Gardening is a fun and exciting hobby that almost anyone with a little bit of land can get started with. Nothing beats being able to take charge of your food security and ensure that the food on your family’s plate is free of dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals. Growing your own food garden does come with its own fair share of challenges, though, so it’s important for new gardeners to become aware of some of the obstacles they’ll have to overcome. Below, we discuss three of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a new gardener.
Some estimates state that many gardeners use twice the amount of water than what's actually necessary for their gardens. It’s important for new gardeners to learn “water-wise” gardening techniques that will not only help them to conserve water but also to spend less on this important resource.
Some important water-wise gardening techniques you can use include mulching your plants to conserve moisture, watering deeply but less often, watering in the early morning, selecting plants that are adapted to your local environment, and even collecting rainwater to water your plants when possible. Water is one of the most important resources we have on planet Earth. By learning to use it wisely, you can do your part to reduce wasting this precious resource and still grow a healthy food garden.
Weeds are everywhere. They can thrive in poor soil and fully take over a garden if allowed to do so. The common weeds that trouble your lawn will also threaten your new garden, so it’s important to take preventative steps to keep them from gaining a foothold before it’s too late. Don’t reach for the herbicides just yet, though. Weed killers can hurt your plants as well and leave your food contaminated with chemicals that will end up in your body.
There are a few things you can do to get rid of or discourage weed growth naturally. By mulching your garden, you’ll be depriving weeds of the light they need to grow. You can also crowd your food crops or use a ground cover so that there’s no place for them to grow. For existing weeds that are proving too difficult to just pull up, you can pour boiling hot water over them, effectively killing them.
Too Little Pollination
If you notice that your plants are blooming but not producing any fruit, then it’s possible that you don’t have enough pollinators, like bees and butterflies, in your garden. These insects are crucial to our food supply, and without their help, we wouldn’t be able to grow any food. If you’re having this problem, plant some flowers around your garden. Certain flowers work to deter unwanted pests while still attracting pollinators to your garden. This will attract more beneficial insects and ensure your food plants get the pollination they need.
These are just some of the problems a new gardener may encounter as he or she gets started. Now that you know, you can take the necessary steps to deal with these issues as they arise.
For additional help, check out this helpful guide for growing fruit and vegetables!