My garden is dying!

jengc(7)April 27, 2009

I was outside gardening this weekend and noticed my spinach was very yellow like it has gotten too hot. Then I saw another bean (Rattlesnake pole bean I think) look like it was burnt bad too. And my lettuce looks horrid. It isn't from lack of watering. I watered them once in the morning, and once in the afternoon after seeing the soil was bone dry (tested it below the surface to make sure I wasn't over watering.

Oh and I put out my cucumbers and they turned white about 2 hours after I planted them.

Here are pictures I took after I planted everything.

I am going to take pictures of them now to show you what I am talking about.


Here is a link that might be useful: photo bucket

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I updated the album with new pictures but they are still hard to see what I am talking about. One pepper plant is completely gone. I'm sure some critter ate it. I guess I will have to either build a chicken wire cage on my sick day (home due to the flu) or start some in containers on the deck. *sigh*

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 10:01AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I have no advice, only sympathy. Many of my wonderful seedlings that I have nurtured and cared for have withered and died for no apparent reason.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 1:49PM
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I wonder if it is because it has been in the 80s for the past few days. I just thought they were big enough to withstand it! *cry* I am going to 100% container gardening if this keeps up!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 2:07PM
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Melissa Houser

I don't know what's up with your plants, but here are a few things that I have encountered with my SFG.

Are you planting according to the chart on the back of the seed envelope? Carrots and lettuce won't even germinate for me if it's too hot.

Beans always seem to look really poor during their growth cycle. Mine will grow very well until they are about a foot tall, then turn a sick yellow for a couple of weeks before finally turning green and producing a bumper crop of beans. With beans, my best advice is patience.

Try not to water during the hottest part of the day, don't get the leaves wet when you do water, and avoid watering after 5ish so that water doesn't sit on your plants overnight. Those are the only explanations I can find for why your cucumber plants would turn white so quickly.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and wait for a few days and see how the plant responds. Water only when needed...and twice a day might be too much, depending on your soil mixture. Please let us know how your plants are doing in a few days.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 2:20PM
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Dan Staley

Cukes turning 'white' sounds like they weren't hardened off. Spinach is a cool season - mine got snowed on last night and you'd never know. Pictures don't really help, but why are lima beans so close to edge and not in middle of container? Beans in general don't like too much heat. I can't tell how you are watering but stop the overhead watering if you are doing so. Hard to tell what you are doing wrong, but my suspicion is you started late and the weather is not cooperating.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:16PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I have to agree with Dan. You made no mention of the seedlings history and back ground - if store bought you have to assume they are NOT hardened off, no matter how big they are. I would try shading them to see if you can save them.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 8:11PM
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Well, I didnt realize I had to harden off cucumbers. I just heard that about tomatoes. I started all my plants from seeds so they are not store bought. I started everything by the chart I had. I didnt think anything could handle going through a frost. I have carrots that I started in a container that was kept in a greenhouse during cold nights that germinated but never got anything big. Potatoes are going like gangbusters. I am overhead watering. I will stop that. I am won't water when I come home from work (after 5 pm).

I have been thinking of propping up a tarp to shade it from some sun. They are predicting that it will rain all week and highs in the 70s so maybe that will save them.

I planted the beans/peas near the edge so it can get on the trellis better. I thought if I put them in the middle, it would be harder for them to start climbing on the trellis. Not a good idea?? Man I wish I had this information when I STARTED! (Not blaming you, just this information was not be be found when I did my endless research on this kind of things) Oh well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:43PM
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Dan Staley

Almost everything needs at least some hardening off/adjustment period, as you are learning.

A non-transparent tarp will be too much shade. Use your row cover fabric instead, or purchase a bolt of shade cloth that has 60-70% transmission, or treble clear poly tarp like painter's drop cloth you get at bigbox stores; you will likely want some form of one or more of these materials as they are all useful and needed at some point: row cover for frost protection, shade cloth to prevent bolting, clear poly to heat soil in spring.

BTW, welcome to gardening, where we all learn lessons at the same unforgiving nature's school. I have a hort degree and have gardened for ~4 decades now and still make mistakes, and so I come to this forum to keep learning.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 2:23PM
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Melissa Houser

Oh, Jengc, I certainly hope that I didn't come off badly! I wasn't making accusations, just listing a few things that I have learned in my barely one year of gardening. Everything I listed is a mistake I made last year because I did everything wrong...yet still managed to get a few things that grew very well.

I had my garden going pretty well this year, then an unexpected move forced me to start over from the ground up. I literally had to rebuild my beds and replant everything and, since I'm in Florida, I probably won't get much of a harvest this year. However, I'll keep trying and making many mistakes as Igo. :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 5:06AM
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Oh no no! You didn't come off badly! I guess I am just frustrated. lol I really thought "oh this can't be that hard. Make the mix, plant the seeds, VIOLA! FOOD!" LOL uh....nope.

I didnt get a chance to look at the garden yesterday afternoon (went to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert..HE ROCKS!) so I am not sure what they are doing, but I planted a croockneck squash plant and cucumber on the other side of the yard and they not only have grown, they look so healthy! The cucumber is still white striped, but I figured if they look healthy, I'm not going to worry about it. We are SUPPOSE to have rain today but nothing has come so far. I will check on it when I get home this afternoon.

Thanks for your help guys! I am just having to figure out what you do with what. I have started some more cabbage seeds and plan to plant them in a container and move them inside if it gets too hot. I am seriously thinking of making some sort of place to put some of my cooler plants in the basement where my fluorescent light is. Give them that kind of light but be in a cooler temperature might help extend my growing season. Too bad cantelope and watermelon wont fit. I could have summer fruit all year long! LOL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:33PM
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