Gardening Challenges – The Sun-Gazette Newspaper

If the plant is getting more sun than usual and it is the heat of summer, installing a shade cloth or umbrella can provide a more pleasant environment. Also check your irrigation timers, lines and settings, as a power outage may have reset the schedule. Use a moisture meter near the base of the plant – the surface may feel dry, but the roots may be too wet.

Check around the root zone of failing plants: Is the soil totally dry or very wet with standing water or smelling of sulphur? Gophers and voles will chew through irrigation lines diverting water away from plants, leaving the resulting leaky pipes to cause excess water elsewhere. Equipment damage to a main irrigation line may not be evident at the soil surface, but could flood the root zone, preventing oxygen supply to the roots. Mushrooms growing in the area indicate soggy soil.

A wait-and-see approach, in addition to making some accommodations for the plant, such as providing shade cover for a plant that was previously in shade and now in full sun or adjusting irrigation, can make the plant healthy.

If the challenge has overwhelmed the factory, how can you prevent a recurrence? Assess the site for sun and shade, drainage, existing plants and trees, and ease of irrigation. When selecting plants, consider the gardener’s issues, such as how long it takes to care for plants that need a lot of attention to thrive, or the ability to do the work needed to make a plant look its best. .

Soil tests can be done for pH, nutrients and trace elements. Home test kits are relatively inexpensive, but accuracy varies. A commercial lab will provide accurate analysis, but they are more expensive. Home tests that can provide useful information include squeezing a handful of soil to check how it clumps, digging a hole and measuring how long it takes to drain, looking for worms in the dug up soil, and testing the Soil pH with a test kit. or probe.

Planting in containers is easier for the gardener and can protect plants from pests and environmental problems. Pots placed on the porch are easier to monitor for pest invasion, can be moved for sun or frost protection, and provide herbs or vegetables close to the kitchen.

Learning new information, such as selecting the best plants for your site or cultural care to produce your dream garden, is a good place to start. Working around inevitable challenges makes us more complete gardeners. Imagine how you will feel next year after completing the challenge and creating a lovely garden.

The Master Gardeners will be live to answer your questions on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kaweah Oaks Preserve in Exeter for Go Native: A Native American Cultural Celebration. They can also be contacted between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to answer your questions at 559-684-3325, or visit their website at

Comments are closed.