Summer temps already!!

lam13(7)May 2, 2012

I've had many years of successful gardening with flowers and shrubs, but this year I have decided to grow my first vegetable garden (organically). Already having problems! Haha. I'm having my soil tested and think I've overwatered, so I'm cutting back on that and using a liquid fertilizer to keep things going until I get the soil test back.

One thing I haven't considered is whether the 88-90 degree temps we're having is causing some of the wilting and yellowing on my plants?Is it particularly stressful for new plantings? Anyone else having issues with the early heat?

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What plants are wilting and yellowing? What kind and how much fertilizer are you using?

For the problem plants, did you buy transplants, grow your own or direct seed?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Actually, all of them! :( I planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, watermelon, cantaloupe, bush beans, zucchini and squash. The tomatoes (Botanical Garden sale), peppers, cukes, squash & zucchini (Bonnie plants from HD) were transplants. The rest were grown from seed - eggplants & melons from seedlings and beans & okra direct seed. (I also have some direct seed lettuce & carrots, which were a bit of a gamble as I think those are more cool weather plants, but are actually NOT yellowing.)

Fertilizer - it was recommended by a local nursery. It's called FoxFarms Big Bloom organic fertilizer. 3 tablespoons per gallon of water 2x a week. I was hesitant to use fish emulsion as I have a VERY curious dog who is already quite interested in the garden. :) I was afraid the smell would further his dirt eating habit. (I know, weird dog!)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 5:35PM
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After reading up on Big Bloom, I'd call it very expensive water. It's probably not hurting anything but you don't need to fertilize that often.

On the yellowing issue; yes, you planted some things late and some things early and may get mixed results. The lettuce, in particular, may be bitter. On the other things, I don't think it's the warm weather -- almost everything you planted loves warm weather. The over-watering may have caused some root rot. Or it could simply be transplant shock if you didn't harden them off before planting -- those seedlings were probably in a controlled environment.

Either way, if the plants are still alive and not getting worse they will probably recover. I would check them for aphids. The aphids got an early start this spring and have been really bad at my house.

I had trouble with yellowing tomato plants this year for some reason. They weren't outside during the cold snap, so that's not it. But mine are recovering now and looking better. Of course, the nicest one I have now is a volunteer growing in the front landscape beds -- probably planted by a bird in a nice fertilizer package. :)

One more thing -- better cover up those curcurbits with row cover. The squash bugs will be here soon.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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I'll bet it's fun seeing random plants pop up here and there. Hope your volunteer does well!

I just got back my soil test results and have an explanation for the sad looking plants:

P - 121 lb/acre Very High
K - 1560 lb/acre Excessively High
Mg - 616 lb/acre Neutral
Ca - 4674 lb/acre Neutral
pH - is 8.0

I'm going to have to figure out some fertilizers or amendments to get this straight. It says to add N, but I'll also have to come up with a way to lower the pH. I posted in the Soil Forum so maybe I'll get some suggestions there. Hope it's not a lost cause for the year!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:50PM
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That test is not that far out of whack. Just the pH is a concern. Hopefully the Soil folks will have something for you -- high pH is definitely not something I'd ever had to deal with!

For the nitrogen, I would apply a healthy dose of cottonseed meal. It's mostly nitrogen, tends to lower the pH a bit, is safe around tender young plants and doesn't make any drastic changes which could shock the plants further. Then don't fertilize with anything else until you actually need it.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 5:07PM
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u watering with city water? most of the city water in is awful for veggies had the same problem last year here in hartselle/decatur area.using rain water now and i have never seen such results from my garden

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:39PM
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jnypop: It's funny you posted that - We got some good rain earlier in the week and everything was looking better. Saturday I watered using city water and noticed my plants looked slightly worse, even though I know they needed water (dry down to 3 inches below the soil). I'm interested in doing some rainwater harvesting, but can't figure out how to best collect it. I've read mixed opinions about safety regarding water collected from roof runoff. Some feel it isn't safe for vegetable gardens as it picks up contaminants from roof shingles. How are you collecting yours?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 2:28PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

Well, I know here in central Al. you had better catch it while you can.A few 5 gal buckets set out close by your garden will work.If it rains and they don't catch any water, you might outta move your garden.We are getting our second week of good predictions, every evening around 7p. Just waiting on my first tomatoes.I planted way just trying to leave them alone,an wait.I'm having to get them from friends, and you can tell a good friend, from just a friend. A friend will let you pick some of their best tomatoes!A good friend will bring some of their best over to your house!... Get to pick in'

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:15PM
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