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Home / Gardening

Five do’s and don’ts of gardening

 Gardening is fun especially when you do it as a hobby (Image: Shutterstock)

As the cost of food plummets due to so many factors, many of us are starting to think about food security.

Nowadays gardens do not just begin and end with flowers.

Fruits and vegetables are fast becoming popular and watching a seed grow and ultimately produce is one of the most satisfying things you will ever experience.

So, whether you’re potting in your balcony or taking advantage of your small back yard, gardening is a great way to grow healthy organic vegetables, add some fragrance to your home from the sweet aroma of freshly picked herbs while adding some color to your space.

If you’re a seasoned gardener or you’re just starting out, here are some ground rules on the do’s and don’ts of gardening:

  • DO: Start small

This should be at the top of your head if you’re a starter or else you will get overwhelmed and neglect this project you were so excited about.

Think about how much vegetables, herbs or fruits you and your family can consume before you start planting.

A small number of plants in pots or a 4’x4’ raised bed is a good place to begin especially if space is an issue and you may not have so much time in your hands.

  • DON’T: Water at night

Just because your schedule is crazy during the day do not be tempted to water the plants at night even if the soil is dry. Reason being the heat and warmth encourages fungus to grow.

Instead, you want to water during the day before you leave the house and not half way through the day when it is the hottest.

Your plants will have less to use because the soil will soak up the water too fast.

 Pruning will help your plants to flower and prevent dead branches from blocking airflow (Image: Shutterstock)
  • DO: Prune

This is an essential gardening skill and if done correctly, it will encourage flowering and healthy growth. Be on the lookout for damaged, diseased or dead branches that block airflow.

Pruning does not damage the plant at all so don’t be scared of removing specific portions of it that shouldn’t be there.

Take this opportunity to also get rid of weeds that steal nutrients and water from your plants.

  • DON’T: Overcrowd plants

Proper spacing is important for your plants to thrive. One of the mistakes first time gardeners commit is growing plants close by together.

This inhibits their full potential of growth. Failure to social distance your plants, no pun intended, makes it easy for pests to invade and spread.

Therefore, follow the instructions on spacing.

  • DO: Use good soil

Other than choosing healthy seedlings, good soil will ensure your plants grow and reach their full potential. The right nutrients in the soil will help them thrive.

For your vegetables, you want to start with a combo of compost mixed with soil.

And if you want to do this right from the word go, consider a soil test. This will help you know the pH of the soil and which nutrients are present and those that are missing from your soil.

You can also consider buying some soil from your local florist or roadside plant sellers who are quite popular locally.

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