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becoming discouraged :(

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becoming discouraged :(

Post  loen.onsrud on 6/12/2012, 11:54 am

I have 3 garden beds. One is 4x 8... and is soil, vermiculite, peat, and compost blend.
Two are 4x4 with MM blend.

Last year, the large one grew things... but never amazed. I think I got a hand full of peas., a radish the size of a pencil eraser, a couple tiny tomatoes. lots of lettuce though. Enough cucumbers to can 2 pint jars of pickles Sad Over all just blah.


This year I added the 4x4s and worried that I am off to a similar fate.

I know I'm not too far into the growing season yet.... but all signs point to failure.

in the large bed my Waltham broccoli grew 2ft high, produced marble sized heads about two weeks ago and have now gone to flower.

The peppers in the large bed have doubled in size... but the blossoms fell off. The ones in the small bed haven't grown an inch.

Turnips... rootworm. leaves were near a foot high, with nadda.

peas.... planted April 1st... have officially picked six Sad

Swiss chard... sucks. both beds.

corn... May 1st... is now almost 3 inches tall.

sigh. I realize that I'm in Minnesota and my full fledged growing season is really just beginning but I am frustrated and feel like last year is happening again Sad

sigh.

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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  gwennifer on 6/12/2012, 12:12 pm

Awwww, shucks. I'm sorry you're feeling so down about your garden! Don't give up though - gardening is a process and we don't master every aspect of it our first time out of the gates. And of course, even if you do everything right you can't control the weather and I hardly feel like we can control many of the pests either! I don't mean that to discourage you further though. Just be realistic, which it sounds like you already are, and take joy in the victories you have had and try to learn from the failures. Hang in there and keep us posted on your progress. Ask as many questions as you need to - there's a lot of helpful folk around here.


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Re: becoming discouraged

Post  GloriaG on 6/12/2012, 2:28 pm

Hi leon.onsrud,

I'm sorry you're having problems with your garden. Don't let yourself get discouraged, keep in mind that your beds will improve and you'll get better at solving problems every time you plant a bed.

Plants use three major nutrients; Nitrogen (N) for vegetative growth, Phosphorus (P) for flower production and Potassium (K) for good root growth.

From your description, it appears that you have good VEGETATIVE growth (lettuce, broccoli plant, pepper plants) but little or no FLOWER/ROOT production.

This leads me to think that your bed is OK on Nitrogen but is low in Phosphorus and Potassium. To correct this you can add some BONE MEAL (N-P-K = 6-9-0) to the soil, and use a foliar spray of liquid seaweed (N-P-K = 0-0-1) at the rates suggested on the packages.

Depending on your temperature you may also have some flower drop on your peppers if it's too cool. So you might protect them a little at night.

Hope this helps,
Gloria

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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  camprn on 6/12/2012, 3:27 pm

@loen.onsrud wrote:I have 3 garden beds. One is 4x 8... and is soil, vermiculite, peat, and compost blend.
Two are 4x4 with MM blend.

Last year, the large one grew things... but never amazed. I think I got a hand full of peas., a radish the size of a pencil eraser, a couple tiny tomatoes. lots of lettuce though. Enough cucumbers to can 2 pint jars of pickles Sad Over all just blah.


This year I added the 4x4s and worried that I am off to a similar fate.

I know I'm not too far into the growing season yet.... but all signs point to failure.

in the large bed my Waltham broccoli grew 2ft high, produced marble sized heads about two weeks ago and have now gone to flower.

The peppers in the large bed have doubled in size... but the blossoms fell off. The ones in the small bed haven't grown an inch.

Turnips... rootworm. leaves were near a foot high, with nadda.

peas.... planted April 1st... have officially picked six Sad

Swiss chard... sucks. both beds.

corn... May 1st... is now almost 3 inches tall.

sigh. I realize that I'm in Minnesota and my full fledged growing season is really just beginning but I am frustrated and feel like last year is happening again Sad

sigh.

It stinks to see ones hard work produce little when expectations are higher... and it's hard to not expect more when looking at fabulous gardens on the internet...

However the symptoms you have listed are all signs of the plants being under stress... so it comes down to the gardener to determine the cause of the distress and and take actions to remove the stressors.

That is not a trick, but it does take a basic understanding basic soil
composition and nutrition requirements for the plants, environmental
requirements, etc...

Every bit of research you do to figure out what is going on will help you in the long run...

The trick? The trick is recognizing the troubling symptoms in the first place... Wink

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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  Pepper on 6/12/2012, 3:55 pm

loen.onsrud to the forum and to SFG . As a first year newbe to Gardening period I feel your pain. MUCH of what I have done this first year ,like you, has turned out cruddy. I found out how much Mels Mix cost and took a WRONG SHORTCUT my babies have paid for my mistakes. Here in the lower south we had an almost nonexistant winter so... the nasties came out sooner than I expected. Let me just say this has NOT been a banner year for me. But you know what I HAVE LEARNED SOOOOOO MUCH. For the last couple of weeks I to have been 'down in the dumps' about my lack of success. I have been reading here some but haven't posted a pic in weeks. Ya know what "I'm BACK". The origional settelers had this same problem, they too thought they were ready. Thankfully the Indians took pitty on them and helped them through what they did not know. This place is full of folks with all maner of experience some more than others but all helping each other. Hang in there dont let nature get you down too much.


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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  quiltbea on 6/12/2012, 4:21 pm

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you are having problems. Even with Mel's Mix it depends on the ingredients of the compost you get. There are natural amendments to add if you have problems.

N=Nitrogen.....From: bloodmeal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, leaf mold, fish meal, bonemeal, manure.....For: brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc, the cole plants), lettuce, green growth, leafy plants, and increases fruit set.

P=Phospherus.....From: bonemeal, rock phosphate, limestone, mushroom compost, blood meal....For: Stems, seeds, strong roots, disease resistance, and increases yields.

K=Potassium.......From: greensand, seaweed, wood ashes, manure, compost.....For: Disease resistance and plant growth.

Don't give up. In your area, I think, like me, your brassicas and cool-weather crops will grow better as a fall crop. You can plant them in the garden soil which will be warm enough to germinate the seeds, and let them grow for a fall crop. Check out your area's cooperative extension service to see when to start those crops from seed. There's fewer bug problems in the fall, too. Find out your first frost date and work backwards from there to sow seeds.

To prevent bug pests, you can cover your crops with lightweight row cover which allows 90% of the sunlight thru and all the rain, but deters the bugs from finding your plants. They must be uncovered when blossoming so the bees and wind can pollinate the blossoms, then they can be covered again.

There are ways to get a crop. It takes reading. Your library should have several gardening books and your extension service should have local information for you. I wish you better luck and a good crop in the next few months.

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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  loen.onsrud on 6/13/2012, 10:31 am

Thank you for the gardening-well-wishes. This is not my first year. Second year in the new house with new boxes since then, but many many years in. I've been a lurker here for years as well, lol.

It just seems as though the new house has a cursed backyard. Even my container plants are experiencing difficulties Sad

who knows. Like I said, it's only mid-June and I do have a number of months to go. At the end of the season though I may have some contemplating to do.

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Re: becoming discouraged :(

Post  walshevak on 6/13/2012, 4:47 pm

+1 here in the South. Things I've never had a problem growing are not doing well. Mustard and turnip greens didn't do a thing this year. Collards, which I've grown summer and winter for years, just not thriving. Tomatos got late blight early. I'm blaming the totally weird winter we had and the up and down spring. Got hot too soon and then turned off chilly, then hot again then another chilly spell.
Kay

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