The biggest challenge in my garden is...

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 155 votes:

Too much sun.
(13 votes, 8%)
Red dot

Too much shade.
(19 votes, 12%)
Red dot

Too many weeds.
(38 votes, 24%)
Red dot

Too much water.
(1 votes, 0%)
Red dot

Not enough water.
(6 votes, 3%)
Red dot

Not enough time.
(30 votes, 19%)
Red dot

Poor soil.
(22 votes, 14%)
Red dot

Other...tell us!
(26 votes, 16%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I try to keep up, but by summer's end I always have a geat crop of weeds!

After that I would have to say that not enough time>too much water>

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Too much Bermuda grass. The bane of my gardening existence here. Ugh! :(

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I f the plants I plant on purpose would grow as well as the weeds and as quickly too, I would be the world's best gardener.

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

Mind, body, and spirit — I don't function efficiently/effectively when all three are not synchronized. But, who does?

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i could vote for all of them but shade. never enough shade......and way too many weevils.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

WEEDS!!! UGH! In the beds, it's the Florida betony! In the lawn, it's Bermuda grass! Both are completely impossible to get rid of!
After that, my vote would be poor soil….Or should I say sand! All the compost in the world doesn't seem to improve it. It's almost like the sand devours it...

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I said "Other".
Too much sun. -- It can get very hot out in the field in August.
Too much shade. -- Mostly no problem, except in some small areas. Pick the right things for those places.
Too many weeds. -- Not a great problem except we have yellow nut sedge in one area. It's terrible!
Too much water. -- A low area along the creek can flood in a heavy rain. Just keep fingers crossed.
Not enough water. -- We have the whole 5 acres covered with drip tape.
Not enough time. -- Only if hired help doesn't work out. We have had good help last few years.
Poor soil. -- Mostly we have beautiful soil. Couple areas on the hillside not so nice. One will be seeded to alfalfa.

Looks like early spring here, so we will get a head start on these things.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

What do you plant in your shade areas?

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Other: uncooperative body. Which results in too many weeds, and too little actual time in the garden. Nevertheless, I keep adding new beds and expanding what I have. Hope springs eternal...

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Poor soil mostly. Black Walnut trees sometimes give me trouble but mainly with veggies. My soil is mostly clay and super dry in some spots and pretty moist in others. I'm on a hill and we had major erosion when we moved in so we hauled in dirt. That dirt burned my marigolds and Dusty Millers for years. Now I can grow stuff but it's a challenge.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

really the biggest challenge in my garden is me... too lazy and too many plants in too small a space. When I started, everything looked perfect and there was plenty of sun for all (too much for some)... but then these darn plants grew, and all the ones left in the dust rotted or learned to live in shade. Garden still looks as full as ever despite there being about 1000 less plants in it.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I voted "Other". I'm now living in a moblehome park where no one grows anything bush large out of control bushes to block the trailer next door. It was so closed in and made me feel claustraphobic. Have removed bushes down the sides of the trailer now just have to finish up in back and than I can container garden with my OGR's and some veggies. The soil here is also bad, so I figure container gardening is best.

Yucaipa, CA

I live in an area where there is clay soil and sand. I recently went to a soil dealer, where they gave a potting mix that was WAY too sandy mixed with a tiny amount of 'black gold'.

I resort to making my own mixes where out of necessity ($) I have to use some clay. AGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I think the problem here in Houston is that the weather is too inconsistent. The heat and humidity we have is extreme and then we get used to 75* in Nov and Dec and along comes a week of 22* that kills everything. We have some lovely days but then there are those "surprises". Last year we had the hottest summer since they've been keeping records. Prior to that, we had the two coldest winters we've had in 20 yrs. We have too much or too little of something and very few periods of just temperate weather. Oh, and when we do have some nice days, the mosquitos get the best of us. I grew up in North Louisiana and there was more predictable weather there. I guess it just makes us appreciate those "fine" days even more. Because of the weather extremes, my garden flora changes each year. Some things make it and some die so I try another plant so there are always some oldies and some newbies. I think in about 20 more years, I will have worked out who are the real survivors.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Although I answered shade, the biggest challenge is vandalism. Most of the front garden has been repeatedly sprayed with herbicide so nothing alive there.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

That's terrible. :(

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

Bermuda grass!....we should start a form on how to kill bermuda grass.
I had a piece of carpet all winter on one section, looked at it the other day and the grass under the carpet is yellow but just waiting to take over again.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I voted "Other" too: Not enough space, and DH won't let me turn the entire front lawn into nothing but garden beds!! < =( Whaaaaaaaahhhh!!!
I trick him though, I have been slowly and sneakily "expanding" the beds just a couple feet each year! Maybe by the time I'm 80 we'll have no more lawn! < =D

Sqwashbuckler, to you I would suggest straight compost in your beds. Nothing but compost, and add it in copious amounts each year. Forgo the fancy "mixes", and just add compost. In just a couple years you'll be amazed how much nicer they are. Lots and lots of compost. =)

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Quote from rentman :
Bermuda grass!....we should start a form on how to kill bermuda grass.
I had a piece of carpet all winter on one section, looked at it the other day and the grass under the carpet is yellow but just waiting to take over again.

I agree ... it's very sneaky. It lays low for awhile and hops up seemingly out of nowhere. It's on top of the ground, under the ground, seeds. It hangs on even in the shade. Very tough to eradicate. Phooey. :(

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

My soil is loose, years of compost, so it's easy to pull out but who likes to get down and pull weeds.

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

Cville, I have Bermudas grass and have had a lot of success against it by screening the soil when digging new beds, then lining the bed with weed blocker fabric before refilling it with native soil and compost. I get much better results than in the older beds that I didn't line with weed blocker. I'll probably wind up re-doing the old beds to the new "standard". For more info on the process, check out my blog, and search for "screen".

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Thank you, frogymon. That is very good info. I have not tried screening or sifting the soil and I can see where that would be very helpful. It only takes a little "sprig" of Bermuda to root and take off again. :)

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

I could have selected time as my biggest issue, but the truth is deer present the greatest challenge. Certainly limits what to plant and where to plant it.

Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks frogymon

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

Cville/rentman: You're welcome. Note that this takes longer than simply digging a new bed, but the time saved over the life of the bed is well worth it. I spend 95% less time weeding beds done this way than those done quick and easy. It also loosens the soil so the new plantings can establish a better root zone and gets all the rocks and trash out of the bed. You'd be amazed at the stuff I've found 6"-8" inches down; everything from spark plugs to broken glass/dishes to coins. My neighbor found a ruby and diamond ring in one of her beds.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

A ruby and diamond ring!!! ^_^

I have a bit of that deer issue going on here as well, mamasita. With gardening, it's always something.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I voted other also, because it's a variety of things
Too much sun in the backyard and not enough shade
Too many weeds, but just certain ones.....chickweed one of the worst!
The water is all dependant on the crazy weather the past couple years so I have to deal with it as it comes, last year was too much water, year before not enough
Too many ants, I've never seen so many!
Not enough $ to do all things I want to do

Irving, TX

Too much sun in the summer,
Too many weeds,
Not enough water (yay new rain barrel)


Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

The biggest challenge in my garden is...ME.

The weeds are a bit problematic, too, and there is never enough time, but ultimately it all comes back to me, the person who plants too much, plants the wrong things in the wrong places, plants things too close together, does more planting than maintenance, loves all of the things that don't belong in my area (and tries to grow them), and so on and so on.

PERTH, Australia

Too much sun, poor soil and too little water.

Millbury, MA(Zone 5a)

I voted "other" because we have too much shade, soil that is about 40% clay and 60% rocks -- where it isn't solid ledge about 8" down. On top of that, add in some deer and other critters, plus lots of Creeping Charlie, violets, and other assorted invasives (not even counting the poison ivy, Oriental bittersweet, barberry, dog roses, and other goodies that the birds plant for me all over the yard).

Actually, since my overall aim in this yard is to make it as wildlife friendly as I can, and since I have finally come to the conclusion that it's much cheaper to buy organic veggies than to try to grow them, I'm not really that upset about the state of my gardening efforts.

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

i Picked "Other" because of both too much shade, AND poor soil (red clay)

Country Club, CA(Zone 9a)

Anybody know what to do about oxalis? Someone said you have to dig down a foot or so and replace all soil. No way I could do that! Someone needs to invent a systemic spray that will take out the roots, which go everywhere, and go dormant in midwinter and summer, then pop up as soon as they get a little water and sun in Spring. Something like Round-Up tends to take out anything nearby.

Thumbnail by vlygrl
Croydon, Australia(Zone 9a)

Hard time trying to control the soil it is hard clay and i have beed doing every thing to make it lighter,
some times i just wanna give up, but i put almost every thing in post and the allow it to root to the earth

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

vlygrl, to get an idea of what you are fighting -- I had a pot with oxalis in it up in Fairbanks (winters down to -55). come fall I just dumped the pot into my greenhouse which was not heated though was built against the south side of the house. Come spring I had oxylis throughout the bed. I planted it outside that year thinking it would be a good ground cover. It didn't return. It surely didn't take much warmth, what little was in that greenhouse to allow it to live through our winters. Good luck.

My biggest limitation is me. If I may plagerize Dream of Spring . . . "the person who plants too much, plants the wrong things in the wrong places, plants things too close together, does more planting than maintenance, loves all of the things that don't belong in my area (and tries to grow them), and so on and so on."

Dayton, OH

I have a lot of probelms with weeds and don't have the energy and or time to keep up with everything. I'm just about ready to give it all up.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

I voted too many weeds, but I could have and should have voted other as I never have enough time to do what I want & need to do. No matter how much mulch, Preen, soil conditioning and other stuff I do, weeds are there, but that's country living for you. I have a lot of beds, sun and shade, and keep adding and tweaking. And then spring and summer comes and it's time to work the veggie garden. Then it's on to the next battle with the deer, possums and other unknown critters that rob the garden (fending to be improved this year I hope). Maybe I need to stop - ;~) Not happening by the way. Bermuda (wild or other) is another story. I've dug enough of this stuff to sod a city yard somewhere. Happy gardening.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9a)

Too much sun (one word, Phoenix!), not enough water and not enough time. It's a wonder I can grow anything!

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I hesitate to say these, but ....too much garden. We've got a full acre and beds everywhere, which are over whelming when I am less and less capable of bending, and getting up and down easily. We've laid weed block and planted lots of perrenials but it's still a lot of work. I'm looking out now and see all the spring clean-up and am getting tired even contemplating what needs doing.

It will get done.

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