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The Ten Most Common Gardening Mistakes
By Steve Dobbs, Horticulturist


1.  Improper planting hole size.
The hole for a plant or a tree should be 2 to 3 times wider 
than the root ball, and no deeper than the root ball.  The "old" way of planting a tree deep 
is longer recommended.

2. Over "kill" with soil amendments in the planting hole. Do not add additional soil into 
the hole of a tree.  Let the tree get use to our your soil.

3.  Shallow watering. It is better to water deep and infrequent than water shallow and every 
day. One inch of water goes down about 6 inches into the soil.

4.  Not making water holding reservoir. Build up a donut of soil around a tree to help keep 
the water near the root ball.  You do not want the water running past the roots of the tree, 
and onto your lawn.  Water the tree roots, and not the lawn.

5.  Not investing in micro or drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is inexpensive and easy to install.  
It waters the plants directly and deeply.  There is no water waste, and your plants get watered evenly.  Many plants do not like to have their leaves watered, and this method of watering is 
very effective.

6. Plants too close to structures and to each other. Plant your landscaping as if the plant is 
at its mature size.

7. Poor plant varieties used. Use plants which will do well in our area.  Example:  crape 
myrtles that are mildew resistant.

8.  Lack of weed control. For light germinating seeds use mulch, and take Bermuda grass seriously.  Use mulch, mulch, and more mulch, and Roundup for the Bermuda grass.

9. Improper pruning practices. Never butcher large trees, and do not remove the lower 
branches on trees that are less than 3 years old.

10.  Expecting perfection and instant success. Gardening takes times, and gardeners learn 
from their mistakes.  Do not be discouraged if your plants do not look like the magazines.