Ten Gardening Mistakes By Gnarley Gnome

Ten Gardening Mistakes By Gnarley Gnome

Top Ten Gardening Mistakes

How do! I'm Gnarly the Garden Gnome, grumbling about the gardening mistakes made  by the present owner in my garden.

1. He waters without care

Either he drowns plants or leaves them thirsty, he should know how to water plants properly! Bah! All plants are different. Check the labels for their watering needs.

A good rule is to stick a finger into the soil up to the second knuckle, if it's dry then water.

2. He plants in the wrong place

Bah! He puts sun loving plants in the shade and vice versa. The poor things get stressed out because they are unsuited to the type of soil. Next the bugs attack. Bah! Know your garden and where to put plants.

3. He won't give plants room - One of the easiest gardening mistakes to make!

In this garden the plants end up throttling each other because he pays no heed to planting space requirements. Don't do the same.

4. Before his flowers bloom he often mistakes them for weeds and pulls them up

To prevent himself doing this he could label the flowers because foliage recognition can be difficult without guidance. He just thinks he'll remember for the next time. Bah! He never does.

5. He won't prepare the soil

Stick plants in the ground and trust to nature, that's his gardening philosophy. Bah! You need to test the soil annually for pH type, to know which plants should do well.  Preparation by spade, fork, rake etc. is important.  Adding compost enriches and returns nutrients to the soil. Bah! He just takes from nature, a good gardener gives back and knows how to prepare soil.

6. He's had problems with invasive plants

Plants that proliferate may easily take over the garden. It is best to grow them in containers or take extra care, unlike him.

7. Wildlife drives him wild

When grey squirrels eat his bulbs his language is not pleasant. Some plants like daffodils have a natural defence against predators; others need protective fencing so they can't be attacked. This may take trial and error because predators can be persistent. He needs to kearn how to control wildlife!

8. He does not consider the importance of sunlight

This is a terrible gardening mistake to make! Plants, such as tomatoes, that need sunlight, he grows in the shade - some plants need more sun than others. Bah! However woodland varieties, which have evolved in sheltered places, need less. Once again, read the planting instructions.

9. He never mulches

Why won't he understand that good organic mulching keeps moisture in by reducing evaporation, lessons stress by keeping the root zone cool and deters weeds? Grass clippings, leaves and wood chips may all be used as mulches, which, as they break down, add organic matter to the soil. Bah!

I don't think he knows what the word means.

10. He poisons with pesticides

Bah! He never reads the directions on the chemicals he uses & still has chemicals on his shelf that have been withdrawn. Does he not realise that chemical pesticides can be poisonous to nature? Bah! He should be more earth friendly.

That's all I've got to say. Bah! He won't change, but hopefully you may learn by his gardening mistakes, after all gardening's about growth.

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.