Organic farming is a method that uses healthy soil, ground cover and natural resources to provide for crops. It is a holistic approach that considers the health of plants, animals and humans.
A garden is a place outdoors for public enjoyment, usually planted with trees, flowers and sometimes having special displays. These gardens can be modern or traditional and may rely on scientific advancements or be completely organic and environmentally friendly.
For Britons who have neglected their garden throughout the winter months, now is a great time to spruce up an outdoor space, no matter how large in size. However, Brian Davenport, owner and co-founder of The Solar Centre, has shared six common mistakes to avoid making this year. According to the expert, they can make the difference between a “dull and dreary” space and a “lush oasis”.
1. Starting off too big
The expert explained: “Of course, it’s exciting taking on a new project, and you may be tempted to go all-in with your landscaping. However, caring for dozens of new plants can be challenging.
“If you’re starting from scratch, consider picking a few low-maintenance plants like ornamental grasses or lavender. Or if you’re nervous about your green fingers – rather start working on a pathway or patio area.”
Successfully completing smaller projects can also help Britons to feel more confident and ready to tackle something slightly bigger.
2. Choosing the wrong spot for flowers
Taking a trip to a local garden centre and stocking up on pretty flowers and plants can be exciting. However, returning home and not thinking about where they are positioned in the garden is a huge mistake.
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This can cause all sorts of problems in the garden, including them not flourishing and killing off other plants too.
Brian said: “To avoid making a costly mistake, make a plan for your garden first. Take note of which areas of your garden are shadier, compared to those which have direct sunlight. This will make it easier to pick plants which will thrive in your space.
3. Letting weeds take over
Weeds are simply plants in the wrong place, but they can pop up all over the garden which is a huge inconvenience for many.
They can steal nutrients from other plants as well as compete for water and sunlight, causing other garden plants to die.
To prevent this, make sure to weed properly, which involves just a few hand tools such as a hoe or weed extractor.
The expert noted: “These will help ensure that you reach the root of the weed. Simply pulling away at a few leaves will ensure that they grow back time and again.
“If you’re feeling intimidated by the number of weeds in your garden, dedicate 15 minutes to one square metre patch at a time.”
4. Forgetting when to water
Brian continued: “Watering in the mornings or evenings is ideal, as this reduces the amount of evaporation. Knowing how often to water can be tricky, as this will depend on the type of weather.
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“During hot periods, some plants require watering once a day, while others can go a few weeks without water.
“When planning your garden, put plants with similar needs next to each other so that you’re able to stick to a watering schedule for different patches of your garden.”
5. Using chemical pesticides
If gardeners have noticed pests targeting their plants and crops, it can be tempting to use a chemical pesticide to get rid of them quickly.
However, they can often kill all types of insects, not just the ones you’re targeting, so they should be avoided.
The expert added: “Some pesticides can also be passed on to other living organisms like animals. Rather consider using biological controls, like the predator of a pest to help keep them under control in your garden.
“Chemical pesticides should only be used as a last resort when alternative options have been unsuccessful.”
6. Not planning where to put solar lights
Lighting around the garden is essential and solar lights are a great way to save money as well as enhance a space.
However, not placing them in the correct areas can leave residents in total darkness, and according to the pro, this should be avoided.
Where the garden gets sunlight, place them in these areas to make the most of the lighting during the evening.