So, you decided to paint your thumb green this year and it didn’t go as well as expected? Don’t fret, there are plenty of master gardeners and farmers that lose plants too. Backyard gardening is not always the easiest thing to do and takes some practice. This winter, learn as much as you can so that come spring, you can get back at it and this time next year, you could be yielding quite the harvest!

Follow along in today’s post as we discuss some common problems that affect vegetable gardens and what you can do to prevent or fix them. For the answers to all of your garden or crop questions, visit the most experienced farm supply store in Conroe — Conroe Feeders!

Temperature

That’s right, plants are as temperamental as we are when it comes to temperature-related comfort. While your vegetable plants may have grown, you may have noticed that some of them never set fruit or dropped blossoms. This is usually due to uncomfortable — too high or too low — temperatures. Before you plant next year, do some research on what temperatures the vegetables you intend to plant do best in and try to plan your planting season around them, beginning with planting the seeds indoors and transplanting at the appropriate time in spring.

Nutrient deficiency or toxicity.

Another common problem with gardens, in general, is a nutrient imbalance. Whether it is from the well-meaning gardener being too aggressive with fertilizer and plant food or from drought conditions, a nutrient imbalance can cause misshapen vegetables or plants that bare no fruit. To avoid this, you can have your soil tested and feed your garden only what is lacking.

At Conroe Feeders, we offer complimentary soil testing. Once you know what is in your soil, we can recommend the right product to produce the best garden. And, if prepackaged fertilizers and plant foot don’t have the right things for your soil, we can mix the right blend for you.

Pests

Pests such as insects and rodents are attracted to vegetables as much as you are! Not only are these pests devastating to gardens, but can cause illness if they go unnoticed and the crops are ingested. Common pests that infest vegetable gardens include aphids, stinkbugs, maggots, thrips, flies, and nematodes. Additionally, rodents and small animals including mice, squirrels, and rabbits may help themselves to a vegetable feast at your expense. To help combat infestation, you can use a variety of techniques including using wire mesh around your garden, laying bait traps for rodents, and use of pesticides. Safety considerations for each of these products will vary, but it is important to consider the risk to you as the gardener and whoever will eat your vegetables.

Disease

Less common, but still a concern is plant disease. While disease is not as common as the other concerns we have discussed, if it does afflict your garden, it has the potential to be the most devastating, so it is important to identify and treat it early. Cruciferous vegetables are at risk of clubroot, which is a particularly nasty and aggressive fungus that can live in the soil for up to 10 years, waiting for the right plant! Damping off and root rot are fungal diseases that can be treated with a fungicide, but can cause the entire garden to be lost. White mold is known to afflict most vegetables and root plants and flourishes in warm, damp environments. Bacterial disease such as bacterial wilt that prevents water distribution and eventual death of the plant, that has no known cure.

The best treatment for all garden disease is prevention! Many of the funguses are present in the soil before the garden is planted. Viral and bacterial infections are commonly spread through insect feeding wounds on the plant. The best course of disease prevention is soil testing and pest control.

At Conroe Feeders, you can find all the supplies you need to start or support a successful vegetable garden — including experts whose advice is invaluable! Stop on in to get your complimentary soil testing and recommendations on the best gardening products available. Visit us online or stop by today and we will help turn your thumb a brilliant shade of green!