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Top 5 Reasons a Garden Fails: Cheap and Easy Fixes

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A garden is a place of beauty, and it is rewarding to see the fruits of your labor. But what if your garden doesn’t look as good as you’d like or the outcome is not what you expected?

It’s easy to get discouraged when your garden fails to live up to its potential. However, you can do things about it – and they don’t require much time or money.

You don’t have to start again from scratch; just tweak what you are already doing based on the recommendations that we will explain in this article.

5 Things That Can Cause a Garden To Fail With Solutions

Failing Garden

The common gardening mistakes that can cause a garden to fail are directly related to the requirements for healthy plant growth.

  1. Orientation
  2. Soil Quality
  3. Irrigation
  4. Pests
  5. Over Fertilization

We will explain below how these can cause a garden to fail and give simple solutions that anyone can use to recover a dying garden or prevent a garden failure further down in this article.

1. Orientation

Location of plants

This is where the plants are located with respect to other structures.

One of the most common causes of a garden failing is that it was planted in the wrong place. If your garden is planted too close to a wall or fence, it will grow poorly due to a lack of sunlight.

This is mainly due to the shade cast from these structures as the sun plots along its daily path.

Taller structures would have a more significant effect on the length of a tie the other plants are shaded, and relating the plants and careful planning can prevent starting a garden in the wrong place.

The sun goes from East to West, so consider the sun’s trajectory with respect to your house when planning your garden.

2. Soil Quality –

Soil Conditions

A second common cause of failure is poor soil quality. The soil in your garden should be well-drained, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 and an organic content of at least 20%.

If the soil is too heavy or compacted, it won’t drain properly, which means it will retain moisture, causing root rot and other fungal infections.

3. Irrigation –


The single most common cause of failure in a garden is lack of water.

Irrigation and drainage are essential to successful gardening, but many people fail to provide them properly.

Providing the right amount of water at the right time is important for plants to grow healthy and unlock the nutrients from the soil. 

A moisture meter can do wonders in knowing how much water the soil has.

Trazon Soil pH Meter 3-in-1 Soil Tester Moisture

To test the moisture and pH of the soil, you can use the cost-effective Trazon Soil 3-in-1 Meter. It not only tests for pH but also moisture content and light intensity. You can find it by clicking here!

4. Pests – 

Plant Pests

Another common cause of failure is pest damage. Pests can destroy entire crops simply by eating the foliage before it has time to develop into fruit or seed.

A simple fix is to apply chemical pesticides to your crops, but only if you know what you are doing.

Never put pesticides directly on your plants — they may kill them before they have a chance to grow!

There are great organic options like garlic water and neem oil.

5. Over Fertilization –


Having healthy-looking crops within their allotted growing time is what we all want, and sometimes we may go a little overboard when trying to give them a boost to reach that point.

If you’ve been using fertilizer and haven’t noticed an improvement, then you might need to adjust how much you use. 

When too much fertilizer is used, it can cause fertilizer burns which can cause the failure of an entire crop within days.

Overuse of fertilizers leads to an imbalance in the soil nutrients, causing plants not to grow properly.

So be kind to your plants and research how much fertilizer or what type of fertilizer the plant needs. 

Pro Tip to Prevent Your Garden from Going Down

Proper Planning

Planning ahead before you even set foot out into a gardening space is crucial in reaping healthy crops at the end of each gardening season.

Knowing what type of veggies or plants you are going to grow will help you properly plan by

  • Selecting the right space
  • Providing the right amount of fertilizer
  • Installing proper irrigation systems before you plant
  • Scheduling everything necessary for the plants to grow healthy.

Get our printable gardening planner for $5.00 here.

Gardening Planner

What To Do When Your Garden Fails?

In a small garden, it’s easy to overlook pests and other problems and assume they will go away by themselves. But if you don’t address the root problem, your garden will continue to suffer year after year.

  • Always spray pesticides on your crop’s leaves before they reach maturity so they can break down naturally into harmless substances.
  • If you have problems with your soil, add organic matter such as compost or manure before planting your seeds.
  • If you’re using a raised bed, make sure that the surface drains well, or you’ll be wasting your time watering it!
  • An excellent way to prevent pests is by growing plants that don’t attract pests — such as herbs, flowers, and vegetables that aren’t grown for harvest (e.g., tomatoes and peppers).

Signs That Your Garden May Fail

Leaves give you the best clue as to whether something is wrong with them or not. Garden plants change their leaves’ color for a variety of reasons. Some of the causes are as follows:

  • The amount of water you gave your plant,
  • Lack of nutrients,
  • Pests and diseases,
  • And whether the plant was getting the right amount of sunlight.

A plant that has been watered too much looks wilted. It can also have dead-looking brown or yellow leaves while the soil around the plants is damp.

Signs of lack of nutrients are discolored leaves and slow growth or no growth at all.

Pests and diseases can also damage and kill your plants. Look for signs such as curled, deformed, or discolored leaves, holes in leaves, abnormal growth, and pests.

Some plants in your garden need a lot of light to grow. Insufficient light causes plants to have small, pale leaves and weak stems. Stunted growth is also evident in such plants.

How To Save a Dying Garden?

Even if plants in your garden look dead, you can still do a lot of things to make your plants fresh again. With the proper care, your plants will miraculously grow back.

There is hope as long as there are still a few green leaves and flexible stems on the plants.

To find out how to revive your dying plants, so you don’t have to throw them straight into the compost heap or compost bin, follow these tips:

1. Getting rid of the dead plant parts is essential so the plant can use all of its energy on the parts that still have life in them.

2. Clear signs that your plant is thirsty are brown leaves that are dry or curled up at the edges. The soil around the roots is also completely dry. In this case, the solution is obvious: water it!

3. In some cases, you may not be able to recover your dried-out plant just by watering it. You should therefore place them in a damp place out of direct sunlight, such as the bathroom. This will help potentially bring them back to life.

4. A mild soap and water mixture spraying on the leaves will help eliminate most pests.

5. If your plant dies, it may have outgrown the pot. Plant them in a larger container with well-drained, fertile soil. This gives the roots enough space to grow, and your plant can recover.

6. Remove any large chunks of dead plant matter from around your plants as well. This can be done in several ways, including using a trowel to dig up clumps of dead roots or simply by pulling off chunks of damaged leaves and stems with your hands or garden shears (if they are still attached).

7. Remove any weeds that have grown in the area of your garden by pulling them up by the roots or ripping them out from the ground with a claw hoe (which has a blade on one side that digs into the soil).

Use Easy-To-Grow Vegetables:

Easy-to-grow vegetable varieties are not very demanding when it comes to soil conditions, are good neighbors in mixed cultures, and are hardly susceptible to pests. They also don’t bother you so quickly with short periods of drought or heavy rain.

Let’s make a quick list of easy-to-grow vegetables for your garden to give it a new life!


Not only the roots of radishes are edible, but also the leaves. You can add them to the salad or make a delicious pesto out of them. In addition to the well-known red, round radishes, there are many other colors and shapes.


Spinach is suitable for the summer harvest but is also a good winter vegetable. It is spread over a large area and only needs regular water to grow. Young leaves can be eaten in salads, and older ones can be prepared as vegetables.

Spring Onions:

Once sown, spring onions will grow back again and again. Every 3-4 years, dig up the plant, divide it and transplant it to a new place.


Hardly any other vegetable plant provides such reliable, lush yields as zucchini. Therefore, only plant two to three specimens in the first year. These will provide you with enough.

Here are some climbing vegetables plants that will also produce with little intervention.

Gardening Tips for Beginners:

We all start small, as we all know. And that goes for gardening too. Therefore, random gardening is not a good idea, and plants do not just grow somehow and somewhere.

So, suppose you are not entirely familiar with the basics of gardening but enjoy home-grown vegetables, colorful flowers, and fresh fruit.

Everyone has their approach, but successful gardening is based on careful planning.

Therefore, do not rush into anything and ask yourself what you want to make of your garden. Should it be a kitchen garden? Would you like a sea of ​​flowers?

Regardless of whether you have taken over your garden or want to create a completely new one, check the soil conditions first.

Tip: If the soil is too loamy, add sand, and if the soil is too sandy, add mulch and humus.

Fertilizing, watering, cutting, weeding, harvesting, digging up, chopping, processing – a lot comes together in the garden, so balance your know-how with your time and financial budget. In other words, you should ask yourself:

  • What can I do on my own?
  • And for which activities do I need the help of neighbors or professionals?

The Takeaway:

Plants communicate with us. So taking care of them is not always as tricky as it seems. All you have to do is pay attention to the foliage and soil of your plants to ensure they thrive.

It’s not uncommon for gardeners to encounter problems with their plants, whether it’s a pest, disease, or lack of sunlight.

When you first start gardening, you will inevitably make mistakes. You may even lose your plants because of it. But you can avoid these common problems by following the tips discussed in the article.

The standard advice for dealing with a failing garden is to “water it.” But this isn’t enough. If your yard is getting watered but still has dead patches of grass, you’re doing it wrong.

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