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Pretty discouraged

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Please don't give up!!

Post  jdepce on 4/15/2012, 7:26 pm

I know it's hard to start over but it looks like you'll have to. I live in Ocala, FL and I bought vegie dirt from the local mulch emporium and had it delivered last year.
I can't tell you how much it's helped to have a native person mix the proper ingredients to fill the boxes.
I had 3 yards delivered and filled 6 boxes 4 x 4 x 11 to the very top and 1 5 x 15 x11" box to the top. It cost me $110 and I don't regret it at all.
My broccoli it 17" tall, the peas are crowding out the Malibar Spinach (which gives me spinach all through the summer heat, the tomatoes are just setting now and we've been eating huge salads for a month now.
I'm sure from reading that everyone is telling you the right facts that it's the compost that's giving you trouble but if you'll just take a deep breath and start out again with a positive attitude, I'm sure this can be fixed and you'll be rewarded quickly.
Best of luck, kitty
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Water, water, water and then water some more......

Post  tomperrin on 4/15/2012, 8:58 pm

@BillOcala wrote:
(2) I also found that after I thought I was done watering the first time that if I dug down - the mix was bone dry underneath! It took A LOT of water to get that stuff truely wet the first time. It holds an incredible amount of water.

+1

I have a large number of new squares, all filled to the brim with new MM mixed according to instructions. While I watered the MM when putting it into the square, I'm now finding that the MM is not completely saturated. On the other hand, my squares from last year are quite wet with the same amount of watering. The only thing that has saved my seedlings is that I water twice a day, morning and evening.

The conclusion that I am drawing is that with a new square, I might just as well bring up a chair, sit down, and hose the square until it tests wet from top to bottom. It doesn't help that we have had no rain for two weeks. That, and the high winds have pretty much sucked the moisture right out of the ground.

Given the lack of snow this winter, I anticipate a late summer drought. I'm thinking rain barrels are in my future.
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  Pisachi on 4/15/2012, 11:25 pm

Let me give you a tip that has really helped me lately.

I use composted manure and kitchen scraps a lot for compost, and sometimes I get worried that it isn't all broken down enough. So this year, I got online and bought 2000 red wiggler worms from Jim's Worm Farm. I put a couple handfuls of worms into each of my beds as I was planting them. I can already tell a difference. Those worms are taking their jobs seriously, and my plants really seem to be loving it.

A lot of the bait shops around here have worms for cheap in the summer time too. You can buy a bunch of 'em for $5. You might give that a shot and see if it helps. Wink
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  plantoid on 4/15/2012, 11:38 pm

Some of the failures might also be down to mushroom compost and the high lime content of the local water.

Most muchroom compost is made up of horse muck , chicken muck , straw and lime or gypsum .The latter two speeds up the composting but limestone changes the pH gypsum does not but it is expensive to manufacture and may be make up from recycled ceiling boards

As I've said the gypsum is expensive so ground limestone is often used instead and it will be present inthe spent compost so what your puitting in your initial MM is something that can easily change the pH if you use it . Making your MM more alkaline will not help you grow seedlings .

Those of you who have old established earth based beds will obviously grow better than a lime heavy new MM set up .

As Airdoc said the barks , wood chips and sawdusts can take a long time to decay ,thus depleting the beds of nitrogen and have then down rotted sufficiently to commence putting nitrogen back into the bed.

Remember that the manufacturers of commercially available composts only want it on their hands for as short a possible to maximise profits .

They usually off load for sale it as soon as they can legaly imply it is compost ,, that frequently means lots of uncomposted nitrogen robbing material in their products , which apparently can take up to seven years to fully compost . Thats why when you add your own home produced correctly made compost your beds start improving like you'd never imagine as it will be high in the nitrogen level.

I have enhanced most of my newly constructed MM beds with purchased fish , blood & bone meal a few weeks before planting anything in the beds , this has also included the carrot squares but it is for this year only as I have my own fully composted animal manures almost ready to blend & use.
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  littlesapphire on 4/16/2012, 3:22 pm

I had this exact same problem my first year of SFG gardening. The plants weren't doing well at all, they were small and some of them yellowish (some were purple), and they hardly produced anything. In the end, the problem was the compost I added. I could only find cow manure that first year, so that's all I added. So for the rest of the year, I used miracle grow to feed my plants, and they did pretty well.

But don't give up on your Mel's Mix! It's a work in progress. If you keep feeding your plants fertilizer this year, and then put a scoop of GOOD compost in the holes when you remove the plants, the Mel's Mix will continue to improve year after year. And the compost you put in this year, with those wood chips, will continue to break down and more nutrients will become available to your plants over time. So it's not a total loss. It just means you'll have to keep working at it, and keep feeding your plants until your mix is perfected.
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  karental on 4/18/2012, 9:12 am

Since I started applying bloodmeal to the garden, everything has perked up. The squash plants that were hanging in there stopped yellowing and are even becoming a deep green. They are growing larger and one even has a squash on it - granted it's a single, tiny squash, but at least it is producing. The cabbage are doing better and one has nearly caught up to the size of the cabbages in the self-watering containers. Most of the tomato plants have baby tomatoes on them now, even though they are still quite small. Two of the pepper plants (the cubanelles) are producing and are growing taller. The eggplants are blossoming but aren't producing yet. The beans and cucumbers I planted originally are still struggling and may not make it, but the ones I planted subsequent to amending the soil seem to be healthy.

Hopefully my spring garden will continue to grow. If it does I will definitely take pictures. Before I plant for the fall I will add appropriate nitrogen-providing compost. I'm also going to get some worms. I want my sfg to provide for my husband and me, and not just be a hobby, so I must figure out how to overcome this slow start. Thanks, everybody. thanks
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  llama momma on 4/18/2012, 9:21 am

Things will get much better, and the rough start will be a distant memory. It's been said before, but once again, hang in there!
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 3:41 pm

I am sorry for you slow start. I am glad things seem to be getting better. I am excited that I found this post. I am having the exact same problem. New SFG this year. Peas (I know they are cooler weather plants and I started them in April) and beans are just pathetic. I replanted the peas eventhough it was late. They start our beautifully. Get to be 4 or 5 inches tall and just die. They turn a sickly yellow and wilt from the top down. I am going to try the nitrogen.

I too am wanting our garden to provide for our family of 7. So although I love it and I am new at it, I really need this gardening thing to work out. So thanks to all who have posted on this thread.
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Pretty discouraged

Post  Pollinator on 6/25/2012, 4:08 pm

There's a learning curve involved in gardening, but it is SO worth it when you put fresh food on the table that you can trust. Each year will improve if you keep trying, and learning from your mistakes.

Tip: do lots of reading on forums like this before you try something - that lets others make the mistakes. I call the expensive mistakes "tuition in the University of the Seat of the Pants."

I just read that there is ANOTHER masive recall of bagged salads that are being sold in the Southeast in WalMart, Kroger, and other stores, because they are infected with listeria.

When you grow your own, you will know that you aren't being poisoned!
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  littlejo on 6/25/2012, 6:04 pm

Be very careful adding the blood meal, for it is total nitrogen. Most plants will like a little bit, but too much will give you lots of green growth but no fruit. A little bit of organic fertilizer, with lots of nutrients, will let the plant pick what it needs.

I think it's just too hot for peas. Plant them before the last frost. They like freezing weather and it will only make them grow more. You could try planting them in the fall.

Jo
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/25/2012, 7:12 pm

I just read that there is ANOTHER masive recall of bagged salads that are being sold in the Southeast in WalMart, Kroger, and other stores, because they are infected with listeria.

When you grow your own, you will know that you aren't being poisoned!

It would be nice to think that, but when it comes to things like ecoli and listeria, the home gardener is just as susceptible. These diseases are from bacteria all around us. It is present in water, the soil, sewage, food, human and animal wastes. Wash your food Very Happy



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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 7:31 pm

Thanks littlejo! I knew it was too late to retry the peas but something in me just made me do it. At least this thread has helped me with a possible answer. The problem was driving me crazy, consuming many minutes I don't have to spare.


Last edited by Momof5Js on 6/25/2012, 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Correct typos)
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  littlejo on 6/25/2012, 8:39 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:
I just read that there is ANOTHER masive recall of bagged salads that are being sold in the Southeast in WalMart, Kroger, and other stores, because they are infected with listeria.

When you grow your own, you will know that you aren't being poisoned!

It would be nice to think that, but when it comes to things like ecoli and listeria, the home gardener is just as susceptible. These diseases are from bacteria all around us. It is present in water, the soil, sewage, food, human and animal wastes. Wash your food Very Happy



Sorry for going off topic but I just gotta say it. I realize that they gotta tell us about it all, recalls and all, but give me a break, the salad makings of the recall had an expiration date back in June. If you keep fresh cut-up veggies in the fridge for over a month, it will have lots of bacterias growing, which may not wash off and you will probably get sick!

http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/25/12399144-listeria-prompts-recall-of-1000-cases-of-dole-bagged-salads?lite?ocid=twitter



Also to add to the quote above from Rooster--Wash your food after you wash your hands!!

Jo
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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  Pollinator on 6/25/2012, 9:20 pm


>>When you grow your own, you will know that you aren't being poisoned!

>It would be nice to think that, but when it comes to things like ecoli and listeria, the home gardener is just as susceptible. These diseases are from bacteria all around us. It is present in water, the soil, sewage, food, human and animal wastes. Wash your food Very Happy

I am skeptical of this. We don't dump sewage on our garden; and whatever is in the soil is what we are used to all our lives. But commercial crops are picked by folks from other areas that bring in exotic strains of pathogens.

I've worked on a farm long enough to realize that the fruit pickers (who are paid piecework), are not going to walk five rows down and eight rows over just to use the port-a-potty. Maybe that's less likely to happen in an open field, but we still have no guarantee that they are careful about hand washing.

I'm not saying anything derogatory about migrant workers; our strains of pathogens can be just as much a problem for them.

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Re: Pretty discouraged

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/25/2012, 11:22 pm

@Pollinator wrote:
>>When you grow your own, you will know that you aren't being poisoned!

>It would be nice to think that, but when it comes to things like ecoli and listeria, the home gardener is just as susceptible. These diseases are from bacteria all around us. It is present in water, the soil, sewage, food, human and animal wastes. Wash your food Very Happy

I am skeptical of this. We don't dump sewage on our garden; and whatever is in the soil is what we are used to all our lives. But commercial crops are picked by folks from other areas that bring in exotic strains of pathogens.

I've worked on a farm long enough to realize that the fruit pickers (who are paid piecework), are not going to walk five rows down and eight rows over just to use the port-a-potty. Maybe that's less likely to happen in an open field, but we still have no guarantee that they are careful about hand washing.

I'm not saying anything derogatory about migrant workers; our strains of pathogens can be just as much a problem for them.


You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but bacteria good and bad are alive and well just about everywhere.

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Re: Pretty discouraged

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