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What's been your biggest gardening frustration? Did the plant you tended to with the most care just die anyway? Or perhaps your tomatoes just never ripened at all?
We've all been there. Gardening is not an exact science and you will make mistakes, whether you want to grow your own in raised garden beds or cultivate a flower garden. New gardeners will experience the most frustrations, and it may be useful to know that you're not alone in order to not give up.
Seasoned gardeners may also be relieved to know that many others like them keep encountering the same problems year after year.
A brand-new gardening survey by Home Advisor (opens in new tab) asked 1,000 gardeners across the United States about their experiences, and especially about the ways in which the reality of gardening is different from our expectations.
More than one in three of the respondents took up gardening for the first time since the pandemic began – and many have found it to be hard work. By far the biggest gardening frustration, affecting well over half of gardeners (55 percent), is the difficulty of managing insects and pests in the garden.
Whether you're struggling to figure out how to get rid of aphids that are devouring your roses, or can't seem to find a good solution for how to keep rabbits out of your garden or yard, pests can be a real headache for gardeners and require a bit of experience and usually multiple approaches to tackle.
Unpredictable weather came in a close second in the list of top gardening frustrations, affecting 46 percent of gardeners. Climate change without a doubt is a huge contributing factor here.
As weather patterns generally become less predictable, even experienced gardeners will have lost crops and decorative plants to extreme heat, late or unprecedented frosts, and/or record rainfall. While this is the hardest problem to tackle, many gardeners will find that exploring wildlife garden ideas will allow them to make their gardens naturally more resilient to climate change and extreme weather.
These more serious problems aside, the things that frustrate many new gardeners are the time and effort required (39 percent) and smaller yields than expected (38 percent). Gardening, even for those with experience, can feel like a hard task at times, especially during seasons when you don't seem to get much in return.
Learning that others have felt this way may help new gardeners feel a bit more motivated, however – so stick with it, and it will get better.
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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