By Joey and Holly Baird Special to Published Mar 20, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Many people set out every year to grow the best the garden they ever have. While their intentions are good, there are a lot of times things go sour. Here are the five main reasons that your garden doesn’t do well so you can prevent them. 

5. Not understanding how your plants grow

Not all plants grow equally, and by not understanding how they grow, it becomes difficult to know if your plants have a disease, have a pest issue or if what you planted is what you wanted to grow. For example, broccoli and Brussels sprouts look identical as seedlings and starts. We made the mistake of somehow switching what we thought were Brussels sprouts but really planted broccoli. By understanding how the plant looks as it grows, we were able to identify that something wasn’t right. There are more plants than one can acquire knowledge of, but knowing a little bit about each of the plants you are growing can greatly enhance your success rate.

4. Lack of planning  

For most gardeners, there is a considerable amount of downtime during the winter for you prepare for the growing season. In some cases, that might mean you are able to work the soil, but it is far too cold to plant outside; in others, it may mean months on end without knowing exactly where your garden lays under the thick blanket of snow. This gives us all an opportunity to take some time off from gardening, but also to prepare and to plan for the growing season to come.

For some individuals, based on their growing area, they really only have one shot a year of getting it done and getting it done right. This ties in to the previous point of not understanding how your plants grow. With having a one shot opportunity to grow a plant successfully, understanding how that plant should grow and should be cared for is all part of planning for and during growing season. Drawing a diagram of your grow area and knowing how much space each plant will take will eliminate a lot of planning time when you should be planting. 

3. Compaction kills

Plants need space to grow. This doesn’t just mean space above ground but the space below as well. It is best to grow in loose, well-draining soil. Raised beds and containers can eliminate this issue as they are generally not walked in. Many of us have traditional ground gardens where there is the opportunity to walk where you have planted and can cause compaction in that grow space. By planning how the layout of your garden will be, you can greatly reduce the damage you do to your garden. We have faced this issue for years, and this year we have changed the way our garden is laid out. We have created permanent grow areas and distinct walk paths where there is no confusion upon where to walk and where not to walk. 

2. Lack of weeding

Based on who you talk to about this, you will get many different reasons and reactions to this topic. Some feel by not weeding, you are creating an environment much like it would be in nature. Survival of the fittest, not weeding, will snuff out some of the weaker plants you have placed in your garden, but the stronger ones will thrive. You can save those seeds because those plants will have stronger genetics to carry on for years to come. 

I understand this type of thinking process, but we feel that weeding is important to allow the plants to have adequate and ample amount of nutrients, water and sunlight. The key to weeding is to get on it early, when weeds are two to four inches tall. It can be overwhelming, but as stated earlier, with our raised berm format garden, we have distinct beds, and this makes managing your weeds easier. 


We’ve all been there. You’ve had a long week or long day of other activities, or it may be too hot or too wet, and you put the job of tending your garden off, and off, and off, and off some more, until you realize you’ve put it off too long and things are out of control. Now you can’t see the weeds from the vegetables you are pretty sure you planted in your garden. You were lazy and didn’t water the plants, and now they are one drier day away from not doing so well.  Being in the garden to weed, water, harvest or just sit, however, can be very therapeutic. 

These are just some of the reasons why people’s gardens are not as successful as they could be.  Do not fall into the these traps or your garden might not be successful this year.

For more information please visit our website.