Top 10 Garden Problems and Their Solutions

Gardening is great, but eating the fruits of your labor makes it even better. It is like growing your own money. Some have a difficult time keeping up with the hassles gardening can throw at you. Here are some basic tips on keeping up the garden.



First and most confusing sign is the plant looks wilted, then it starts turning yellow at the tips and then browns. Basically the same as under watering with one small clue the leaves curl upwards rather than under. The day is saved by your detective work! Long periods of over watering and the plant will develop mold over the soil. Not good for plants as that can lead to fungus.

SOLUTIONS: The watering fix depends on where the plants are located. If they are in a pot, you may need to mix in some sand for more drainage or you may need to repot the plant in dry soil. Or put in really well ventilated, warm area with some direct sun all day. If your plants are in the ground. Do not keep watering that plant, add some sand to the soil and remember if it rains well there is no need to water every day. If you are having cooler, overcast days, the water will not evaporate or dry up as quickly. This means you do not need to water as often. If you hit some 90 degree temps everyday then you need to have the hose handy at least once a day if not twice.


This has the same effect as the above over watering wilted and sad looking and then there is the yellowing of leaves which eventually turn brown. Underwatered leaves however, turn downwards. Soil will be dry and cracked.

SOLUTIONS: Water immediately and usually it perks back up. Add some compost and newspaper with straw over it for better water retention and this keeps the weeds to a minimum.


These are the little buggers that pop up in areas that you didn’t plant it but look strangely like what you planted. Did you know there is a weed that mimics whatever plant it is near to keep it from being pulled!? Also some varieties of edibles can be invasive, strawberries are the most common invasive plant we have here in the north. Nothing to complain about but, before you plant make sure you give it room to multiply ever year

SOLUTIONS: You can simply transplant the invasive species. As mentioned before for weeds, put down a layer of newspaper (no color or glossy paper). Place a thin layer of straw over this to help it break down. You can pick the weeds or we have an organic product called Burn Out. You need to protect your desired plants from being touched by it though, it is a contact killer. Using an empty toilet paper roll works well for absorbing drippings and pin pointing the exact plants you want gone. If you do happen to get some on another desired plant just wash off before it has a chance to dry. It is all-natural but also non-selective meaning that it will kill whatever it comes in full contact with.

Crop Rotation

You notice your yields just are not what they were the first year, or worse yet some plants are not producing at all. Your garden is becoming a home for pests and diseases

SOLUTIONS: Remember to rotate crops annually. And realize there are some plants that compete for the same nutrients in the soil so know what it is that your plants require and do not plant tomatoes where the peppers were last year (in fact do not plant the near each other in the same year, they compete for too much acid) So know your plants and what they like to keep producing. Then I always compost every year with fresh bags. I also use Dr. Earth right in the hole I plant in to ensure a good healthy start and then I come back about two weeks later with some tea made from that same fertilizer to water in with.

Burned Plants

You will think you have overwatered on this one. They look sick and wilted and start to “burn” out. The fertilizer will be sitting right on top of the soil undissolved.
SOLUTIONS: Choose an all-natural, organic fertilizer, and always read the instructions before applying. That’s why I use Dr. Earth. It’s organic and slow release so it won’t burn out your plants. To get rid of the extra fertilizer, water extremely heavy. Allow the soil to dry out before watering heavily again.

Soil Nutrients

The symptoms of lack of nutrients are the plants do not grow to full size or produce much if any fruit. Foliage is yellow or brown and weak

SOLUTIONS: It depends on if the soils ph is too low or if you have a lack of a specific nutrient the plant needs. That’s why composting every year along with a veggie specific fertilizer will help out tremendously. So if they need some sprucing up, come ask us we can help figure out what the problem is and how to take care of it.

Too Much Mulch

Too much mulch and the water you give it does not reach the plant. Also, staying too wet for too long with no dry out period and you have ideal conditions for fungus and mold.

SOLUTIONS: Start with the newspaper, just a few sheets thick and then an inch or two of straw over. Forget the wood chips. Not on the veggie gardens


You walk out one morning to water your garden and realize there are holes in the leaves of your plants and some are bit down to ground level. Granted those are two different problems, none the less serious and can leave you disheartened about gardening.

SOLUTIONS: Plant some marigolds around the garden, rabbits and other crawlers do not like these plants. It also is great for keeping the beetles out of your root crops. Plant herbs around the perimeter creating a barrier. Bonide also makes a product you can sprinkle around keeping the hairy beasts away. Captain Jack’s has natural products made from Spinosad, which is a natural bacterium.

Too Much Sun

Leaves will look burnt and break and crumble at first touch. This problem cannot be solved by watering.

SOLUTIONS: Transplant to a shadier area and always remember to know your plant.

Not Enough Sun

You will notice a yellowing of the leaves before they fall off. The plant does not grow, and has a sparse look to it. You will also notice a lean towards the Sun.

SOLUTIONS: If in containers, move plants to sunny location. Transplant if able they will not grow or produce if they do not get adequate sun exposure. Clear away what you can that is obstructing the light. Remember to read information regarding the plants you are putting in your garden. Light, nutrients and water are all key factors in growing anything.