Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > June 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - THE DANGERS OF OVERPLANTING


In all my years with the green industry and working at a retail garden center, without a doubt, one of the biggest mistakes by homeowners is buying plants without doing their due diligence and understanding the growing size of the plant.  Don’t crowd the plants.  Yes, they look small now, but space plants according to their final size.
                Picture this:  you have dug a new garden bed and you are itching to get planting.  You head to The Great Big Greenhouse and Meadows Farms Nursery to pick out your plants.  But, after planting them, you find that your garden plot still looks rather empty.
                Does this scenario sound familiar?
                It’s a common problem.  You come back to the garden center and purchase more plants to fill your new bed to the brim.
                You feel great about your garden and all the compliments from family, friends, and neighbors.  But, you just set yourself up for potential failure and frustration later on.  These tiny plants are beginning to grow together.
                Now, your garden will soon require more maintenance than you bargained for.  Plants will require constant pruning just to keep them in check.  They will also require more frequent watering; plants crowded together will be competing for the same space.
                Secondly, it isn’t good for your plants.  Reduced airflow in a garden bed makes an ideal breeding ground for mildews and molds during our humid summer months, and the added stress of competition will leave many plants susceptible to pests and diseases that otherwise might not have been an issue.
                Here are some simple tips and thoughts to help you not make the overplanting mistake:
  1.  Learn the growing habit of the plant and the mature size it will become and then plant accordingly.
  2. If you are not happy with all the bare space between the plants then consider planting some temporary plants like annuals.
  3. Sometimes just an application of decorative mulch can make a garden look complete and less empty.
  4. Consider adding some decorative rock or other accent pieces of garden d├ęcor to the bed.  Adding some whimsy is always fun to do.
Posted: 6/22/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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