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Tips For Healthy Plants

Some common gardening mistakes NOT to do

Improper Watering – How much water does your plant require? Many gardeners water too frequently and too shallow. The proper way to water is infrequently, but deeply. It applies to both potted plants and plants growing in the ground. This encourages deeper root growth that will help the plants withstand and survive period of drought.

Use your fingers to test the soil; if it feels dry, add water. Depending on the soil and root condition of the potted plants, root bound plant will require a longer time for water to soak through the soil. If you have an automated sprinkler system for your landscape, place shallow, straight-edged containers throughout your lawn and run the sprinklers to determine how long it takes the system to provide 2cm of water. If you find it takes 20 minutes per station to provide 2cm, run the system for two successive cycles of 10 minutes each, preferably in the early morning hours, once a week. Running two cycles allows the water to soak in better. The use of ‘Water Me’ self watering device delivers water to the roots of plants efficiently and consistency.

Over Fertilizing - In the case of fertilizers, more doesn't mean better. Overuse and improper application of synthetic fertilizers is especially dangerous because it can "burn" plants. It can also result in unnatural growth spurts and weakens plant which can in turn attract more pests and diseases.

More importantly, however, is the toxic runoff that results from watering excessively-fertilized plants and lawns. This runoff is called "non-point source pollution" because the pollutant cannot be tracked back to one single source. When large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus are present in local streams, algae blooms are created that can destroy ecosystems. Carefully follow application instructions provided on fertilizer containers. Better yet, use natural compost as your fertilizer.

Wrong Planting Depth - Plant a seedling by placing the root collar (The root collar is a spot located just above the roots identified by a change in colour or slight swelling of the main stem) at the soil line or no more than 2cm deeper.

Most plants benefit by positioning the root collar slightly above the soil surface. This also allows for eventual soil settling. Trees should be planted so that the root flare is generously exposed - avoid the 'telephone pole' look! Plants or tree that are planted too deep generally remains stunted and susceptible to pest and diseases. 


We have compiled information on a variety of topics that we are frequently asked about. Whether you are new to gardening or a master gardener we hope that our gardening articles will provide tips for happy plants and pleasurable gardening hours. Happy Gardening