Gardening Dos and Don’ts
You likely have a landscaper to trim the hedges and cut the lawn. But studies say it’s therapeutic working in the garden. (Could it be that we love getting our hands dirty in the soil, bringing forth something beautiful?) Alas, it isn’t always easy. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to backyard gardening:
Do: Fertilize the lawn in late summer to early fall. Grass has the ability to store carbohydrates over the winter, which it produces thanks to fertilizer, so when spring comes, your lawn will look lush and green.
Don’t: Walk in your garden beds. This compacts the soil, inhibiting plant growth. If you must walk amongst your plants, put down a board to walk on to distribute your weight evenly.
Do: Pay attention to the depth that seeds should be planted. Always read your seed packets for this information because planting seeds too deep or too shallow can cause the seed to fail to sprout or dry out the seed too quickly.
Don’t: Work the soil while it’s wet. According to experts, this destroys the soil’s structure and it can take months or even years to recover.
Do: Thin your plants. Make sure nothing is crowding out other plants nearby. And make sure you leave plenty of space between seeds when you plant them.
Don’t: Overwork the soil. It should not be the consistency of fine powder. Instead, it should have a wide range of particle sizes and a fairly coarse feel.
Do: Water just before the sun comes up or just after the sun goes down in the evening.
Don’t: Ignore signs of disease. If you see pests or disease, treat the plant with the recommended herbicide or insecticide or remove the plant so the problem doesn’t spread.