Planting and Landscape Advice

5 Common Garden Problems and How to Overcome Them

5 Common Garden Problems and How to Overcome Them

Nothing is more rewarding than decorating your home with flowers and shrubbery from your own garden. But what about when all of your hard work wilts and withers away and you’ve nothing to decorate your home with? The truth is that most gardens can’t avoid common problems, with the biggest problem being not understanding how to care for plants properly.

Different species of plants need different things to survive. Although every plant needs water, dirt, and sunshine, they don’t all need them in the same amounts. Knowing your plants well means you can create the right environment for them to flourish.

There are 5 common problems that can throw off the balance in your garden. Here are some tips on how to spot them and how to fix them:


1. Sunlight Levels

Every species of plant has different requirements for sunlight. Some like direct sunlight for several hours a day whilst others prefer shade. If your plants get too much sunlight they build up free radicals and begin to turn brown. If they get too little light then their leaves may be unusually small or thin.


Note how many hours a day your garden beds get direct and indirect sunlight. Plan where to plant things according to what you observe. Consider putting some of your plants in moveable containers so you can control how much sunlight they get by moving them round the yard.


2. Watering Amounts

Watering is exactly like sunlight in the sense that too much or too little will harm your plants. Too much water causes yellowing on the leaves and some leaves will become completely yellow before turning brown and dying. Too little water will cause your plants to wilt. The leaves will begin to turn brown and dry out before dying. Make sure your plants are receiving the suggested amounts of water to keep them healthy.


The thing to remember about watering is that it’s not all up to you. Morning dews, rain, and soil moisture all help to nurture your plants. That’s why it’s important to plant your plants in the right soil, and during the proper times of year.


3. Soil Issues

It’s very important to know what kind of soil you’re working with, and to plant things accordingly. Plants require different levels of soil acidity and moisture retention to survive. All types of soils also contain different nutrients, and it is possible for soil to get depleted of these nutrients.

This will change the overall texture and appearance of the soil, and you can tell what nutrient your soil is deficient in by how it is affecting your plants.


Fertilisers are an excellent way to enrich soil if it has become depleted. You can also prevent soil depletion by rotating seasonal plants. Some plants enrich the soil while others deplete it so alternate your seasonal plants according to their effect on the soil.


4. Season

As you have likely realised, too much or too little of anything can be harmful to your garden so it’s not surprising that seasons are critical to plant health. Pay attention to what season your seeds should be planted in; otherwise they will not have the right environmental balance as they grow. A seed planted in the wrong season may grow well at first, but then quickly die with no apparent explanation.


Seasonal plants can be grown out of season if you place them in your home. UV lamps can be used to make sure they get proper sunlight, or you can move them around to different windows throughout the day.


5. Overcrowding

A garden cannot thrive if it has too many weeds or the plants are too close together. Root systems need room to grow, and overtaxed soil will become depleted. Sunlight is even a limited resource that plants compete for if they’re too close together.

If you have a problem with overcrowding that isn’t caused by weeds, you’ll notice some of your plants are thriving while others seem to be stunted and growing slowly. Some plants even grow to overshadow others. You can let nature take its course, meaning the weaker plants will die, or you can transplant what you want to save.


Before you transplant your sprouted seedlings from the pot to the ground, arrange them in the garden. Set them out while still in their pots. Measure between them and try to visualise how large they will become. Be sure that each plant has the recommended space around it before planting.

Plants Thrive in a Balanced Environment

Every species of plant has different needs to survive: different soils, amounts of sunlight, watering, and even space. Planting out of season means your plants aren’t getting the right balance, but things can throw off this balance even in the right season.

To ensure the health of your garden, make sure you know what your plants need; and how you’re going to provide it.

About The Author

Adrian Byrne, NC. NDip. Horticulture

All about hedging and trees, planting, care and maintenance advice as well as celebrating their many benefits.