Top 8 Summer Gardening Challenges

vegetable garden and house in summer with blue sky

On the summer solstice I asked for the top three things that challenge you in the summer garden and you answered! Here are the top 8 issues that keep many of you up at night thinking about your garden:

  1. Weeds: After reading all of the comments it’s possible that weeds define the summer garden! Many of you are thinking about invasive weeds taking over your garden, weeds coming up in your mulch, how to tell which plants are weeds, and knowing which weeds are most important to pull.
  2. Pest control: Large pests such as rabbits and chipmunks and tiny ones like flea beetle are attacking many of your gardens. And the mosquitoes are driving a lot of you crazy!
  3. Seeds: Seed sowing continues in the summer garden. From starting seeds at the right time of year so you end up with large seedlings for summer planting to what to do when seeds don’t germinate –those tiny little bundles of energy can create confusion in the garden.
  4. Harvest: Many readers aren’t sure about the right time to harvest their vegetables. And when it is time to harvest you have trouble keeping up and want to make sure you aren’t wasting the vegetables you’ve grown.
  5. Plants: When you are out in your garden surveying the plants you are thinking, “Are they big and healthy enough?” “Did I give them enough room to grow?” “Why did I buy that last batch of plants from the nursery? I don’t have anywhere to put them.”
  6. Watering: Our community of readers is dealing with the full spectrum of water issues from flooding to drought. Some of you are trying to set up systems for watering and others are wondering how much to water.
  7. Garden Planning: How to rotate crops, planting for maximum yields and figuring out how succession planting works are all important planning topics on the minds of blogs readers.
  8. Time: For those who work full time, have families and other commitments, or live far away from their gardens, carving out time to work in the garden can be a challenge. Waiting and having patience for things to grow is also a lesson the garden is teaching all of us.

Some favorite quotes about reader challenges from the comments:

“Not being able to leave the nursery without rescuing another plant that I don’t have room for!”

“I do love that you learn something new about gardening every year and that it is like multiple science experiments going at one time!!”

“Accepting that I need to share with other critters that visit the garden–chipmunks, etc.”

 “Little feet and hands “helping” in the garden… I see this as a good thing, but I don’t think the plants do.”

In the coming weeks I’ll be addressing some of these challenges to help you find solutions that work for your garden and inspire you to keep your energy up for the summer gardening season.

See the other posts in this series about beating the weeds, watering the right way, and planting for great fall harvests.



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