Top 10 reasons why new gardeners fail- with solution

Everyone likes freshly grown vegetables on the plate. Organic fresh vegetables are the first choice of every diner. I think many of you may have tried growing vegetables. Some have succeeded but not all. Gardening is an attractive hobby but it requires effort with patience. The difficulty in gardening leads to failure with production. Ultimately half of the new gardeners quiet too early.

Do you have a garden? Have you tried growing vegetables for your family? If you have then you know exactly what I am talking about. Gardening is not meant for lazy guys. It needs dedication to every task with care.

Checkout Can Grass Survive Snow? Winter Lawn Care

10 reasons why gardeners fail
10 reasons why gardeners fail

Why do people fail in gardening? – There are basically four reasons for gardening failure. These are-

  1. Wrong Plant selection
  2. Wrong Location or Agricultural Zone Selection
  3. In Appropriate Timing of Plantation
  4. Water Management

In simple words, we Fail in Gardening only if-” We choose a wrong plant to grow in the wrong location at the wrong time.  Lack of care for requirements like water, air, or sunlight is also responsible for failure.”

For details, we have extended these reasons to 10 important factors. You should read How to Grow Sweet Potato Vine Easily? Let’s check these out.

Top 10 reasons why new gardeners fail

  1. Size of The garden (big or small)
  2. Know What to Grow (food that you like)
  3. Where to Grow? (Proper location & Zones)
  4. When to Grow? (Spring, Summer, or fall)
  5. How much water required? (Dry or Soggy)
  6. What are fertilization needs? (heavy or moderate feeders)
  7. What are the common pests (Problems common to every plant)
  8. Soil ph & quality check
  9. Use mulch and other supports
  10. Requirements for Sunlight 

Other than these 10 reasons you should always care for 5 important factors. These are-

  1. Requirements for seed germination
  2. Caring Seedlings & small plants
  3. Proper spacing between plants
  4. Pruning
  5. Deadheading

Big is not always better

Growing big is not good for beginners. Starting with too many plants is the first reason for failure. Growing even a single plant is time taking. You have to spend hours with your plants.

So the size of the garden really matters. Bigger gardens need more time & effort than smaller ones. There are no such rules for proper garden size. It is perfectly your choice.

I would suggest starting with a smaller garden. You can easily test & try all your gardening knowledge. If you fail for the first time then don’t give up. Read learn and try once more.

What to Grow?

Choosing the wrong plant is another reason for failure in gardening. This is very common with new gardeners. Gardening is really exciting for everyone. Being a new gardener, everything seems so interesting, sometimes we get overexcited. This is the time when we do the mistake.

It is very common gardening information- Every plant is not the same. Most of the vegetables you like need a specific temperature and climate. Therefore,  choosing the right plant is the key to success in gardening.

If you are not sure what to choose then ask your seed seller for seasonal varieties. You can also research plants for your locality.  Also, write down in comment for extra help.

Where to Grow?

Every plant is different so their basic requirement is different. Some need more water others need less. You can grow indoors but many vegetables prefer outdoor growing conditions. All these suggest that the best location is always fruitful for gardening.

Special tips: – Raised garden beds is best for the root or leafy vegetables. Try to prepare garden beds facing north to south. East-West length is also good but I prefer north-south.

Grow bigger plants towards the north end and smaller ones in the south face. This gives an advantage for proper sunlight distribution. In this situation, the bigger plants can not cast shadows over the smaller plants.

Also, care for the plants sensitive to excess water or sunlight. Try growing these indoors or under proper shade. Provide some elevation to prevent waterlogging.  Check out- 13 Tips for Gardening in Rainy Season: Monsoon Gardening

When to Grow?

Most of the plants are characterized as either summer or winter plants. This is a very broad classification with many flaws.

You can understand this as if your area experiences a winter of 4 months. Then should you start growing in early or fall? Similarly, the rest of the year is warm so is it fair to grow summer plants anytime we want. No, exactly not.

Gardening is a dedicated job, you should be precise with proper timing. Every plant needs sometime before it can mature and give you something in return. The timing is a precise and natural event. So, it is better to learn which time is good for any vegetable. Learn about what time it requires to mature and fruit. All this information is essential for successful gardening.

Ignoring the timing or seasonality can cause severe damage to your plants. Timing is also very important for harvesting.

Water Requirements

Overwatering is the main cause of failure with new gardeners. We only thing of under-watering to be dangerous for our plants. In fact, overwatering is more dangerous than underwatering.

why gardeners fail-improper water managements
why gardeners fail-improper water managements

Most plants can survive dry soil for a few days. The soggy soil can kill a plant within a couple of days. Too much water can damage the natural mineral concentration of the soil. It can cause permanent damage to the potting soil. Overwatering is the main reason for the Root rot disease.

Underwatering on the other hand can cause stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, and even death of the plant. Therefore, both overwatering and underwatering should be avoided.

Special tips:- Beginner gardeners should check the soil with fingers or knuckles for the amount of moisture available. If you feel it moist then wait for 1 or 2 days and check again. Water only if it feels completely dry. Never pour too much water. Water enough just to make the soil moist.

Also read-13 Tips for Gardening in Rainy Season: Monsoon Gardening

Fertilizer requirements

Every plant needs some nutrients to grow or develop fruits. You can either feed them with organic composts or manures, these are the best eco-friendly options. Else you can use chemical fertilizers for faster growth. The best option is always a combination of both.

Just like water, proper fertilization is also very important. Some suggest that newbies in gardening need not worry about fertilizers. This is not true, fertilization whether organically or inorganically is an essential part of gardening. Even new gardeners should understand the basics of healthy plant growth.

Every plant has different specific requirements for nutrients. Start with learning and understanding these necessities before growing any. Care for the needs and dedicate some time to your plants and nature.

Special tips:- Prepare a soil mix with 30% organic compost or manure before growing your plant. This will ease your job with extra support. Add extra organic matter once in every 2 months to the soil. Cut the biodegradable material into very small pieces before use. You can also grind it if you wish.

Common Pest Problems

Bugs are common with gardening. Interestingly, overreaction causes more problems than bugs. Many of you may have faced this situation, trust me I have done this mistake.

why gardeners fail-control-common-pests

Seeing a tiny bug made me so worried that I had used several pesticides to get rid of it. The result was opposite as expected, I lost my plant due to chemical burn. This the most common mistake with new gardeners. They usually overreact to pest problems.

My suggestion check for bugs and insects attacking your plants. First learn more about them, how they grow, or how they infect. Next, treat manually if required, avoid any chemical use. Trust most of the pest problems can be controlled easily with soap water spray. Use neem oil if required.

Your regular investigation will keep these bugs away. Most probably you will never have to face any aggressive infestation. Even if you do, then check for the source before reacting to it. May be overwatering or overfertilization is the source of the problem. Control these and you are good to go with your growing garden.

Special Tips:- Use soapy water for whitefly and aphids. Also, use rubbing alcohol to treat mealybugs. You should read this post for details- Common Succulent Problem: 6 Pests and their treatment

Soil Ph & Quality

This very important and trust me almost every new gardeners have ignored this piece of information. The Soil ph acts as a barrier to the growth and sustainability of every plant.

Some plants need acidic soil while others like alkaline soil. There are some plants that can survive in a bigger range of ph values from acidic to slightly alkaline.

why gardeners fail-improper soil managements
why gardeners fail-improper soil managements

This variation can lead to a sudden drop in survival rate. I know this is tricky and not a very common problem. Still, I would suggest to read and learn more about the ph requirements of your plants. This will help you to solve any problem related to nutrients availability.

Next, the quality of the soil is also very important. A cactus loves sandy highly drained soil whereas a vegetable likes soil with a high concentration of humus. Organic matter is good for fruit and vegetable growth.

The texture of the soil is also important for root development. Well-drained soil is best for any plant, especially for kitchen garden plants.

Special tips:- You can use a Soil Ph testing kit or just baking soda or vinegar to test the ph balance.

Mulch & Other Support

Some plants need extra care, plants like creepers and vines need supports. Sometimes mulching is also required to protect excessively evaporation and to control weeds.

All these are simply easy to do jobs. But if miss these on time then you may have to pay hard. A little effort, attention to care is something you need. This is a matter or dedication with discipline, more than any money.

If you want to get the best yield then give your plant whatever it needs.

Special tips:- Use nets, sticks, and bands to give extra support to soft stem plants like creepers and vines. Apply some mulch to prevent water loss due to evaporation. This will keep weed growth under control. Peat moss and sphagnum moss is a good option for mulching.

Sunlight Requirement 

Every plant needs proper sunlight, Some need more while others don’t. Vegetables need direct sunlight for more than 6-8 hours every day.

Improper lighting arrangement is another big reason for failure in gardening. The seedlings can become leggy without proper sunlight. Growing plants can lose their chlorophyll with color without proper sunlight. Unhealthy seedling or plants can not bear healthy fruits. All of this can cause heavy damage to your crops and vegetables.

On the other hand, some plants like ferns and mosses love the shade. So you better grow them under a shade or in partial sunlight.

Caring for propper light even for indoor plants is very essential. You can try different locations and choose with your knowledge.

Do Plants grow at night, do they need darkness?

After all these tasks, you are probably feeling tired. I know it is tedious but wait there are a few more factors that can lead to failure. Check these out.

Seed Germination & caring

Proper germination technique with caring is an important step for gardening. Successful germination is a sign of healthy gardening. You should always follow the seed termination steps suggested by seed sellers.

Germination is followed by proper caring. This is a necessity for healthier growth. Caring new seedlings is very important as they as prone to several diseases. Always remember healthy seedlings means healthy plant.

Give some time to your baby plants. Learn about them and nurture them as much as you can. At first, it seems difficult but once you like it, everything will change. Gardening is very relaxing just like meditation.

Proper Spacing between plants

Everyone needs some space, even we all do -isn’t it. Like us, our plants also need some space on their own to grow healthy. If you try to grow too many seeds in a small place, no one will grow healthy.

Proper spacing is important to maintain enough room for roots. Some plants have a big fibrous root system while others have taproots. Their requirements are different. Similarly, their need for space is also very different.

You can grow tow plants close only if one has a deep root system and others have a shallow root system. This can ensure that they won’t compete for nutrients. This is growing herbs under a tree shade.

Spacing is necessary to maintain nutritional balance. Proper spacing can reduce your fertilizer needs up to 20% per plant. Bigger healthier yields are an advantage of proper spacing.

 Pruning & Deadheading

Finally, this something we all know but don’t care enough. Actually, Many beginners fear to cut or prune their plants. They think it will never grow back. But not pruning or deadheading is making the situation worse.

Gardeners fail due to improper pruning and deadheading
Gardeners fail due to improper pruning and deadheading

You should first understand the difference between pruning and deadheading. You can read How to deadhead marigolds in summer and winter?

Pruning and deadheading both are techniques of cutting stems or branches from a plant. When we cut any stem or branch before the fruiting season with the intention to get more branches then it is called running. Whereas, If we cut any dead branch or stem or even leaves to keep our plants green and healthy then this called deadheading.

Both these techniques are important but need some care and precaution. First, learn then try- Gardening is all about experimenting with nature.

Special tips:- Use sharp pruner or cutter for pruning your plants. You should prune only in the season with precaution. Cleaning the tools with antiseptic solution or rubbing alcohol is always recommended. Else the wound you make can become infected easily. Any mishandling with this step can easily kill your plant. So first try with one or two plants only.

Keep Gardening- Happy Gardeners @ Gardenbagan

Final Words 

Gardening is a tedious job. It requires proper care and attention. You may have to spend hours every week with your plants. Ultimately all your efforts will result in high yield. I can assure if you follow everything with the intention to learn then you will definitely succeed in Gardening. It is a very important task and deserves a second try.

Now think – Why Gardeners fail? Write your suggestions in the comment box.

Never give up! Keep Reading Keep gardening!


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts