A new survey by home improvement specialists Black + Decker polled 1,000 Britons on the most common mistakes they’re making in the garden.
From cutting the lawn too short to leaving thatch build up lying around, many people have said that they are unaware of the do’s and don’ts of the gardening world with 82 percent of those questioned admitting they “wing it” when it comes to gardening jobs.
Joe Handley, outdoor product marketing manager at Black + Decker, has shared how to avoid the four most common gardening mistakes.
1. Not sanding wood before painting it
Almost three quarters (74 percent) of people surveyed said that they do not sand wood before painting it or are unaware they need to.
The expert explained: “As a general rule, if you don’t sand the wood before painting the applied paint could peel off after a while.
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“Firstly, start off by removing an existing finish, if the wood has any previous paint or varnish it’s important to remove it before painting. Then, sand the surface using an orbital sander, this helps to create a smooth and even surface for paint.
“Before painting make sure to sweep away any sanding dust using a tack cloth or a lint-free cloth as this will mix with the paint. Apply a primer and get to painting.”
2. Cutting the lawn too short
One of the “biggest mistakes” 44 percent of Britons surveyed do is cutting the grass too short, often with aims to reduce gardening time in the future.
However, this isn’t advised by Tim as it could damage the lawn. He said: “Shorter grass can look more uniform but when the blades are cut too short it can leave plants malnourished and open to diseases.
“Longer blades of grass help shade the soil underneath which means it takes a lot longer for moisture to evaporate. You should aim to cut the grass regularly and as a general rule try to keep blade length above 2.5cm to promote healthy growth.”
3. Choosing the wrong spot for flowers
Picking out a variety of flowers in different sizes and colours can be a super fun experience, especially when it comes to the spring.
However, not all plants work well in every area of the garden, with some needing full sun, and others loving the shade.
The expert explained: “To avoid making a costly mistake, make a plan of your garden first. Take note of which areas of your garden are shadier, compared to those which have direct sunlight.
“This will make it easier to pick plants which will thrive in your space.” Placing plants in low light conditions when they need full sun will kill them, and vice versa.
4. Forgetting when to water
Some plants, crops and flowers love to be kept moist, while others don’t mind going a little longer between watering.
This can depend on the season and type of plant however, so it is important to know how often to water them.
The expert continued: “Knowing how often to water can be tricky, as this will depend on the type of weather. During hot periods, some plants require watering once a day, while others can go a few weeks without water.
“When planning your garden, put plants with similar needs next to each other so that you’re able to stick to a watering schedule for different patches of your garden.”