Plant Problem Solver


if you find any errors or would like us to add to this database, please contact us. check back often as we continually update



Possible Cause

All Plants Seedling Dying soil disease, temperature, bug damage, no air circulation, irregular watering
All Plants Slow Seedling Growth compacted soil, no aeration, root bound, too low temps, soil disease, bad nutrients in soil
Broccoli Bolting temps too hot, temps too extreme in either direction varying days (hot then cold, etc), root bound, too much nitrogen, any kind of stress, end of life cycle
Broccoli Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs)
Cabbage Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs),
Carrot Tops Disappear slugs, birds, or bugs bunny (rabbit)
Carrot Tops Falling Over stepped on by humans or animals, storm damage, voles, weevils. heat, insufficient water
Kale Holes in Leaves bug damage (possibly cabbage butterfly larva or slugs),
Pepper Blossom (flower) Drop too cool temp (especially with hot peppers), too much nitrogen, low moisture, lack of pollination, uneven watering
Not flowering Lack of pollination, Temps below 50 or over 80 at night. Daytime temps below 60 deg f.
Curled or wrinkled Leaves Pests (aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mites), Environmental stress, Virus, Root bound
Tomato Blossom (flower) Drop too much nitrogen, too warm or too cold nights, high temps during day, lack of pollination, high humidity (pollen too sticky to fall), low humidity (pollen to dry to stick to female part of plant)
White Spots (not on fruit) Powdery mildew, leaf miners, septoria leaf spots
White Spots On Fruit white flies, grubs, stinkbug damage (fruit damage has starburst pattern), sun scald, bacterial canker
Yellowing Leaves early blight, late blight, bug damage, nutrient deficiency, end of season, fungus or bacteria, irregular watering
 Lower leaves dying fungal infection like Fusarium wilt, early blight, late blight or Septoria leaf spot

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The List


FREE Seed Inventory Spreadsheet

Keep track of your seed inventory with this spreadsheet. Don’t let your seeds get past their viability ever again. Download it to your mobile devices and take it with you wherever you go.
Storing seeds, particularly heirlooms, is a great way to save money and preserve our food heritage.

Download the spreadsheet here

Family Seed Planting Chart

What To Grow For A Family of 4
What a family of 4 needs to grow for a one year supply of food
The following chart is only an estimation.
Some would need more, others less. You must make your own adjustments.

Type of Vegetable/Fruit Amount of
Plants Needed
Spacing (if row)
Apple 3 Trees
Apricot 2 Trees
Asparagus 30 plants
Beans 100′ row 6″
Beets 100′ row 6″
Broccoli 25 Plants
Cabbage 15 Plants
Carrots 200 plants
Cauliflower 15 Plants
Celery 20 Plants
Cherry 2 Trees
Corn 200′ row 12″
Cucumber 10 Plants
Eggplant 10 Plants
Kohlrabi 20′ Row
Lettuce 30 Heads
Mustard 5 Plants
Onions (Green) 15′ Row 2″
Onions (Bulb) 30′ Row 8-12″
Parsley 3 Plants
Peaches 2 Trees
Pear 2 Trees
Peas 130′ Row 5″
Peppers (Green) 10 Plants
Peppers (Hot) 5 Plants
Plums 2 Trees
Popcorn 30′ Row 12″
Potatoes 60′ Row 36″
Pumpkins 5 Plants
Radishes 30′ Row 6″
Raspberry 100′ Row 12″
Sage 2 Plants
Spinach 20 Plants
Squash 5 Plants
Strawberry 100′ Row 24″
Tomatoes (Slicing) 10 Plants
Tomatoes (Paste) 20 Plants
Tomatoes (Salsa) 5 Plants
Turnips 10′ Row 8″
Watermelon 6 Plants

Seed Planting Depth

Vegetable Depth to plant
Asparagus 1’”
Beans (bush & pole) 1”
Beans (lima) 1”
Beets 1”
Broccoli 1/2”
Brussels Sprouts 1/2”
Cabbage 1/2”
Cantaloupe 1”
Carrot 1/2”
Cauliflower 1/2”
Cucumber 1/2”
Eggplant 1/2”
Kale 1/2”`
Kohlrabi 1/2”
Lettuce 1/2”
Okra 1”
Onion (seed) 1/2”
Parsley 1/8”
Pepper 1/2”
Potato 1-2”
Radish 1/2”
Spinach 1/2”
Swiss Chard 1”
Tomato 1/2”


Ph Needs For Vegetables

Vegetable Optimal pH
Artichoke 5.6-6.6
Asparagus 6.0-7.0
Beans 6.0-7.0
Beet 5.6-6.6
Broccoli 6.0-7.5
Brussels Sprouts 6.0-7.0
Cabbage 5.6-7.0
Cantaloupe 6.0-7.0
Carrot 5.0-6.0
Catnip 5.0-6.0
Cauliflower 6.0-7.0
Celery 6.0-7.0
Chard 6.0-7.0
Chili Pepper 5.0-6.0
Chives 5.0-6.0
Cucumber 5.0-6.0
Dill 5.0-6.0
Eggplant 5.0-6.0
Garlic 5.0-6.0
Kiwi 5.0-7.0
Leek 5.0-6.0
Lettuce 6.0-7.0
Mint 6.0-7.0
Mushroom 7.0-8.0
Okra 6.0-8.0
Onion 5.0-7.0
Parsley 6.0-8.0
Parsnip 5.0-7.0
Peas 5.6-6.6
Peanuts 5.0-6.0
Peppers 6.0-8.0
Potatoes 5.8-6.5
Pumpkins 5.5-7.0
Radish 6.0-7.0
Raspberry 5.0-7.0
Rhubarb 5.0-7.0
Rutabaga 5.0-7.0
Shallots 5.0-7.0
Soybeans 5.5-7.5
Spinach 5.0-7.0
Squash 6.0-7.0
Strawberries 6.0-7.0
Sunflower 6.0-7.0
Sweet Corn 6.0-7.0
Sweet Potatoes 5.0-7.0
Swiss Chard 6.0-7.0
Tobacco 5.0-7.0
Tomatoes 5.0-7.0
Turnips 5.0-7.0
Yam 6.0-8.0
Zucchini 6.0-7.0


Seed Viability Chart

The following chart will give you a guideline to saving your seeds. Many factors will affect the viability such as, the seed’s age, humidity, temperature and light.
Also, these numbers are minimum years. If the seeds are kept in optimal conditions you could expect much longer storage times. The germination rates usually starts to decline after that. I will say however, that I’ve germinated tomato seeds 25 years old that were only stored in a closet. I’m not suggesting you will have to same results, but under proper conditions the list below should be more than accurate.

Plant Years of Viability
Artichokes 5
Arugula 3
Asparagus 3
Basil 5
Beans (Bush & Pole) 3
Beets 2
Broccoli 3
Brussels Sprouts 4
Cabbage 4
Carrots 3
Cauliflower 4
Celery & Celeriac 3
Chard 4
Chicory 4
Chives 2
Cilantro 5
Collards 4
Corn 2-3
Cucumber 5
Dill 5
Eggplant 4
Endive 5
Fennel 4
Kale 4
Kohlrabi 5
Leeks 2
Lettuce 3
Marjoram 1
Muskmelon 5
Mustard 3
Okra 2
Onions (green & bulb) 1
Oregano 1
Parsley 2
Parsnip 1
Peas 3
Peppers (hot & sweet) 2
Pumpkins 4
Radishes 4
Rutabaga 5
Sage 2
Salsify 1
Sorghum 4
Soybean 2
Spinach 3
Squash 4
Strawberry 2
Sunflower 5
Tomatillo 3
Tomatoes 5
Turnips 4
Watercress 5
Watermelon 5