A lush garden, full of sweet-smelling flowers and delicious vegetables, can instantly boost the curb appeal of any home. But cultivating such a stunning display of plant life is easier said than done. Even for those who consider themselves blessed with a green thumb, there are countless mistakes that can accidentally damage plants and hinder their growth. So, before you make an error that causes any hard-earned plants to wilt and wither, dig into these surprising ways you’re destroying your garden.
While judicious use of herbicides can keep weeds at bay, applying them too liberally can leave your garden barren. “In your zeal to avoid hand-weeding by using ‘weed killers,’ you might inadvertently kill plants and trees that you love,” says Solomon.
Relying on your existing soil for adequate nutrients
You may assume that the soil in your garden is already the perfect environment for plants, but in many cases, it doesn’t have the vitamins and minerals required to keep those flowers and vegetables growing strong.
“Do not rely on the ground in the garden and think that it contains all the nutrients you need,” says Stoddard. “Once a week, feed the plants with liquid fertilizer. Put these or similar resources in the ground you want to thrive, and you can always make your own compost.”
Planting high-maintenance plants
If you’re new to keeping a garden, you’d be wise to plant mature plants—and even wiser to avoid high-maintenance ones. “Planting plants from seeds is not an easy job, especially if you are a beginner in gardening,” says Stoddard. “In that case, it is best to get a plant that is easier to grow and over time try your luck with the more demanding ones.”