10 gardening dos and don’ts

*This article first appeared in our ” id=”link-a240e92b7442f4e1235ccf574db09961″ target=”_blank” title=”Simply Green”>Simply Green digimag

Here are 10 top tips to avoid making mistakes that can undo all your hard work and leave you frustrated.

1 Don’t over-fertilise your vegetables because in the long run it will reduce your crops, possibly stunt growth and burn tender plants.

2 Try always to use organic fertiliser since these are more environmentally friendly.

3 Avoid planting in shady areas because most vegetables thrive in direct and uninterrupted sunlight.

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4 Improve your soil by adding compost and organic material throughout the season.

5 Avoid over-watering because you could kill your plants with kindness by turning their growing area into a soggy swamp.

6 Sow your seeds at the depth recommended on the packet to save yourself heartache – too deep or too shallow and they won’t germinate.

7 Avoid planting your seedlings too closely because they will be competing for nutrients in the soil, sunlight and water. Stick to the guidelines on the packets.

8 Big is not always best, so in your enthusiasm to get growing, avoid being tempted into creating a large patch that you’ll struggle to maintain – weeding, tending plants, zapping garden pests and general upkeep takes a lot of effort.

9 Avoid using broad-spectrum pesticides, which can kill beneficial bugs like ladybirds, and end up in your body.

10 Avoid sowing too many seeds at one time, because you won’t have enough space for all of them when they start growing. You’re not a commercial farmer.

You’re probably going to make some mistakes as you set off on this new green-finger adventure but try to learn from them so that you don’t repeat them.

And remember that it costs nothing to ask for advice from your local nurseryman.

Even neighbours and friends with a wealth of first-hand knowledge can give you tips to help you along the way.

Happy gardening!