I don't know what's wrong

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Tabitha, May 9, 2006.

  1. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    sob, this is the worst garden I ever had and I have hardly started. I wonder if someone can tell me what went wrong. we started seeds on the 18th of march. Must have been the worst date possible. would you believe they still are in the two leaf stage. they just simply wil not grow. all of them, tomatoes, cabbages green and purple, kohlrabi, broccoli, flowers, peppers. even cucumbers. the only thing I did different to years past is that I used storebought potting soil with one third sand mixed in, and it is a new garden. . I have a small greenhouse.
    I must say the lettuce, spinach and radishes etc are very measly too. Nothing seems to want to grow. this is a new experience for me. OUr land has lain fallow for 15 years at least. we bushhogged it once a year and left the grass, weeds on the ground to rot and build up the soil. must not have done much. I always thought grass was manure that the cow had not eaten.
    beets look the worst. everything sprouts and then quits growing. the only thing that looks normal are the onions and parsley. so far. and the buckwheat that reseeded itself from last year. (I had planted the garden in a green manure crop that included buckwheat , beans, clover and sunflowers). I guess it is too late to buy brassica plants . I got some potbound ones at the amish greenhouse...hope they will grow. what does not do well in Kentucky at all? what grows well? My mother in law just says she always could raise anything they wanted. my neighbor says you can not grow anything here without 10-10-10. Heaven forbid.



    Patience is a bitter herb, but the fruit is sweet.
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    it sounds like it does need fertilizer. are they outside already? or still in pots?

    also, it is not too late to plant already started plants. this is a whole lot easier than starting from seed, as you will have already healthy plants.

    check local gardening stores and the co-op for organic fertilizers, if you want to avoid chemicals.
     

  3. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    you may have a point. I used fish emulsion on them, also gave them some manure tea. I am afraid they will be just too old and stunted to grow.
    I have looked and have not found organic fertilizer. the only thing organic I came up with was blood meal and bonemeal. What do you mean by co-op? sorry to sound so dumb, I have not lived here all too long. the nursery where we bought some fruittrees has nothing organic. I put goat manure in the beds that the brassicas are supposed to go in. but my supply did not cover the whole garden. Long time ago I bought some potting soil that was contaminated with some chemical that big greenhouses use to slow down growth of plants, so they don't get ahead of the market. My geraniums did not grow all summer. I also am at a loss as I do not find things I am familiar with and need to learn what is offered here instead. I used to put ground up iron ore slake on the garden in late winter for phosphate, before the snow melted, also put on lime at that time, the lime was not powdered like here, but more granular. I am sure you have rock meal , but I sure have not seen any in any of the stores that have garden centers, like Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-mart or the Nursery I go to, since the guy who owns it wants to make a living too. I also have a problem with the names of products, (I found out that Kalium is called Potassium here but that goes for everything, I often have to explain what an item is for and what it looks like, especially if it is hardware, things you do not use but rarely, lately I have found out what a bushing is). I also have looked everwhere for Nitrogen- Lime. Nobody has even heared of it. that is something I miss, lime is burnt in some process that takes nitrogen out of the air and combines it with the lime. It is poisonous fresh, kills pathogens in the soil but breaks down very rapidly and is then very beneficial. I always used it in the compost heap as it also facilitates rapid breakdown of the carbon materials and I used loads of sawdust.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you had a soil test done? That would be the best thing to do, then you know exactly what you are working with.

    Nitrogen-lime is calcium cyanamide but I don't know where you would find it as we don't use synthetic fertilizers.
     
  5. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I must confess you have me confused about what exactly you have going on. Do you have plants you are starting in pots? Starting in the garden? I'm not understanding what you have or for what you are asking help. Let's start from the begining and see where you are in this process so we can try to help you. Let me ask a few questions first. What part of KY are you living in? Have you tested the garden soil? What have you done to the soil to date? What has been grown there in the past or what has the garden spot you've chosen been used for in the past? What plants/seedling do you have and how are they being grown? Hopefully we can get you the answers you need.
     
  6. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    Hi Willy, sorry if I don't sound coherent. I live in Central Ky . My gardening experience in the past has not prepared me for Ky it seems. Okay, we wanted to start seedlings, in pots. (it is not as if it was the first time).The usual, tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, some flowers. My date for starting them has always been March 18, so my husband sowed them in flat plastic containers and put them on the window sill. I had gotten a bag of potting soil and mixed in about one third of sand. My garden here is new and I don't have any compost yet. I was gone at the time, when I got back I transplanted some of the seedlings into those black plastic sixpacks, made a pro forma cold frame and put them outside, covered them with a pane of glass.Put straw around for insulation. Nothing unusual, when my husband got a small greenhouse built I moved them into the green house. I have a two gallon container of fish emulsion that is two years old. I used that in watering, once in a while. sorry, I did not note on the calender every time. but about three times. we had the soil tested and it needs nitrogen and phosphate, PH is 6.4. my plants were not outside though. They just sprouted and then sat there, still have two leaves right now, after almost three months. I mixed the fish emulsion according to direction and then watered it down some as I knew it would be difficult to get the exact amount on the plants that they recommend. (did not want to overdo it). I also gave them some manure tea once or twice.
    as to our spot: a previous owner kept cattle on it, that was about 16 years ago. there was also a tobacco base. We have had the place for 14 years now and kept it bushhogged, leaving the cuttings where they fell. three years ago I had it plowed and planted it in green manure cover crops,first in beans, then in buckwheat, also sunflowers and clover and winterwheat. same last year. I also put a layer of mulch on it, spoiled hay mostly and straw, but also leaves. I put hydrated lime on it and on some parts two loads of goat manure. so that is the extent of it. I hope I managed to express myself clearly. Last fall I planted some canola and some collard greens. the collards fretted themselves along but then took off, and now are big and fat, blooming for the bees.
    an Amish aquaintance from Ohio says that down here you have to work harder for what you grow. Where do you live Willy? do you have any problems growing certain things? I mean, what can I forget about in Kentucky (besides bananas). Last fall I noticed that the cucumbers I planted all got sick and died. but the dill did splendid, so did basil, and so did beans. I planted lovage, my plants usually get six feet tall, here it died. I know that the soil needs building up, but I have no idea where to get what. I go to the places where the farmers shop, like Southern States and places that sell seeds and feeds and fertilizers. I am glad I found buckwheat, (they thought I wanted to attract deer).
    Yea, I know it's calcium cyanamide, and yes, I found a source, out in California and it costs more than I care to spend because it is imported. But I sure wish I had some for that pile of oak leaves that I have.
    well, that about sums it up.
    Thanks !


    f
     
  7. Dahc

    Dahc Don't Tase me, bro!?!

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    Have you had a lot of overcast days? It seems to me that if you had a pH or nutrient problem, your plants would not appear to be healthy. There would be coloration differences and they would actually look like something was wrong with them and if the pH was off more than 1 or 2 points, they would die being so young. With a lack of sunlight, the plants would appear healthy but not grow at any kind of noticable pace.

    Have they been getting enough sunlight? There also could be soil born illness involved but to me, it still seems like the plants would show it in more ways than just not growing.
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This sounds like the soil to me. When we first moved to MO we planted out a big garden and nothing grew...what a shock! We had come from MI and our garden was sandy loam you could grow anything in so we thought we were gardeners :) It was a constant fight here with poor acid soil and rocks until we build raised beds and only amend the soil in these. One thing you can do if you decide to buy plants now is just amend the planting holes with a good fertilizer,sometimes we will just use MiracleGrow garden soil in the holes of valuable plants. If we tried to stay strictly organic the first years we were here we wouldn't have had any garden at all. Even the oldtimers know how hard it is to garden here. You have time to go online to Gardens Alive and get good organic fertilizer shipped. We use alot of seaweed/fish fertilizer,too. Finally getting to where we have enough compost. Good luck. DEE
     
  9. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tabitha, you're coming across clear now. For starters I live in Harrison Co. This has been a pretty good spring to set plants (except for the pesky jobs interfering with planting). I want to suggest a few things. Starting plants inside takes some special care for me. If you're using 'potting soil' take care since all of them are not the same. The good stuff will have a lot of peat or sphagnum moss to lighten it up. The bad will look and act like something dredged up from the bottom of a bog--dark and dense. If you want to use sand use coarse sand. Next don't over water. If you have your pots in a tray, empty the tray after 15 min so the pots aren't sitting in water. Give them a chance to go a little dry before you water them again. The roots need air as well as water and too much will stunt or even rot them off. One of the hardest things inside is enough light, can't get too much. If you moved the plants outside under glass it is easy to overheat them if not vented when the sun is shinning, and for the warm weather plants--tomatoe, peppers, ect. I still have not set mine outside for good, on the cool nights, like it will be all this week it is still too cool. We take them out on nice days, leave them out on nice nights, but I won't plant them till after Mothers Day as a rule (maybe a week later this year).
    If you and your husband would like (and it isn't too far away) me and my wife can take a look at what you got and see if there is something I can't tell about from this discussion. As for what you are planting---don't know of a lot that won't grow in Central KY (long as they can survive the winter freeze). I had melons and cucumbers all through the summer into fall last year. All cole crops do well. In any event don't give up. You've got time to start plants yet, don't overlook all that can be grown summer and fall as well as in the spring garden.