Today, we are going to share with you four common gardening problems that can happen and how to fix them. These are basic problems that you can run into, whether you’re doing container gardening, you have a huge bed, or you have a full-scale farm.
0:00 Four Gardening Problems
0:39 Yellowing of Crops
3:19 Overgrowth of Foliage
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Hi, my name’s Lindsay and I’m here at the Urban Farm and today I’m gonna share with you four common gardening problems that can happen and how to fix them. So these are gonna be basic problems that you can run into, whether you’re doing container gardening, you have a huge bed, or you have a full scale farm.
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So one of the first ones is the yellowing of crops. So here we have an eggplant and you can see that the fruit has turned yellow when it should be a dark purple. So you can still see some of the purple undertones, but this is not as visually appealing and can be a sign of other problems. Like you can see this one may have looked purple on the plant, but on the other side we have some rot happening here. So we can tell that Yeah, you can see the mold. So we can tell that something is happening with this eggplant. So what we’re gonna do is just clean it up a little bit. I’m gonna remove all these yellow eggplant so the plant doesn’t have to worry about putting energy to them anymore. And yellow eggplant can be a sign of too much sun exposure. If we start to get blistering on plants, that can happen on tomatoes and peppers especially. They’ll form like a little white blister and that can be because of too much sun exposure. They’re literally getting sunburn. So that can be a sign that you need to put up shade cloth. Yellowing can be too much water, which I think is the case for this one. It is again in a sunny spot, so it could be a combination of the two. We have a white wall right here, so it does get some reflective sun. So we’re just gonna clean this up. Gonna take all the eggplant off of it and we’re gonna turn down the water on this one so it can dry out a little bit. And we’re just reducing this plant so it can focus on creating new eggplant. And then we’re also removing all the possibly diseased leaves and such. So hopefully this will help. But definitely yellowing crops can be a sign of a number of things. So just keep an eye out for yellowing crops or when it has specific sunburn damage and that blistering, you just wanna cut off those things. Usually you can still eat it, you wanna cut it off the plant and then just assess the surrounding area.
The second common problem that we can have when gardening is overgrowth of foliage. So this is okra and this is a couple of plants in here, but because of the leaves, you might assume it’s a lot more, but you can see where the actual okra is growing, it’s pretty minimal. So we’re not getting a lot of growth from the actual okra. So what we’re gonna do is cut off these leaves. It’s important to remember like especially when we’re gardening in the summer, that leaves do offer protection from the sun. So we don’t wanna strip the plant bear because that can sunburn our crops, it can make them dry out. But we do want to remove some of the excess leaves cause the okra doesn’t need to be putting energy towards the leaves. The leaves don’t do anything for us. This will also make it easier to see our crops. Same thing with pepper plants and tomato plants. Cleaning them up and removing excess leaves helps the plant put its energy into producing the actual crop we are looking to harvest. So for this one, you can see that the stem became a lot more visible where these okras are actually growing. Just gonna take off more of this. Again, I’m not trying to strip the plant completely, but I do want to make it a lot less leaf focused and a lot more focused on growing the actual plant, which in this case is okra.
A third common gardening problem can be overwatering. So especially in the summer, we wanna give our plants extra love. A lot of times we need to increase the amount of water we give the plants in the summer, but sometimes an excess of water can cause a lot of problems. So here we have two egg plants that are total goners because they’ve gotten way too much water. Part of this is we had a leak in our irrigation system, so we got that fixed, but it was a little bit too late and these eggplant suffered for it. You can also see them here getting some powdery mildew. So this is a disease and that’ll just take them out, especially in the summertime. It’s pretty prolific. So these eggplant are probably goners. But what we can do if we don’t want to completely get rid of the plant and we think we’ve solved the problem, so in this case we fixed the irrigation leak and we’re gonna turn it off completely in this section to let it dry out. We can cut the plant back. So you can see in the stems here it’s still green, which means the plant is still alive, it’s just not loving its current situation. So I’m just gonna cut this all the way back and we’ll take those cause those eggplant are still perfectly fine. But you can see this wiltiness can be a sign of overwatering. A lot of times when we think wilt, we think it’s too hot, but this disease will cause the wilting of the eggplant. Another thing to always check for if you’re worried about overwatering is how saturated your soil is. So right here you could tell that the soil is very saturated. So when you get a lot of rain, we’ve had rain the last few days, you wanna turn off your irrigation system if you have one or don’t water and you wanna make sure that you just do regular checkups on all your plants because this only took a couple of days to get this bad. So we’ll cut it back that far and we’ll see if it comes back. And if it does, great, and if it doesn’t, then for next time we will know that we need to check this area a little bit more closely when it rains cause water pools up here.
The final problem that we’re gonna discuss is pests. So pests can be an issue whether you’re gardening indoors or outdoors, no matter where you live, no matter what season it is. So here on this cucumber plant, we have had issues with squash bugs. So it just rained and I don’t see any adult squash bugs. Usually they go into the soil. Here you can see eggs. So these are squash bug eggs, and they lay them on the undersides of squash leaves, cucumber leaves, and throughout the season they’ll get less and less picky. And we’ve seen them on basil too, so they can be on a lot of crops and they usually lay on the underside of the leaves and they’ll lay these eggs in little groups, and what you can do is just squish them with your finger. The adult bugs are decently big, so they’re a little bit more gnarly. So if you don’t want to actually squish those with your fingers, you can drown them in soapy water or you can use a shopvac or something like that and suck them up. And they will usually be on the undersides of leaves too. But they’re pretty tricky and you can see they’ll start to cause. So this is a leaf I pulled off and it has eggs on it, but they will cause damage and they suck all the nutrients out of the plant. So they will literally just suck all the energy that’s going towards producing your crop out. So you wanna make sure that we get pests under control and that we’re constantly checking for things like white flies and squash bugs and caterpillars, horn worms. Here you can see those more. So we’re just gonna squish those and just maintaining your crops and keeping an eye out for them. When we’re talking about pests, it’s also important to realize that pests come in all shapes and sizes. So this eggplant upon first glance might look perfectly healthy and fine. But then when we flip over the underside of the leaf, we can see we have all these white flies. And white flies can be really hard to manage just because they’re so small and sometimes you don’t even realize that you have them on your crops until they’ve already completely infested a plant. So what we could do for white flies is just spray them down. So you can use a soapy water mixture, but because these eggplant are small, and I don’t really like using the soapy water mixture on eggplant because they have fuzzy leafs, so it’s just a little bit harder on them to wipe ’em off. You can just spray down the plant with a gentle mist or sprinkle and then that will help kill them. They die really easily upon impact, but squishing them is a little bit harder and they’re a little bit too fast. So spraying them down with water is a lot faster way to get rid of white flies. And then these ones were also in our cold room getting ready for our plant sale. So what we’re gonna do is just separate them from our other plants. We don’t want an infestation that’s gonna get everywhere. So just keeping that separate if possible. We don’t wanna plant a plant that’s infested with white flies before we get it taken care of. So the fourth common problem is pests and identifying them is really important to making sure that we have a disease free and pest free garden.
So these are four common problems that we definitely have here on the urban farm and that I’m sure a lot of you have in your gardens and have experienced through growing your own food. So if we realize these problems and we take productive active measures to stop them, we can have bountiful harvests in our garden and we can make sure that we are getting the healthiest food possible. We hope this helps you realize that every gardener has issues in their garden. We definitely do. And if you can identify some of these and practice responding to them and fixing them, it’ll make you a lot happier with the plants and produce you get from your garden. So I hope these four common problems help you identify maybe some of the things that are going wrong in your own garden. And I hope that you can take these and have the most productive season yet.