Help, please!!!!!

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by copper2, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Early this spring I built my first garden, the soil was miracle grow's vegetable soil. The plants in the raised beds( more like floating! The beds are 8x4 and are made out of concrete or something, and some are on sawhorses others on railroad ties.) flourished and produced well except for the watermelons having some disease ect. Now nothing is growing!!!!! I planted lettuce, mustard, and carrot last month! They are tiny not even an 2" in diameter! earlier this season I mulched with hay, and on the tomatoes bed added a lot of lime( blossom end rot) . The potatoes are about a foot high but not thriving( fall potatoes). I added more lime to the beds to fix any calcium malnutrition, got Jobe's organic fertilizer(4-4-4) which contains calcium! I have planted seedlings from the store and planted them, and they haven't grown much! And a cauliflower now has purple rimming! In the potato bed a tomato volunteer popped up, and it's stem was purple! phosphorus!!!! HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!:th
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The best thing you can do is have a soil sample done professionally. You need to know your pH first of all. If the wrong pH for the plant, nutrients cannot be uptaken by the plant.
    Additionally, you need to add nitrogen. Nitrogen quickly leaches from soil.
    The fertilizer in miracle gro soil is just enough to keep plants barely alive for the first go round. After that, it is gone.

    A garden center near you should be able to do the tests or send you in the right direction.

    I tested several of my beds last year by taking samples to the Missouri Botanical Garden who sent them to a lab in IL.
    I hadn't done samples in a long time and it made a huge difference.
     
  3. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much!!!
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    In the mean time, after taking those soil samples, you can put on a good balanced fertilizer. You might even want to do a foliar spray of miracle gro, or a similar brand. You could add some epsom salt to that, about 1 tbsp/gallon of water, and you should see things perk up.
     
  5. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    doesn't Epsom salt contain magnesium? I've added calcium already which contains magnesium but I'll try it!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Magnesium sulfate.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine was determined to be low in sulphur and high in phosphorus. (no surprise since it rotates as chicken pasture)

    I've long ago decided that it doesn't help to amend the soil, if you don't know what the deficiencies and strengths are.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Without a soils analysis you don’t know if you are helping or hurting when you amend the soil. Your best bet to get an analysis really inexpensively is probably to talk to your county extension office. You can find them in the phone book under county government if you still use a phone book or look them up online. Each state is different and you may have a charge, but here all I have to do is make sure the lady that handles that will be there and drop off a quart sample of dirt. In a few weeks I get the results in the mail at no charge. If I tell them what I want to grow, they’ll give recommendations as to what fertilizers or other stuff I need to add.

    A lack of calcium in your soil is usually not the reason for blossom end rot. Unless your soil is mostly sand most soils will have plenty of calcium, but a soils analysis will confirm that. To prevent BEM the right amount of calcium has to get to the fruit. The normal cause of that not happening is that the soil is too wet or too dry. Normally the best way to prevent BEM is to mulch your garden and keep the soil damp, not wet. My BER went way down when I started doing that. Another thing you can do is plant resistant varieties. Yellow pear tomatoes are highly susceptible to BEM so I don’t grow them. A lot of the paste tomatoes fall into that category too.

    The nutrients move from the soil through the roots and through the plant because of chemistry. I’m not going to pretend I fully understand the details but the pH of your soil, what other elements are in your soil and their chemical state are important. You’ll probably see something called “CEC” on your soils analysis. For those that understand it that’s pretty important. All I know is that my pH is a tad high but with my CEC it doesn’t matter. My soil is in good shape.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Calcium uptake is also greatly affected by pH and temperature. Someone with good agricultural experience (And I definitely don't claim that) can look at the plants, and tell what nutrients are lacking, based on the way the plants are growing, and the color of their leaves. I can say that when my leaves start to look chlorotic, or if the plants are looking a bit spindly, a shot of epsom salts will bring a visible change for the better, in my soil, in my garden, with my plants within 48 hours. Yes, a soil test is good, but, one can test yearly, and still have different NPK, pH, and micronutrients later in the season than they started with. So, IMO... soil test if you can, but feed the soil with lots of compost or mulch, and usually, it will get better over time. Learn what healthy plants look like, so you'll know when things are not looking right. Over time, you'll know when it's time to give an extra shot of compost tea, or other fertilizer.
     
  10. copper2

    copper2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, thanks! I'll get a soil test!
     

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