You already know that growing your own fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to ensure that you always have fresh, organic produce on hand. But maybe you’ve tried it before and growing a garden wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
In actuality, gardening takes more than natural talent; it takes hard work, dedication and research. This last part is especially important when you find that no matter how hard you try, your garden just won’t grow. In such instances it may be something you’re doing wrong or it may have nothing to do with anything you’ve done.
Taking steps to get to the bottom of why your garden just won’t grow can not only reverse the problem, it can also help you recognize other possible problems in the future thanks to your willingness to play detective.
Are you having gardening drama?
Here are a list of reasons why that might be – and what you can do about it.
1. Your Garden Is in a Bad Location
Before you even begin to prepare your garden, you must carefully consider the best possible place for your crops to thrive.
You may think, for instance, that a garden built around the 200-year-old tree in your backyard will look amazing. However, what you don’t know is that you may be handing your plants a death sentence before the seed is covered. Trees require a lot of water to stay alive and their roots go deep. When competing with your crops for resources to grow and stay healthy, the trees tend to come out on top.
If your crops wilt where you plant them, consider moving your garden elsewhere to see if there is any marked improvement.
2. Too Much or Too Little Water
Water is essential for crops, but too much or too little can cause problems. If you’re planting a vegetable garden, the general rule is to give your crops about an inch of water per week.
Though this is considered the base, you should always be aware of how your location impacts the necessity of obeying this advice. If you live in a particularly moist climate, for example, an inch of water may be too much. In a desert climate, an inch is simply not enough to sustain the life of your plants.
Ask local gardeners what they recommend and you’ll usually be able to find the levels that’s right for you based on where you live and the garden you have in mind.
3. Your Soil’s pH Level
Vegetables can thrive in soil that is slightly acidic, but they may struggle if the soil is too acidic. It’s recommended that you test the soil to determine its pH level, or measure of acidity or alkalinity.
A pH level of 7.0 is considered neutral. Values below 7.0 are acidic and above 7.0 are alkaline. For many vegetables, an ideal acidity level for growth exists between 6.0 and 6.5.
If you find your soil is too acidic, limestone can help neutralize your soil and bring it closer to an ideal pH level. If your soil is too alkaline, applying sulfur can help to raise the pH.
4. No Sunlight
Sunlight is every bit as important to a healthy garden as water. Before planting your garden, you should observe how and where the sun shines on different parts of your yard.
Ideally, you should be planting your garden in an area that’s going to get as much exposure to sunlight as possible.
5. Ignoring Weeds and Other Pests
You might have sunlight and water in abundance, and unfortunately, lots of weeds as well. These intruders can rise up to zap nutrients from your crops if you aren’t careful enough to stop them. There are other pests such as bugs and small mammals that can negatively impact your garden.
Be sure to identify threats to your garden. Take a proactive approach to combatting these problem animals and plants before they devastate your crops.
Remember: Not everything is a pest. Some bugs are not harmful and can actually help destroy trouble-making insects.
6. Your Crops Are Too Close Together
Planting things close together may provide a visual appeal, but it can negatively impact the health of your plants. For instance, the lack of proper space when planting can lead to increased vulnerability to disease and malnourishment.
To avoid this, carefully follow directions when planting your crops, giving each crop the ideal amount of space necessary to thrive in your garden.
These are a few of the most common reasons that gardeners may struggle to produce a healthy garden. There may be other issues, so it’s best to do as much research and experimentation as necessary to solve your problem. Lucky for you, winter is the perfect time to plan for your spring garden!
Photo Credits: garden prep, garden hose, soil test, sunny garden, weeding, garden beds