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How to Kill a Garden in Five Easy Steps

Updated on May 22, 2012

There hundreds, nay millions of articles online detailing the path to success in your gardening endeavors and extolling the virtues of the proverbial green thumb. But nary a one could be found explaining the deeply complex process of destroying the lush, fertile vegetation that is inevitably abounding in your back yard should you have decided to plant a garden. Quite frankly, it's a bore. There are millions of successful gardeners in the world, so it is high time that humanity saw a successfully bad gardener. I may be the original, but with a bit of practice you can find you own breed of plant-lethal gardening.

Here's the fail-proof process that I found is going to help you get rid of all that over-grown greenery in your garden, and replace it instead with far more contained, lower maintenance plant form-- the dead one.

1. Start Your Seeds in a Small Container

Who buys the healthy, already strong plants at the greenhouse to put in their gardens? It's far more cost effective, especially for this kind of project, to start your own seedlings. At a dollar or so per package of a hundred seeds, it's entirely feasible to start at least twenty, say, tomato plants in very small containers. After a few weeks, you may notice that they are no longer getting larger which indicates that they are root bound. This is the perfect time to put them in the garden.

2. Plant in Full Sun, Preferably Next to Cement

Full sun is the perfect place to plant the delicate little seedlings. The intense, direct sun, paired with the heat reflecting off the cement will quickly wilt the small leaves.

Excessive watering at this point may help delay the inevitable demise of the plant life forms, so keep on top of it! Your patience will be amply, if slowly rewarded.

3. Over-water the Plants in the Shade

Now, this is exactly the opposite tactic used for the cement scorched plants. Over the ones that you find receive plenty of shade throughout the day, pour the water liberally and without reproach.

Now, these plants will not shrivel up and die. Rather, they will yellow and then curl up in a suffocated little ball of greenery and fall over in a limp, pathetic little help. Weep services and put flowers on their graves.

Gardening is not a rational act.
~Margaret Atwood

4. Allow a Small Child or Dog to Enjoy the Beauty of Your Garden Area

What better way to efficiently baby-sit and accomplish your gardening goals at the same time? This one is quite self-explanatory-- simply send your charge, small human or animal, to find hours of amusement and enjoyment in your vegetable patch! The essence of efficiency.

5. Prune Eratically

The highly civilized form of pruning pictured at right? Far too healthy! Take those very same shears and begin to clip indiscriminately. Leaves, buds, stems, none are too be spared in the massive hair cut.

There is one plant that seems to enjoy being shorn on a regular basis. Zucchini has been known to thrive under this treatment, and indeed under every other above indignity that may be imposed on it. Given it's tendency to proliferate excessively, I apologize but you can consider yourself warned.


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    • collegatariat profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by April! Those are some great suggestions, but I'm not even sure that I aspire to the kind of skill that killing cactus in the desert takes. ;)

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      wonderful! It also helps to live in the desert and never get around to fixing your irrigation system. I have even managed to kill my cactus.

    • collegatariat profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Kathleen! Sorry I've taken so long to respond-- it was a loooonng weekend away. :) Thanks for the recommendation on the gardenias! I live in Colorado, so keeping things in pots and pulling them inside during freezes has worked for delicate plants in the past.

      Also, thank you for offering to send the irises! I love those flowers, and very much appreciate your kindness. I'll send you my address in a message.

      Thanks again for everything! :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Your profile doesn't say where you live, but give dwarf gardenias a try. They are practically indistructable, especially if you start them in pots for the first year. Also iris, my favorite, grow almost anywhere with little care - if they get plenty of sun. I could send you some of mine when I divide them in July?

    • collegatariat profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Oh, I love azaleas Dolores, and I'm sure that yours are beautiful! Unfortunately I don't live in a part of the country where they grow well, but if I did I'd kill them too in all likelihood! Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I loved this one! The title is fabulous and so funny! But it did make me think. I was just outside pruning azaleas and somehow, despite years of gardening experience, wound up making them worse. You really have to think about what you do in the garden.

    • collegatariat profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Kathleen! Unfortunately, I know how well these things work from sad experience... like you, no matter how many things I read or wonderful tips I implement, successful gardening eludes me. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you. I've fought the good fight with nature for years in my attempts to surround myself with the beauty of flowers and the usefulness of vegetables. I read, yes, millions of articles on what to do. Thanks for a brief checklist of what not to do. Doing the wrong thing can so quickly erradicate all the "to dos" you've tried.


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