Vegetables: Problems

Gardens & Landscapes January 03, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Vegetables | Selection | Planning and Preparing | Planting | Maintenance | Problems

Links to external web pages are followed by the source's name in parentheses.

Properly planning, preparing, and maintaining the vegetable garden reduces the chances for problems to develop in the garden. When vegetable problems do occur, it is important to accurately identify or diagnose them so proper control and management strategies can be implemented.


Diagnosing Problems in the Vegetable Garden

Blossom end rot on tomato. (Photo credit: David B. Langston, University of Georgia,

Identifying or diagnosing problems begins with asking the right questions to narrow down the list of possible problems. The following article provides some guidelines for asking these questions:

Managing Insect and Disease Problems

Using soaker hoses in the vegetable garden, rather than overhead sprinklers, can help minimize disease by providing a steady supply of moisture to the ground without wetting the leaves. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)

Careful management of the vegetable garden will help eliminate many problems in the garden. See what you can do to prevent or control insects and diseases in the home vegetable garden in the following articles:

Regional Vegetable Insect and Disease Resources

Identify vegetable insect and disease problems, along with their solutions, by looking up resources that most closely match your region of the country.

Managing Animal Problems

Excerpt from: Jack Kerrigan and Margaret Nagel, Ohio State University[1]

This vegetable garden is fenced in to keep deer away from the harvest. (Photo credit: Karen Jeannette)

Deer, raccoons, woodchucks, rabbits and squirrels may browse in the vegetable garden. The first line of defense against wildlife is to keep them out of the garden area. Locate the garden plot away from areas that are the home of wildlife. Fencing will restrict many mammals, but it may need to be 6 inches into the soil to deter some pests, such as woodchucks.

Commercially available products designed to deter animal pests through scent, sound, or touch, are usually only partially effective. A fence around the garden area or the presence of a cat or dog nearby may be more effective choices for control. For food safety reasons, however, pets should be kept out of the garden itself.

Animal Resources

Use the following tool to help identify which animal species is causing damage in the garden:

More information about specific wildlife species can be found at eXtension's:


  1. Kerrigan, J. and M. Nagel. 1998. Ohio Master Gardener Online Manual. Ohio State University Extension. (accessed January 23, 2008)

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.