Gardening is a fantastic hobby for homeowners. You can create the perfect garden to your liking, going as far as to decide how much maintenance you want to do. In most cases, it turns out to be a relaxing activity as well as a rewarding one, yielding beautiful flowers or tasty vegetables.
But it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or a beginner at gardening, you will run into some problems. Some things are simply out of our control, but there are many ways we can fix these common gardening problems.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. – Walt Whitman
Weeds are by far the most common garden problem. They can sprout anywhere without much warning and thrive in various weather conditions, so the general rule is simple – get rid of them as early as you notice them.
To get rid of them after they sprout, you can spray some herbicide on them or pull them out by hand. To help prevent them from ever growing in the first place, you can add a deep layer of mulch to your soil.
2. Seeds won’t sprout
In most cases, seeds just need a little more time to sprout, so don’t worry too much if they take a little while. Many things can become factors in determining how long it takes. For example, the season, the climate, the soil, the seeds – all of these can become major influences.
However, if your seeds are really not sprouting, then you can suspect something is actually wrong. Go through these steps:
- Check the conditions of your soil. If it’s too wet or too dry, you might need to find balance.
- Most importantly, is your soil healthy?
- Watch out for birds. They can easily eat your seeds, so be sure that’s not the issue. If you confirm it was just birds, simply replant them.
- Are your seeds expired? They can go bad after a year or two if you’re using ones from previous seasons. If you’re using some you bought, then check the expiration date on the package.
3. Powdery Mildew on Veggies
Powdery mildew is fairly common fungal disease that spreads in plants and vegetables alike. It tends to happen when your garden doesn’t receive enough sunlight and air circulation.
Because it spreads easily, powdery mildew is not easy to get rid of once it shows up, but you can control it. Work hard enough, and it might disappear for good.
Here’s what you can do to deal with powdery mildew:
- Make sure your garden is receiving enough sunlight and air circulation;
- Having plants that are resistant to this disease in your garden will help reduce the spread;
- Trim off the plants that seem to be the most heavily affected;
- Spray affected leaves with fungicide or a mixture of milk and water.
These steps should help you control powdery mildew!
4. My plants look weak, frail, and skinny
Once again, sunlight is extremely important. If you notice your plants growing weak and frail, make sure they are receiving enough sunlight. Remember, even other taller plants can create shaded areas and prevent smaller plants from receiving sunlight.
Another common reason is overwatering. Make sure your soil has some sort of drainage, and that you’re not watering without need. A good rule is to check if the top three inches of the soil is dry – if it is, then it’s time to water. Obviously you can’t control the rain, which is why a good drainage system is nice.
Finally, synthetic fertilizers can cause this by overloading your soil with nitrogen. Organic fertilizing is a much safer and balanced alternative.
5. Lawn dying in shady areas
Often overlooked, the lawn is by far the highest-maintenance part of gardening. It covers a wide area, it grows fast, it’s constantly thirsty… and it can die out on shaded areas.
This depends on which type of grass, though. The Kikuyu lawn is notoriously averse to shade, but the Berea lawn, for example, is much easier to handle in these situations. Be sure to trim down surrounding trees and remove obstructions that might be blocking sunlight in that area to help your lawn grow.
6. Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are common garden pests as they usually don’t really care what you’re planting – to them, all they see is a big sign saying “free buffet.
The trick to controlling them is by carefully studying your plants. If you see defoliation and eaten up foliage, you can look for and pick the beetles off by hand before they reproduce. There are also sprays against these kinds of bugs, making it a hassle-free way of dealing with them – but it’s worth looking through your soil for grubs that could hatch later and pick those off too.
Everyone who’s ever done gardening has probably seen Aphids at least once. It’s a common pest that can show up in any garden at any time, but luckily, it’s not too hard to deal with. Simply spraying them off with water already gets them off your plants, but for prevention, you can use insecticidal soap.
This is why watering is an art in its own way. Too much or too little and the plants will suffer, we need the right balance for them to thrive. Fortunately, the right balance is not very strict. If you notice dry soil, make sure your plants are receiving enough water, but also amend the soil with compost to boost the overall health of your plants.
Keep in mind some plants may require more or less water than others, so it’s important to watch how they respond to certain patterns and change your watering routine accordingly.
As stated before, overwatering can and will cause your plants to look yellow and weak. If you notice this happening, check your soil – if it’s too moist, you’re either watering too much or there isn't enough drainage in your garden. That is, of course, assuming it’s not raining enough to perturb your garden, but even then, a drainage system will help.
10. Poisonous plants
Your pets or children can have serious reactions from certain kinds of plants. It’s wise to research which kinds of plants are poisonous to pets before ever planting them in the first place – there are many options that are completely safe and cause no harm to kids or pets.
If this has already happened though, try to find which plant is the culprit and remove it from your garden.
Do you need help with a landscaping project? Get a free quote from a landscaping professional in your area today!