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Friday, June 22, 2012

5 Gardening Aggravations!

Aggravations are sure to enter into everyone's lives at some time or another and when we think of aggravations as a part gardening a whole lot of subjects arise! In fact this list of 5 gardening aggravations that I'm about to share with you could extend well beyond the necessary 5 items for a Friday Fives post.  It could even be material for future posts on the subject - which would result in quite a few future posts!  Today I'll list the five gardening aggravations that are on my mind at the moment. Feel free to suggest a few more in the comments below.

5 Gardening Aggravations


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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!
  4. 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. 
  5. Ragweed
  6. 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? 

15 comments :

  1. Ongoing drought, never-kink hoses that kink, oak tree root sprouts, unlabeled plants in nurseries...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The drought seems be be effecting a lot of folks this year. We just aren't getting the right weather!

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  2. have to go with #1-watering every other day is a pain! but i have too much time and $ invested to let the vegie garden dry up-even with a layer of mulch the squash and cucumbers just wilt in the midday heat-wonder if shade cloth might help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know just what you mean about time and money invested! Shade cloth might be an idea. As long as the plants get enough light. If you could strategically arrange it to block the sun for the hottest period of the day it just might work!

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  3. Rabbits and groundhogs ruined my cabbage, tomato plants, and ate my English pea plants right down to ground level, and I tried EVERY repellant I could find. Nothing will dissuade them, when they're hungry enough. I'm starting my next garden inside our yard's 6-foot chain link fence. Our cat regularly patrol the yard...and I pity the foolish varmint that trespasses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rabbits are a frustrating one! Let them meet the kitties!

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  4. For me it's the cheap hoses and bugs. Bugs are even attacking my basil and mint this year, and the ticks are driving me nuts. If I kill mint I'm going to be very upset with myself as a gardener!!

    Does anyone know of a companion plant good for basil??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ticks are awful this year! I'm still getting them daily and we're really into some hot weather that they don't like. Our mint often dies back some this time of year in the heat and dryness. Keep it moist and it should be alright. Even if not it may come back fine when cooler weather returns.

      Plant your basil around tomatoes - great combo - wards off bugs and pests.

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  5. Squash vine borers. Digging up plants this weekend...right when things were going so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There aren't many insects I despise more than the borers! Start some more seeds and try for succession planting is about the only option!

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  6. Drought and weeds. But I'm being tolerant right now of the less invasive weeds because at least they are shading the soil. But once we get a good soaking rain I'll pull those little puppies right out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good thought on shading the soil. Keeps it cooler and keeps whatever moisture there is in longer. Although after attempting some weeding this morning, I've determined that weeding concrete like soil is best left until we've had a rain. Let's keep our fingers crossed that one is in the future!

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  7. Weeds drive me crazy. Even mulch doesn't keep them away. Dave, have you tried onions with your roses. Roses like banana peels buried near roots. Chopped up of course.
    A lot of rain here. Sure wish you had some of it. Mosquitoes are getting bad now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried onions with the roses -yet! I have some ornamental alliums that would probably be great for that. Send us any moisture you have if you can - we need it!

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  8. Regarding hoses, I've had good luck with the Water Right brand (US made, supposedly lead-free) - http://www.waterrightinc.com/coil-hose.htm

    I'm in TN too and have pretty much given up on the lawn. The drought's so bad where I am that even most of the weeds have died.

    As for the veggie garden, with supplemental water, the cherry tomatoes and beans are doing OK, cucumbers are coming along too, but the okra looks seriously stunted.

    As a 2nd year gardener, the harsh conditions have actually given me a good education, as you say, to see what plants can survive without too much coddling and which ones may not be the best match with our sometimes harsh climate.

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Dave

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