May 13th, 2014
This is the year everything goes just fine in the ol’ landscape, right?
Well, don’t count on everything. Every year has its own new set of curveballs. But things ought to go better if you at least avoid these seven common gardening miscues as the 2014 season finally gets under way:
1.) Not improving lousy soil. Most of us aren’t blessed with good enough soil that we can just dig a hole and plant. Our “soil” is more like clay, shale, rocks and/or compacted subsoil.
Before planting, improve your planting bed by working 1 or 2 inches of organic matter into the top foot of loosened existing soil.
Good choices are compost, composted leaves from the borough or township, mushroom soil, rotted horse or cow manure and/or bagged planting mix or peat moss from the garden center.
You’ll end up with slightly raised and well drained beds that plant roots adore.
2.) Planting too closely. This includes planting plants too closely to one another as well as too closely to the house.
Determine the mature width of your new plant and space according to that – not its current size.
Spacing rule of thumb: Add mature widths together and divide by two, then plant no closer than that. (Example: 8-foot holly beside 4-foot spirea. 8+4=12, divide by 2, equals 6-foot minimum spacing.)
To space from houses, simply divide the mature width in half. (Example: 8-foot holly should go no closer than 4 feet from the house.)