When choosing which plant to buy the label will tell you whether it needs sun or shade so you will know to place it in a suitable position. If it fails to thrive the reason could be that it has been attacked by aphids or other bugs, but if there is no sign of insect damage then the problem must lie in the soil. In his article which I found on the Backyard Growers website Duston McGroarty lists the ten signs that your soil is the problem and how to fix it.

You buy all the seeds and small plants for your vegetable garden. You spend time day dreaming about the day you will pick all the fresh vegetables. But, what you didn?t think about is your soil. Maybe you did, because you?re still having problems that don?t involve garden pests. The problem could be your soil.
Know the signs of bad soil, and what can cause it, before planting your garden.

?Here are 10 indications of bad soil and how to fix the problem.

  1. Low Nitrogen: If your plant leaves (low on the plant itself) are discoloring and falling off the soil is likely low in Nitrogen. Adding compost to the soil is an organic way to fix this issue.


  1. Low Phosphorous: Do your plants look purple? They are likely low in phosphorous. This happens because of the temperature of the soil. The Phosphorous is probably there but because of the temperature of the soil it?s unable to be released to aid the plant. Use some mulch to increase the soil temperature and get the phosphorous to release.


  1. ?Too much Nitrogen: Do you have lush foliage but little to no fruit? You could have too much nitrogen. Other signs include wilting and downward cupping of older leaves, followed by yellow and brown burnt areas on lower leaves. How do you fix this problem? Oddly enough ? mulch will fix this. Go slowly. You can also plant vegetables that will deplete or bring down the levels of nitrogen like cabbage, broccoli and corn.

See more at Backyard Growers