7 Stages of gardening grief

There could be many reasons why a flower or vegetable garden fails, like lack of interest, but the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Extension says people tend to give up on gardening claiming that the soil is unsuitable. Complaints include soil that is too hard, soil that won't grow what the gardener wants to grow, and poor soil in general. Soil conditions can be amended, though, to eliminate soil as a reason to stop gardening. Lack of interest, on the other hand, is more difficult to cure. Even the most skilled gardener, with the optimum soil conditions in which to work, will occasionally lose one or more plants. For the most avid gardeners among us, here are the stages we progress through in our angst.


The plant had the best soil nutrients. The surrounding area was weed-free. Sufficient sun loomed overhead. The soil held the proper amount of moisture. Despite all the proper care, a plant still may die. Perhaps other causes, like meandering varmints, might have led to the plant's demise. The gardener is in shock, disbelief that such an event has occurred.


Maybe the plant is not really dead. Perhaps some additional water or a pruning will resuscitate the limp leaves. It just cannot be dead!


Days pass and the plant is looking worse. Leaves have shriveled into a mushy mix of decaying matter. "Fine," you say angrily, "go ahead and die!"


Anger rolls into desperation because you are not ready to give up. Lamenting in front of the plant, you plead for the plant to return. Perhaps the roots are still vital. You decide to continue care.


Alas, the plant has completely faded away. Just a void in the garden remains. Burdened with overwhelming sadness, you trudge indoors to lament your loss.


While drowning your sorrows with an over-priced cup of flavored coffee, you venture to the internet to seek advice. What could have been done to avoid this desperate situation?


Marvels of discovery, you learn exactly what you need or do not need to do to prevent premature plant death! Learning from your errors, you vow to try again next planting season.