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10 Reasons to Not Have a Garden

Updated on May 28, 2013
The beginning of a raised bed garden in my backyard
The beginning of a raised bed garden in my backyard | Source

I grew up in New Jersey, and while we had a small tomato garden in the backyard, my grandparents had a massive garden in theirs. It was multiple beds, each one stretching further than my little ten-year-old eyes could stretch. They grew carrots, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and plenty of other fresh vegetables. Along a stretch of fence, they had a flower garden, and along the other stretch of fence, they had raspberry bushes. Everything a kid could want.

Now that I have the time and room, I decided to grow a garden of my own. But it wasn’t quite what I expected. In fact, now I know why it’s a good idea to avoid having a garden.

Tomato hornworm caterpillar hiding and eating my plants
Tomato hornworm caterpillar hiding and eating my plants | Source

One – caterpillars

Tomato hornworms were not something I signed up for. The caterpillars are totally creepy looking, and they really hang on to those branches. I sure don’t want to have to fight them off my tomatoes, but if they don’t get yanked off and thrown to the birds, they will eat all the leaves and tomatoes you have. You can spray your garden for them, but if you’re trying to keep pesticide free, it might be hard to do with these not so little bugs.

Two – cost

Starting a garden isn’t cheap. Since our soil here isn’t soil – it’s clay – we had to go with raised beds. The beds cost about $40, plus the dirt, plus the starter plants. Then we needed all sorts of other things, like stakes, gloves, and even a new head for the hose.

The first crop of tomatoes!
The first crop of tomatoes! | Source

Three - overabundance

There’s the old joke about planting zucchini and then having to sneak it into neighbor’s homes and cars because there is just too much of it. Well, that can happen. You don’t want to waste food, but sometimes the garden is just producing and producing, and there’s only so much you can eat. You can share it, but sometimes you can’t find enough people to give it to.

Tomato plants starting to grow
Tomato plants starting to grow | Source

Four – water

Gardens need water. It’s best to water the garden in the early morning or the early evening, so you have to remember to be out there every day, making sure that the garden gets enough, but not too much, water. And going back to cost – water isn’t free, either. While it might not make a huge increase in your water bill, you will notice it going up a bit.

Five – responsibility

You have to take care of your garden. It’s a living thing. It needs care and feeding, literally. You need to water it, fertilize it, pull off those caterpillars, and keep an eye on its growth.

Six – did I mention responsibility?

You need to water it, you need to add new stakes when the plants get too big, you need to get rid of bugs and fend off bunnies. It might all sound little, but if you were to just ignore your garden, it would quickly run to ruin or overgrowth. Fruit rotting on the vine isn’t exactly pleasant.

Yellow flowers on the tomato plants
Yellow flowers on the tomato plants | Source

Seven – bees

Bees are good, I know. They help pollinate things, and with the current problems with bee decimation and colonies being destroyed from both inside and out, it’s good to see bees in the garden. But, now I don’t know about you, I am not fond of bees. They fly around and buzz, and I’m always just waiting for them to sting me. I know that they probably won’t, and I’ve been right next to them to pick some tomatoes, but something in me wants to snap each time I see one, and I immediately want to run away screaming like a little girl.

Eight – space

My garden is pretty small, but it still takes up a good amount of space. Each plot is four feet by four feet. It took some planning to figure out where to put that in the backyard, especially in the current age of postage-stamp sized plots of lands. Yes, we had the space, but not everyone does.

Tomatoes starting to ripen
Tomatoes starting to ripen | Source

Nine – really, did I mention responsibility?

I feel like I may be harping on this point, but it’s an important one. It is a lot of responsibility, even just a small plot like I have. When I think back to my grandparents’ garden, I realize how much time and effort it really was. They grew their plants from seedlings, and they kept it going all summer long, providing us with fresh vegetables, but at a cost of a lot of their time and effort.

Ten – weeding

I had to include this one because I don’t know anyone who thinks, “Wow, what a great way to spend a hot Saturday afternoon! Bent over, digging weeds out of the dirt!” Even if my back didn’t get sore, and even if I wasn’t squeamish about finding those caterpillars, weeding would be at the top of the list of reasons to avoid a garden.

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Okay, so maybe those are ten reasons not to have a garden, but you only need one reason to have one, and it counteracts all of those. Growing and eating your very own vegetables makes it all worthwhile. Nothing tastes as good as a fresh tomato that you grew and plucked yourself.

Miracle-Gro on raised bed gardening


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    • KatSanger profile imageAUTHOR

      Katherine Sanger 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Ceres - I was being a bit tongue it cheek, but it really is a lot of work if you want to make it successful. Personally, I do think it's well worth the work and money you put into it, and I plan on keeping my garden going every year now that I've got the initial investment.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      5 years ago

      These are all very good reasons not to have a garden. Having a garden is really a huge responsibility because it takes a lot of hard work to maintain it and take care of it. Those who are planning to have a garden could take these things into consideration to see if they are really committed to having a garden and would have a lot of time to be able to work on the garden.


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