Biggest challenges?

What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in growing your own food?

The weather. Last year we we inundated with rain in the spring, so my raised no-till beds were absolutely packed down. Then it was dry. The year before, my blueberries were decimated by Japanese beetles. I went out daily with a bucket of soapy water and knocked them in, then took them to “chicken camp.” I also used beneficial nematodes, so hopefully this year will be better. I planted spring bulbs under the bushes to encourage early pollinators to come by.

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We’ve had an awful time with pests. Probably the most disheartening for me are the squash vine borers. Summer squash is supposed to be an easy crop!!! But it isn’t anymore. I’ve kept vines alive but it’s labor intensive and requires more attention than I can usually give. The kids would love to grow pumpkins but they never make it.

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My challenges are legion. Weather certainly has not been helpful. Also, we have a lot of squirrels, who happen to enjoy tomatoes! Another thing that has been a problem in the past is that the neighbors don’t control their kids- and the kids think nothing of plowing through my gardening area. I am hopeful that I can move to an area where I have greater control over surroundings.

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Weather also. We’ve had several rainy springs and then the summer showers are few and far. We also have been developing stinkbug invasion in our area.

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Weather is the single factor that’s hardest to control without a greenhouse! With regard to the Japanese beetles, have you looked into using milky spore? I talk about it a bit here: https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/controlling-beetles-naturally/

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Have you tried planting marigolds among your crops? They’re said to repel stink bugs. (They’re a great companion plant for repelling other pests, too, so win-win.)

YES to growing squash because it’s supposed to be easy! Squash vine borer is a huge pain for a lot of gardeners. Knock wood, it’s not a huge problem here. Try checking the underside of leaves for their eggs. If you find them, duct tape makes quick work of removing them.

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Multiple frustrations. I hope you can get that undisturbed garden sometime soon!

I used milky spore, too. I had read that 4 o’clocks are a tasty treat to Japanese beetles, but that the leaves are toxic to them. I planted a large pot of them in my blueberry enclosure. This year the damage from beetles was less than last year. I think that the multi-faceted approach made the difference. Stay tuned to see what happens this year.

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I’d have to say “time”. We both work full time. It’s hard to carve out time when there is so much else to do. That being said, we’re still going to plant a few things this year while planning for a larger garden (and maybe a few hens).

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Thanks, Krisbordessa! <3

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Time and money are always the biggies, I think! Perennials and trees are a good option and less time intensive to care for than an annual veggie garden. At least in the sense that the work is done once and you can reap a harvest for years!

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Totally agree! And for me a good plan, too! It helps me to know where to spend my time (and money) on the garden.

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I’m a beginner gardener and it’s been a lot of fun so far. The challenges I have faced are wishing I had more time to be out in the garden, the seeming never-ending removal of torpedo grass (an invasive grass in my area), and learning when and how to harvest food so as to not injure the plant or waste food. I’m reading up on these topics and there is a lot of great information out there and helpful people. One of the most helpful things I have found are Facebook groups specific to my area and websites/blogs such as this one. :slight_smile:

We have some fairly persistent weeds here, too. I’ve found some of these tactics to work well, if not for complete eradication, then at least to keep them at bay: https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/natural-weed-killers/

Sorry to hear about your struggles. Is it possible to build a fence around the garden?

Not on my budget, or on a rented lot with the property manager being on a clean-up kick. No, my best bet is to change my financial situation and get the hoo-rah out of here! At least the trouble-making kids have either outgrown that stage or moved out completely. :slight_smile:

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Not on my budget, or on a rented lot with the property manager being on a clean-up kick. No, my best bet is to change my financial situation and get the hoo-rah out of here! At least the trouble-making kids have either outgrown that stage or moved out completely. :slight_smile:


crazyliblady

    March 15

Sorry to hear about your struggles. Is it possible to build a fence around the garden?


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In Reply To


Sister-T

    February 15

My challenges are legion. Weather certainly has not been helpful. Also, we have a lot of squirrels, who happen to enjoy tomatoes! Another thing that has been a problem in the past is that the neighbors don’t control their kids- and the kids think nothing of plowing through my gardening area. I am ho…


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I also have trouble with time to maintain my garden. I think I have had the best success by picking plants that don’t require so much maintenance. For example, tomatoes are a little more picky whereas lettuce, rosemary, chives, green onions, and carrots are very low maintenance in comparison. I love tomatoes, and I like growing them, but I buy them at the farmer’s market so that someone else is doing the heavy lifting. Good luck!

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