5 Gardening Aggravations
- Drought - Drought conditions are all over Tennessee at the moment. The grass is crinkly and brown and even the drought tolerant plants we have are showing signs of stress. Drought tolerant means they can deal with these conditions not that they enjoy them! I'm watering the vegetable garden every other day to insure a good crop and keeping other stressed plants watered as needed. Generally when you water you should water less often and water deeply (which means longer). I covered several garden watering tips in this post.
- Hoses - Hoses are simply frustrating! You lug around these cheap garden hoses that kink up constantly. I'm too cheap to spend money on the good never kink hoses (Amazon Link) and aggravation always ensues. Then no matter what kind of hose you have - it's never long enough! You quickly can get to the end of the hose and have to come up with some creative method of watering the often involves an arc of water that extends your range another 15 to 20 feet! I've done this so many times that I've become highly skilled at aiming the water arc to exactly where it needs to go. Soaker hoses and irrigation systems are a great option but that takes time to set up.
- Insects - Insects can be the bane of every gardener's existence. The most notable pest right now is the Japanese beetle. The damage hasn't been too bad and has been mainly on the roses which will eventually come back with brand new foliage. Japanese beetle traps don't work - or work too well as an attractant - and aren't worth the money spent on them. I've had success with soapy water and hot sauce but they eventually come back. One thing I have noticed is that my grape vines haven't been damaged that have been surrounded by cilantro plants. I let the cilantro bolt and the tall plants have covered our young vines. Perhaps the scent of the cilantro has masked the presence of the grape vines. It might be something to try!
- Dying Plants! We have quite a few dying plants right now due to the weather conditions. There's only so much time available to spend watering and to try to keep things alive. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Gardeners need to plant what will grow in their area successfully with fewer additional resources. If a plant dies because it needs special attention than it may not be the right plant for the gardener's garden. This is one reason why natives are very well suited to gardens! If the weather conditions kill off a plant than take note of it and either try a different location next time or go with a different plant.
- Weeds - Despite the drought weeds survive! Ragweed and Johnson grass are the two that are present in our garden right now. There seems to be nothing can stop them short of constant mechanical removal. They really are amazing plants that never seem to have an issue with the weather. They are so highly adapted to the local weather conditions that it's too bad they aren't useful for something - ragweed biofuels anyone?
Now it's your turn, what aggravations are you dealing with in your garden?