUT

Mistake:

Not having a garden plan.

Solution:

Don’t wing it. Decide on a specific theme or look, take measurements and sketch out your design on paper before heading to the nursery.

EMBRACE IRRIGATION

Mistake:

Thinking you can hand-water everything.

Solution:

Invest in a water-saving drip irrigation system with a smart controller.

TONE DOWN

Mistake:

Going for a cacophony of colors.

Solution:

Pick a limited palette and stick to it: start with a three-color design, perhaps with white-flowering plants as an accent, and just one or two potting container styles.

GIVE SPACE

Mistake:

Ignoring spacing suggestions on the label, to speed up the look of lush growth. Crowding your plants limits air circulation, inviting disease; you may wind up pruning the victims.

Solution:

Allow your plants enough breathing room.


Kier Holmes

Kier Holmes is a native, Marin-based landscape designer who works at M2 Design and Construction, for over 15 years, has artfully designed and created sustainable gardens that are dynamic year round. She also writes for Gardenista, is an elementary school garden educator, a garden speaker for adults and leader of the Garden Club for kids at the Mill Valley Library. Holmes readily admits that she is a nerd about all things plant related, and can geek out on a dinner-plate dahlia like nobody’s business. Her natural habitat is among flowers and her hands are almost always dirty. 

Categories: Home & Garden, Marin Home