If you’re growing a summer garden this year, you will most likely hit some roadblocks during the growing season. Fortunately, most of them are fairly easy to treat and prevent. From yellowing tomato plants to annoying pests that eat your garden before it can really thrive, here are 10 of the most common problems that gardeners will face, and what you can do about them.
Too Much Water
If you live in an area where it rains a lot, this may not be something you can avoid, but it will affect when you can plant, and how much you are able to grow. The best thing to do if you get lots of rain is to do a good soil check before planting. Simply pick up a big clump of soil and squeeze it in your fist. If water drips out, the soil is too wet. Let it dry out for a couple of days, and aerate your soil to fix this issue.
Too Little Water
Soil that is too dry is also a problem for gardeners. If your soil is too dry, it can’t take in water very well, it will just roll off. You want your soil to be soft, crumbly soil. Obviously, you know that soil that is dry won’t produce a good harvest, either, so keeping enough water in it is crucial, You can add organic humus and water as needed to keep the right amount of moisture in your soil.
Good Soil or Bad Soil?
One of the first things you should do before planting is test your soil. This will tell you if it lacks nutrients or minerals, or if you need to add anything to it to make the ground suitable to grow healthy plants. You can test at home with a kit, or take it to your local co-op, or even some garden stores or nurseries for testing. Once you know what your soil needs, you can treat it accordingly for optimal growing conditions.
This is a fairly common garden problem in climates that are hot and muggy. It’s a fungus that makes black spots (hence the name) on the leaves. It affects roses more than other plants. You can treat it with a fungicide.
Too Much Fertilizer
Fertilizer burn can happen when you apply to much fertilizer to your garden plants. To treat it, you can flush the soil out with water, and hope you were able to dilute it enough. A good way to prevent is to use a slow-release variety of fertilizer, or animal waste compost.
Moss is a great decorating tool, but can wreak havoc on your garden. If you have moss growing, your garden soil is too acidic, so you are going to need to balance your soil pH with wood ash. You also need to make sure your garden gets plenty of direct sun, as moss cannot thrive in bright sunny spots.
Squirrels can make a mess of your garden, and do it fast. They love to dig up things, which is bad news for your bulbs, and even worse, they love to snatch fruit right off the plant. You can keep them at bay by making a hot pepper spray and misting your edible garden plants with it.
Moles, Moles Everywhere
Like the squirrel, moles can tear up a garden, too. If you see white grubs in you beds or garden, you probably have moles around, too. Use an insecticide to kill the worms, and the moles should follow, since their food source is gone. You can also try mole traps if they are persistent.
Ahh, the gardener’s constant nemesis. Weeds are inevitable in most gardens. The best thing to do is pull them as you see them, and stay on top of it. Another reliable option is to treat your garden with a weed killer, but use caution to avoid the plants you don’t want to kill. Also, putting a good layer of mulch down (about three inches deep) in your beds and garden will help to keep the weeds from growing as much.
Too Little Pollination
If your garden plants are showing blooms but not producing fruit, then it is not getting enough pollination from bees and birds. If you are noticing this, you can try planting flowers around your garden that will attract more of our winged friends. This will help to pollinate your plants, which will increase your fruit production.
These are just some of the garden problems you may see this year. By knowing what you are dealing with, you can accurately treat them and enjoy a more bountiful harvest! What are some other common gardening problems you have encountered? Share your best gardening tips in the comments.