If you have been gardening a lot this year, we’ll wager you dealt with your share of challenges in your garden.
Problem is, some of them just won’t go away and you are left wondering what you may be doing wrong.
It’s not just you!
There is no such thing as a perfect garden. However, all you need is observation coupled with careful planning and things will work out just fine. (Actually, if you are really lucky, the problem will be eliminated completely!)
So let’s get to it. We will answer the most common questions we got from gardeners this year and how to solve these challenges. There will be something that applies to everyone!
#1 – Poor Garden Soil
This is a given. If your garden soil is wrecked, your plants are bound to be unhealthy. Matter of fact, they’ll wither and die.
Healthy soil is rich with organic matter and nutrients and they go a long way in combating different challenges you can’t begin to imagine.
Pests and diseases feast on bad garden soils and will ultimately lead to other problems. Such as nutrients washing out of the soil too fast or the soil dries out or is waterlogged.
Healthy soil means your plants will be less stressed by harsh weather, neglect or abuse.
Your soil is a living breathing thing so it follows that you feed it.
This is a chain reaction.
If your soil is well fed, it feeds your plants in turn. Your soil should be built with the best materials available to you. These include compost and mulch.
Make it a habit of feeding the soil at least once a year. You can reach out to your local nursery to hook you up.
#2 – Using Fertilizer
This is like a double-edged sword. Use too much and risk damaging your plants, use too little and your fertilizer could get washed away.
Your plants will not grow if they do not get the nutrients needed. When it rains, the fertilizer could wash through the soil without making contact with your plants. In the same vein, excess fertilizer can pollute your waterways.
So your dilemma is understood!
The first step is to test your soil and figure out what it needs. (Remember to reach out to your nursery to help)
When you know what your soil needs more of then you can fertilize accordingly. If your plants are light feeders, they may do fine with only the compost they got at the start of the season.
Heavy feeders, however, need more. You could try a very light feeding every couple of weeks.
Frequently adding little quantities of fertilizer such as compost are gentle on your plants and the environment.
# 3 – Weeds Everywhere
We’ve learnt that no matter how great your gardening skills are, you have to deal with weeds. They steal water and nutrients from your garden and plants.
Actually, they do worse.
They pave way for insects, they crowd of your vegetables and simply mess up everywhere. With weeds, you can’t win.
You weed them out! (That was too good to pass up).
You should try weeding every day. This is nothing strenuous, just a few weeds, doing this will get them out while they are still growing.
This also works because you get to see the garden every day and take care of the problems before they escalate.
This method works because it prevents the weeds from making seeds.
#4 – The right amount of water
If we are being honest, this can be super stressful.
You have no idea what quantity is too little or too much and you have to figure out a way to strike a balance lest you starve or drown your plants.
Standing water will rot the roots of your plants, and when they dry up? Nutrients dry up as well.
Of course, we have a solution.
If you have situated your garden in an area that floods, the ideal option is to move it. If that’s not feasible, figure out a way to have a proper drainage system. Truth is your garden or any garden at all cannot survive in standing water.
If it’s too little water? That’s actually super easy to fix.
If you have running water, try hoses or drip irrigation. If your garden is relatively small or you have just a few plants, you could try hand watering.
#5 – Not enough space
If you live in cities like Lagos, space is not a luxury you are afforded. You probably have a tiny balcony in your apartment but that’s it.
Plant in pots!
Get some very pretty containers that can light up your front yard or on your front steps. There are super lovely plants that fare well in pots.
You should know you don’t have to give up quality to grow in containers either.
You should try fences too. It’s amazing how much space you can free up and how beautiful it looks.
Vertical gardening also helps as plants can be mounted on the wall or fence where there is no space.
#6 – Pests and Diseases
This year we had a peculiar problem in Lagos, Nigeria where most of the cycas revoluta palms developed hard scale and died.
It was painful to watch and the plants that survived the scourge that plants that had been nurtured well. All we had to do was trim back extensively and new healthy leaves grew…….
That’s the end of our list! Did we include your challenges? If we didn’t let us know if the comments and we’ll let you know what to do!