As millions of Brits prepare to get their gardens “summer ready” this weekend – new research has revealed how clueless we are when it comes to our outdoor spaces.
Researchers found that killing grass with paddling pools and trampolines, cutting through cable on lawn mowers and killing plants by overwatering them, are among the common gardening faux pas Brits are set to fall victim of this month.
In fact, the poll found nearly one in twenty (4 percent) of gardeners have managed to kill off fish in their pond, while nearly one in ten have blown off the petals from their flowers from excessive power washing.
A quarter of the 1,500 homeowners surveyed by Fiskars said their dog had completely ruined their grass and shrubs by peeing all over them.
Our children running riot in the garden (11 percent), a lack of knowledge (18 percent) and not having the right equipment (17 percent) emerged as the reasons we don’t have pristine gardens – with 18 percent saying they wish they had brand new garden tools to help them get their outdoor spaces in shape.
The research revealed the average Brit will spend £447 this year on their outdoor space, however 15 percent have rusty and unloved garden tools propped up against the garden fence, while 7 percent of us have an old lawn mower slowly rusting in a forgotten corner of the garden.
Other common mishaps include, ripping up flowers thinking they are weeds (23 percent) and planting out of season (22 percent).
Despite the disasters, 57 percent of Brits rate their gardening skills as good, compared to 23 percent who say they lack knowledge when it comes to looking after their outdoor space.
Almost one in ten of us (8 percent) have stood on an upturned rake, while the same number have accidentally sprayed weedkiller on the lawn.
Not surprisingly then, more than one in five (21 percent) said they don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to tending to their garden, while 9 percent said they simply don’t know the difference between flowers and weeds.
The poll found over one in five of us have dead pot plants scattered around the garden, while 22 percent said their patio is covered in unsightly weeds.
19 percent confessed to having a sad looking BBQ which has been left out uncovered all winter.
Botanist and broadcaster, James Wong, comments: “Some of the gardening mishaps that Brits have encountered can happen to the most experienced of horticulturists.
“Cutting through the cable on a mower or hedge trimmer is easily done and it’s amazing to see how quickly grass can deteriorate when covered with a paddling pool or trampoline.With the weather improving, millions of Brits will be tackling their gardens and it’s important to have the right equipment for the job and to not be put off by a few failures.
“I have gardening disasters all the time and the wonderful thing about gardening is that there are no real ‘mistakes’, only ‘experiments’. Some of my proudest gardening moments have come out of the most spectacular failures – you just have to pick yourself up and start again.
“Want to know the secret to having a green thumb? Persistence. And, of course, having great garden tools to help you tackle the job at hand.”
Of those polled, over a third (36 percent) of us would describe our gardens as dull but functional, while 15 percent say their garden is a real mess, without any character.
Just over one in twenty of green fingered Brits (6 percent)describe their garden as pristine and their pride and joy.
A spokesperson from Fiskars, the UK’s leading gardening tool expert, said: “When it comes to gardening, everyone has to start somewhere and what’s really important is creating a space you are proud of and enjoy.
“It’s clear from our research that homeowners feel they need assistance in their garden and we’re here to help. With the right tools to hand and a willingness to try something new, it’s possible to make gardening tasks easier and to create a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy throughout the summer.”
Ironically, given our lack of gardening know-how, 73 percent of those polled said their outdoor space was quite or very important to them. The average Brit spends 12 hours a week out in their garden during the summer months and as many as 85 percent of us are determined to roll up our sleeves and get outdoors.
When it comes to where we get our gardening advice from, 29 percent of us turn to the internet, with 17 percent of us watching YouTube videos for hints and tips. A further 8percent lean over the garden fence and ask neighbours for advice.
TOP 20 MOST COMMON GARDENING CALAMATIES
1. Overwatering 32 percent
2. Dog or cat pee killing a plant 25 percent
3. Ripping up flowers thinking they were weeds 22 percent
4. Planting out of season 22 percent
5. Killing the grass with a paddling pool 21 percent
6. Forgetting to water high-up hanging baskets 20 percent
7. Killing the grass with a trampoline 17 percent
8. Chopped a tree / hedge too far back 13 percent
9. Cut through a cable on a hedge trimmer or mower 12 percent
10. Watered plastic / fake plants 10 percent
11. Strimming without a line in the strimmer 10 percent
12. Power washing petals off the flowers 8 percent
13. Painted a fence with the wrong type of paint / varnish 8 percent
14. Standing on an upturned rake 8 percent
15. Putting weed killer on the lawn instead of pathways 8 percent
16. Laying an uneven patio 7 percent
17. Buying too many gnomes / garden ornaments 6 percent
18. Planting trees too close to the house 5 percent
19. Killing fish in the pond 4 percent
20. Mowing the lawn with no blade in the mower 3 percent