Need Help

SWFLNewBie1September 7, 2013

What should I do to make my veggie plants survive and look healthy?

I have planted in the potting soil.

My plants are in raised beds, in a greenhouse, with an overhead sprinkler ( timer waters every 6 hours for 10 mintues each time)

I fertilize with an all purpose vegetable fertilizer

My veggies are not doing well... I need help please?

I have read up a little on specific fertilizers for specific plants, but it all makes me head hurts.

Any help will be highly appreciated.

Thank you kindly

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you might be overwatering.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

I would also question the overhead watering. I'm no expert, but I think it's usually recommended to irrigate only the roots. It is my understanding that overhead watering plus our naturally high humidity can lead to fungal infections and rot. Perhaps being in a greenhouse changes this, especially if it is well ventilated, but I thought the purpose of a greenhouse was to basically maintain a higher humidity (in areas that are normally low in humidity)?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 2:28PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi, a picture would help...but from what you are saying I found the following mistakes for growing veggies.

Zone 10 at this time of the year don't need a greenhouse, mine in zone 9b is only use for protection from the freezing nights.

Overhead watering and that often can invite foliage diseases and root rot.

What vegetables are you growing now? there are planting times for cool or warm weather veggies.

What potting soil did you use? some of them come with fertilizer added.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:27PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

As Silvia says, greenhouse may not be best environment for veggies - especially in zone 10. Daytime temps here have been in the 90s & I can only imagine that plus high humidity would make it difficult for most, if not all, vegetables to survive.

Here is a link that might be useful: FL Veg. Gardening Guide

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:04AM
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keiki(10 FL)

Where in SWFL are you? When did you plant? I am in Cape Coral and I usually start my veggies the first of October. This year I jumped the gun and put a few things out last weekend. I was so anxious to get started. It is stil pretty warm for us and it has been raining a lot. As for fertilizer remember you are going to eat your fruit so you may want to stick with organic fertilizer. I use compost with lots of chicken manure as well as turkey organo, black cow, bone meal, fish emulsion etc.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 10:17AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

It sounds like you are making a big effort. Expect to improve as time goes by. Never give up.

Find a planting schedule on line for your zone. Timing is very important.

My biggest effort is working on the soil. A compost is mandatory for best results. If you start now it will take several months to get the first batch of finished compost. After that if you constantly are adding to your compost you will constantly get more finished compost.

In the off season, June into Sept., I grow "green manure". Legumes. I grew a crop of black eye peas. Plowed it under. I added to my bed boxes of old produce and buried it. Once a week. The worms devoured it and left behind some excellent manure.

In zone 10 every effort needs to be made to cool greenhouses. I have a small one for my orchids. The main purpose is to protect them from the cold in the winter. The greenhouse is completely open the rest of the year. Fans can help.

Seek out local gardeners. They can be helpful. is a link of how the indians in Brazil made their soil. Very interesting. Mimic their efforts.

Good luck

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:13AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

My greenhouse gets well over 100 in the summertime. Maybe try a hoop house with a big fan? I definitely wouldn't overhead irrigate for most vegetables. IMO, You are watering too often.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:12PM
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If your greenhouse is closed, the insects can't get in to pollinate. Plus, you shouldn't need a greenhouse in zone 10. Yes, you are definitely overwatering.

What veggies are you growing? The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide is a great resource that tells you what to plant when and how to take care of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:23PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

"I have planted in the potting soil." Not meant for ground plants although if your soil is very dry and sandy, it may work better than another type of location. Either way, it is likely comprised of a high % of peat, which holds too much moisture for a long time, until it is suddenly so dry that it is hydrophobic (unable to accept moisture.) It also causes roots to form an impenetrable ball/mass. Adding some compost before further attempts should help a lot, mitigating the weirdness of the peat, and adding tilth and fertility.

"timer waters every 6 hours for 10 mintues each time." Plants do not need water unless/until thirsty. Then they would like a slow, deep drink, left to dry until getting thirsty again. (But never actually wilting.) Too much water can rot roots.

Best of luck finding your groove! You can do it!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:47PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

10 days ago you reached out for help on your new gardening efforts and challenges. So what is going on? Keep us informed.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Good advice you've gotten so far - I would only add to keep trying! It wasn't until my 3rd year that I got enough of anything besides hot peppers to actually eat. But my garden has gotten better every year, and the last 2 years I've even been able to put some stuff up (canning and freezing).

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:25PM
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