When it comes to yardwork, making sure your lawn is healthy and well-kept is easy. Gardening, on the other hand, is much more challenging. Most plants need meticulous care to thrive, so you need to ensure you know what you’re doing.
However, things can go wrong at any point in a plant’s lifecycle, which can catch even the best gardeners off guard. Regardless of what you’re trying to grow, here are some general gardening problems you might run into and how to fix them.
No Initial Growth
The first problem that any gardener will potentially run into is not having any plants at all. Just because you put the seeds into the ground doesn’t mean there’s a guarantee that something will come up. Most commonly, plants fail to grow because of overwatering, especially if you’re new to it. Too much water can rot the seeds before they even have a chance to grow. However, even when that happens, a few of them will probably survive.
If nothing comes up at all, there’s a good chance that your seeds were expired. Whether you bought them from a store or used them from a previous garden, plant seeds become much less effective after a year or two. No matter which of these issues you’re dealing with, buying new seeds and replanting them is your best course of action. Also, be sure not to overwater them if you accidentally did that before.
Signs of Wilting
Once the plants start to pop out of the ground, the next issue you will have to deal with is wilting. Wilting can occur if you overwater your plants, but it can also happen if you don’t water them enough. Watering a garden is a delicate balance that takes some time to learn how to do. That’s why this problem is more common for beginners.
Fortunately, learning how to fix it on your own is easy. If a plant is wilting and the dirt is very damp, you overwatered it. If it’s dry, you didn’t water it enough. If you don’t want to figure out the perfect amount through trial and error, online videos can quickly teach you the basics of watering.
Weak Stems and Lack of Growth
Even if your plants aren’t wilting, there’s a chance that they still might look weak or stop growing altogether. When these things happen, it typically means that the plant isn’t getting enough nutrients. Plants get nutrients through sun exposure and the soil. If your plants aren’t receiving around six to eight hours of sunlight a day, this is likely the source of the issue. Removing the items blocking their sun exposure or moving them to a better location will remedy the problem.
If the soil is the source of the problem, it will be harder to fix but not impossible. If it’s feasible, you can try removing your generic dirt and putting in some more nutrient-rich soil. If that’s not possible, buying some fertilizer is a great alternative. Just make sure it’s not too nitrogen rich because too much nitrogen can cause a similar problem.
If none of these things seem to fix the issue, it could just come down to the fact that your plants are too close to each other. Like animals, plants must share their food; if their neighbors are nearby, there won’t be enough to go around. Replanting them in a more spread-out fashion should help with this issue.
Unfortunately, plants aren’t immune to different types of diseases. While there are numerous kinds to worry about, a good thing to note is that most of them occur in damp or humid climates, so making an effort to remove excess moisture will ward off many of them. Smaller diseases such as black spots and other spot-related issues only spread through water, so making sure that those leaves remain dry will cause them to go away. If you want to remove it more quickly, you can prune the infected branches.
Problems such as powdery mildew, blight, and damping-off must be taken much more seriously, though. These can spread through the air, so you’ll want to remove infected branches immediately. In some cases, removal of the entire plant might be necessary. Regardless of the disease, you need to make sure that you thoroughly disinfect your gardening equipment after dealing with the contaminated plant.
Many animals in the wild will find your plants to be a tasty treat. Rabbits are a common culprit. They’ll eat just about anything, so if they’re prominent in your area, you’ll want to put up some wire fencing with gaps smaller than an inch apart. Birds can also be quite destructive in the early stages of a plant’s life. They love to eat seeds out of the ground and can sometimes pull up newly developed plants as well. There are bird netting options that you can buy to keep them out.
However, neither of these will stop troublesome insects. There are so many that can fatally damage your plants, but aphids and Japanese beetles are some of the worst. Fortunately, neem oil works well for keeping both of these off your plants, and it’s a natural option. However, there are still plenty of store-bought options that will safely protect your garden.
Brown or “Burnt” Leaves
Finally, if the leaves on your plants start turning brown or look like they’ve been burnt, that’s usually a clear sign of either over-fertilization or potential chemical burns from a harmful insecticide. Either way, you always need to be careful with the number of additional chemicals you add to your plants. Even if they’re safe to use, too many of them can lead to irreparable damage.
Obviously, all these gardening problems and how to fix them are a lot to take in, especially for those new to gardening. Luckily, no one said you had to do it alone, and Hernandez Lawnscape is here to help. We offer all kinds of yard maintenance in Baton Rouge, LA. From lawn care to flower bed weed control, we do it all.
Plus, if you feel like your biggest struggle is watering, we can help with that too. We can install an irrigation system to help water your garden more often or a drainage system if you tend to overwater. No matter what it is that you struggle with, we’re here to help.