Like everything, there are some things that aren’t helpful in your garden. They may seem like they’re useful or that your plants can benefit from them. But in reality, they’re just a waste of time. So, you shouldn’t do them. After all, you might as well focus your time and efforts on things that bear fruit. Here are 7 things you should stop doing in your garden because they don’t help it grow.
We all pick things up from people we grow up with or those who are around us. And if you’ve been gardening a while, you’ve probably heard of some advice or tips that other green thumbs swear by. The problem is, not all of these tips work.
The common misconception is that when someone says it works, we tend to believe them without trying them out ourselves. The reality is, only experimenting on your own will tell you if these things really work or not.
Here are some gardening tips that you should stop doing because they’re not helpful.
Getting Rid of Fallen Leaves
We’ve all seen and probably been taught that you should sweep or rake leaves off your lawn or garden. This is probably one of the most common misconceptions around.
It’s true that clearing the leaves, especially after fall, makes your lawn or garden look lovelier. It’s neat and tidy so you get that extra visual appeal.
But, that isn’t really helping your garden. The choice here comes down to whether you want a healthier garden or a good looking one. Although they’re somewhat related, they don’t always align.
It’s true that leaving leaves on your yard can make It look more messy. But, leaves and shrubs help boost the soil. When they decompose, they improve the organic matter content of the soil making it better for your plants.
Leaves also work as mulch. They serve as a protective layer that helps the soil retain moisture better. It also protects the soil from strong winds, erosion and intense sunlight.
Finally, there’s the issue of bags full of leaves. These end up the landfills which add to the already large amounts of solid waste.
We all know that fertilizer helps plants grow. So, by adding more of it, we can improve the growth and make them grow faster, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
Like our food, fertilizer helps when you get enough of it. Not giving plants fertilizer is like starving yourself of food. Both are bad.
However, too much fertilizer is just like eating too much. It may seem like it’s helping but over time it makes you sick. This is true for plants. Too much fertilizer is why some plants experience fertilizer bun. That is, too much of the components in fertilizer harms the plants just as not getting enough of it does.
When you supply plants with more fertilizer than they need, it increases excess buildup of salt, nitrogen and other compounds which burn the plant tissues.
In addition, you’ll also be spending extra money because you’re dumping more fertilizer than needed.
Growing Vegetables Under the Shade
Sometimes, we like to force the issue. This can happen if you have a bit of extra space in your garden that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight. These shaded areas will be wasted if you don’t plant anything there.
And, if you have an edible garden, then veggies might just be a good thing to plant there.
The bad news is that doing so is only a waste of time. The reason is that vegetables need a lot of sunlight to grow. When under the shade, you may luck out and have a few succeed. That’s because a few veggies can tolerate getting little amounts of light.
For the vast majority of vegetables, you won’t see much growth.
Thus, it’s a much better decision to use this area for plants that are partial or full shade. Partial shade plants require about 3 to 6 hours of light daily. Full shade plants need less than 3 hours of sun exposure to thrive.
Depending on how much light that shaded area gets, you’ll be better served by growing the kind of plants that thrive in that condition.
Pesticides aren’t always necessary for home gardens. Large farms and companies will likely need them because of the size of their crop. This makes it hard to monitor everything and keep pests away.
At home, there might not be a need to use these chemicals. This is especially true if you have a large variety of plants that keep the pests away. By rotating crops and monitoring their growth, you may be able to eliminate the need for pesticides.
One thing worth noting is that pesticides are toxic to all sorts of animals in your garden. This includes the good insects that help pollinate or balance out the environment.
By using pesticides you pretty much eradicate all of them, both good and bad creatures in your garden.
Another thing you may want to save on are herbicides. Herbicides are used to get rid of unwanted weeds which can invade your crops and garden. Plus, they also prevent your plants from growing properly because they steal the nourishment that’s meant for your plants.
While spraying herbicides may seem like a quick way to kill these weeds, they may not be the safest. If the plants you’re protecting are edibles you may want to think twice before spraying chemicals that are meant to kill living things near them. After all, you’ll be eating these plants and the chemicals they’ve absorbed later on.
The good news is, there are other natural, safer option to herbicides. With them, you’ll be able to get rid of the weeds without having to worry about health concerns from spraying herbicides.
Of course, there’s also the more manual ways of removing weeds. Although, its requires more physical work.
Just like overfertilizing, overwatering isn’t a good idea. Plants need water. Without it, they’ll die. But, knowing when to water them and how much to water them is essential if you want your garden to grow.
Too much water can cause the soil to be moist and damp. While squishy ground isn’t nice to walk on, the bigger problem with too much water is it increases the likelihood of weeds and diseases.
Too much water also dilutes the nutrients in the soil. This reduces the yield you get for your crop. It also slows the growth of your plants.
Tilling is only meant for starting gardens. That is, unless you’re starting from scratch or redoing your lawn or garden, there’s almost no other reason to till. Probably the only exception to this is if you need to remove weeds.
The reason for this is that tilling is breaking ground. In doing so, it damages and depletes the nutrients in the soil. Along the way it also messes with the balance of the environment.
So, instead of tilling, just aerate your lawn or garden. It’s a better way of allowing nutrients to get to the root system of plants without messing up the conditions of the soil