What Hidden Factors Are Harming Your Garden?

Your garden is a haven for fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more. It can be quite a beautiful ecosystem, but you might notice a few potted greens turning brittle or not growing. While you can always work on having a green thumb, there’s another hidden factor you need to think about — or a couple.


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Many harmful pollutants that kill your vegetation can go undetected, even if you’re vigilant in caring for your greenery. The best thing to do is to identify these elements and prepare your yard.

1. Weed Killers

It’s common knowledge that pesticides are unsuitable for the environment and your garden. However, many people tend to forget its by-product — herbicide or weed killers. These are meant to kill the smaller plants that may hinder the growth of your central plant. While this can initially seem good for your plants, their primary function is to kill greens.

Because of the herbicide’s composition, it evaporates and travels through the air, resulting in the particles drifting onto your garden plants and killing them as an aftereffect. Consider using a safer alternative rather than a spray-on product that’s harder to control. For instance, you can put salt and vinegar in direct contact with weeds.

2. Car Exhaust

Cars are practically a necessity today, but their exhaust emissions can affect the world’s air quality and deteriorate the air surrounding your garden. Car exhaust releases dangerous levels of nitrogen oxide pollution which can halt plant growth or even kill the plants directly. 

One fundamental way to take care of this factor is to switch wheels. The United States recently hit 5% of electric vehicle car sales, showing support for automobiles without internal combustion engines. This fast adoption of sustainable vehicles will hopefully lead to an overall reduction of smog. In the meantime, planting nitrogen-leveling plants in your garden can help to counteract the effects.

3. Cold Weather

Cold weather can be quite a joy since you can bundle up and watch the snowfall. However, it puts your plants in quite a precarious position. Be wary if your garden reads 32° Fahrenheit, as it signifies the possible presence of frost.

Many plants don’t do well in freezing temperatures, especially if they aren’t in a temperature-regulated greenhouse. It’s best to bring those plants indoors or shelter them with plastic covers to keep them safe.

4. Sunlight Exposure

Yes, all plants need sunlight, but there’s also such a thing as overexposure. Too much sun can break down leaf chlorophyll and turn your greens brown. Plants like ferns and hydrangeas grow better in the shade.

Too much light can also cause excessive humidity, which isn’t ideal for your plants, so keep an inventory of which ones need sun or require shade. That way, you can give your greens the optimum sunlight they need.

5. A Lack of Space

Have you ever been guilty of crowding your plants? Many gardeners may do this to accommodate more sprouts in their space, but it can do more harm than good.

Plants with a lot of roots need space to absorb water and breathe. When multiple greens are fighting under the soil, many of them don’t get the adequate amount of nutrients. Try to check the labels of your plants to know how much ground you should dedicate to them. You can also eyeball it, keeping the tips of the leaves around 4 centimeters apart.

6. Overwatering

You might think you can solve overcrowding problems by adding more water to your soil, but it doesn’t work that way. If the roots are too entangled, they will still be unable to absorb the water.

Overwatering in and of itself is also a factor that can harm your garden. It can drown the plant and hinder it from taking its air. Too many liquids also change the soil quality — and draining the water from your land can be hard.

7. Overfertilization

Another tendency to avoid when gardening is overfertilization. While adding compost provides your plant with extra nutrients, make it a point not to overdo it. Like water, too much of a good thing is bad for your greenery.

Adding too much soluble fertilizer with little to no leaching slows or stops the growth of your plants. You can also overwhelm your seedlings and cease any possible development since they can’t adapt to that environment quickly.

8. Tiny Insects

Your garden can attract several pests, including tiny insects you may be unaware of. They tend to leave traces, though — such as chewed leaves or nests — if you look hard enough.

It can be dangerous to engage with these pests directly, but there is a safe way to do so. Consider cultivating a few plants that can drive insects away naturally. For instance, mint and eucalyptus tend to repel wasps with their smell.

9. Wild Creatures

Another type of critter that might go unnoticed is wild animals, such as raccoons, possums, and birds. Unfortunately, this can be quite inevitable, especially if you live in an area that’s closer to the wilderness. However, seeing them trample and snack on your vegetation can still hurt.

Just like with insects, you should do your best not to apprehend these little creatures directly. Instead, try to add some garden fencing that will deter them from making any visits. You can also look into planters that keep your fruits, vegetables, and other delectables off the ground.

10. Pet Feces

Domesticated animals may not impact your garden, especially if you’ve trained them to steer clear of this part of your home. However, being wary of their fecal matter coming close to your vegetation’s soil is important.

Dog and cat poop contain parasitic pathogens and roundworms that are harmful to humans and garden plants. It’s essential to pick droppings up and remove them as soon as possible. You can also work on potty training them to go number two in a different part of the yard.

Clear Those Hidden Garden Pollutants

While some of these hidden factors are out of your reach, there are still measures you can take to keep your vegetation thriving. Be on the lookout for the points listed above and protect your garden as best as you can.

Author Bio

Jack Shaw is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, gardening, and caring for the outdoors. He’s the senior writer of Modded.com, and has contributed his advice through sites like CAD Details, House 2 Home Organizing, Log Cabin Hub, and more.