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Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

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Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/11/2013, 11:42 am

Hey guys
I am doing a cross post from my greetings thread :p I figured I should probably start posting my questions here. I am just gonna cut and paste my post from over there. I want to be honest and admit I haven't tried to research these problems yet. Im sorry to be lazy Ive just been so busy(my wife gave me day off so I could mow the lawn;) ) and my okra doesn't seem to be getting any better. The following is from my greetings thread:
Im very very discouraged. I dont know why it seems like nothing is growing. My okra is turning yellow from the inside out and has barely grown since I transplanted it. My watermelon has not grown at all. I dont know if its the cold front or a lack of nutrients. My compost came from a reputable source and was made from 7 different ingredients(compost guy said I would still have to fertilize though). I used a home made compost tea with fish emulsion on Tuesday afternoon to see if that would get things kick started. Nothing has changed except for one watermelon looked very very unhappy. The only thing that is doing well is one out of two cucumbers( and they are both in the same square). One has taken off, the other has done nothing. Im gonna include some pictures to see if you guys can help me.
EDIT: The plants in the pictures look greener than to the naked eye. I think it might just be my camera. The okra pictures are pretty accurate but the watermelon is not nearly that green imo. My wife says I need relax haha
The first pictures are of my watermelons:

These are both my watermelons the day after compost tea:
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

Here is the wilted watermelon a few days after compost tea and some fresh water rinsing:
Image hosted by servimg.com

This is what my okra looks like:
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

So those are all the pictures Im gonna unload on y'all for now. So basically to recap, 1. what if anything is wrong from what you see in the pictures? 2. What if anything organic can and or should I be feeding my watermelon, okra, and tomatoes. and 3.(not a recap but a first mention) Where Can I find a good guide to growing tomatoes?(Sorry to be lazy, I am gonna google all of this, but I figured Id ask all you experts first. As always, Thanks a lot for the help.

-StinkyFeetMendoza


Last edited by StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/11/2013, 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added: EDIT: The plants in the pictures look greener than to the naked eye. I think it might just be my camera. The okra pictures are pretty accurate but the watermelon is not nearly that green imo. My wife says I need relax haha)

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/11/2013, 12:13 pm

I don't know what your temps have been like, but I can say okra doesn't like cold. Okra grows pretty quickly once it warms up and likes direct planting. One thing that caught my eye is you also only have 1 source of compost, and I also question that the reputable source recommended fertilizer right off the bat. Properly made Mel's Mix with at least 5 different types of compost should have all the nutrients your plants need really. A bit of compost tea or fish emulsion shouldn't hurt, but really shouldn't be needed. Just by looking at your pictures, your compost almost looks like it needs more composting, but that's hard to say for sure by the photo's. Also just by looking, the okra or watermelon don't look that bad.
I know the guide is one okra per square, but I'll tell ya, okra gets large! Very large!
You could just be experiencing some transplant shock. I think both of these plants prefer direct planting, but that's just me Cool

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Watermelon

Post  Windmere on 5/11/2013, 12:35 pm

Hi Mendoza,

I am a very novice gardener (I just joined forum at end of February). I have learned a couple things from this forum though:

Watermelon prefers direct sowing. I transplanted mine from small peat trays to 5" peat pots. They really did not like it, but they seem to be recovering.

I also transplanted zucchini and cucumber to 5" pots. They promptly died. They also need direct sowing.

Just some thoughts based on my own experience.

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/11/2013, 2:05 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:I don't know what your temps have been like, but I can say okra doesn't like cold. Okra grows pretty quickly once it warms up and likes direct planting. One thing that caught my eye is you also only have 1 source of compost, and I also question that the reputable source recommended fertilizer right off the bat. Properly made Mel's Mix with at least 5 different types of compost should have all the nutrients your plants need really.

If I remember correctly(my mother in law has my book) 5 sources of compost was only necessary if you used poor quality home depot/big box store compost. My compost came from 1 source in the end. But my source used 7 different sources/ingredients for making his compost. The ingredients I remember include raw white coconut, produce waste from Fresh Market, horse manure, seafood market waste, and saw dust. Is this not enough of a blended mix? I was very impressed with the compost when I picked it up and the guy making it seemed very knowledgeable. He had several books for sale. I just happened to mention in a very skeptical way that square foot gardening claimed it did not need fertilizing. He uses the "lasagna" style of gardening and he agreed with my skepticism saying that no matter how good the compost is you still have to feed the plants. His garden was impressive. His name was captain compost, he has a small website. I only mention this bc I am not quite ready to blame the compost so quickly.

Both Rooster and Windmere mentioned direct sowing:

For the watermelon I used plants I bought from home depot. They were in those 5 inch(im guessing) jiffy transplant containers. The okra on the other hand has had a long journey. The okra came from my neighbor when he was thinning his out, my garden wasnt built at that time so I took several about 12 of them and put them in old plant containers using miracle-gro organic potting soil. From there I picked the best few out of the plant conatiners once my garden was finished and transplanted them again. I saved a plant container holding 3 of the okra plants. Those three are still tiny due to neglect and lack of sun but they aren't yellowing. 2 reason I used transplants instead of seeds was that I felt I was getting a late start. Also my compost guy said that his compost was too rich to start seeds in.

Im just trying to give y'all as much info as possible in an attempt to make sure I cover all of my bases.

What if anything can I be feeding/giving my tomatoes and watermelon to help them along? Bone meal or blood meal for tomatoes or something like that?

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/11/2013, 2:42 pm

If I remember correctly(my mother in law has my book) 5 sources of compost was only necessary if you used poor quality home depot/big box store compost. My compost came from 1 source in the end. But my source used 7 different sources/ingredients for making his compost. The ingredients I remember include raw white coconut, produce waste from Fresh Market, horse manure, seafood market waste, and saw dust. Is this not enough of a blended mix?

Problem is, you don't know the quantities of any of these ingredients. The compost you purchased will or is most likely mostly the ingredients he has the most of, without much else. If properly made, your Mel's Mix really doesn't need anything else to grow food.


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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  Turan on 5/11/2013, 2:48 pm

Too rich for seeding in and then not rich enough to grow plants in are rather contradictory statements. The proof of any mixture is in the growing not the wording, if there had to be fertilizers for plants to grow we would all still be fishes or algae. But any rate, it is what you have to work with. If you see a need to fertilize it I would use a blended mix of blood, bone, kelp etc. Garden-tone by Espoma is a good brand but there are lots others. Some home made compost makes a good top dressing as does worm castings.

For the okra you might want to go visit your neighbors patch and observe the difference between newly opened true leaves and then how they darken up. My okra last year would open its new leaves as yellow and then they darkened to green over the next couple days. But I can not be sure that is what is happening with your plants.

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My Compost

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/11/2013, 4:13 pm

Here is a picture of the compost I used in the makings, the last picture is of the ingredients he uses on a weekly basis. http://www.captaincompostalabama.com/compoststuff.htm

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  littlejo on 5/11/2013, 9:21 pm

It may be a combination, transplant shock(they don't like it) and too cool at night, don't know what your temps are there.

They both prefer warm weather, very hot for okra. I don't know much about the fertilizer needs of watermelon, but okra like poor soil. Don't overfertilize when they are so small.

For the okra, you can make a tent of plastic, use coat hangers skewed into a circle, attach plastic with cloths pins. You can leave on day and night, take off when plants outgrow it, or when it gets hot at night.

If they make it for the next few days, they will be fine.
Jo

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  johnsonjlj on 5/12/2013, 6:49 am

If your okra was from a neighbor's "thinning", it may have had root damage (they don't like to be transplanted). I always direct sow my okra, 1 per square, once the soil temp is above 70 degrees. It likes hot weather and won't do much if it's cooler than it wants.

Of the vegetables I plant, I know that for me, beans, peas, potatoes, corn, okra and carrots need to be direct sowed. I have successfully transplanted cucumbers, squash, zucchini, watermelon (the Sugar Baby watermelon I started from seed in February currently has a watermelon about the size of a baseball!) and, of course, tomatoes.
As far as your compost man knowing anything about SFG, if he's never done it, don't worry about what he's saying. If you have good compost, you have good compost. Mel suggested 5 different types of compost because it gives you a better final result. Using only horse manure compost might cause you to be missing nutrients vital in growing vegetables. I'm with Turan- it sounds contradictory to say that it's too rich for seeds but needs to be supplemented with fertilizer for growing vegetables. If that's the case, what is it good for?

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Re: Yellowing Okra and withering watermelon

Post  StinkyFeetMendoza on 5/12/2013, 11:29 am

@littlejo wrote:It may be a combination, transplant shock(they don't like it) and too cool at night, don't know what your temps are there.
They both prefer warm weather, very hot for okra. I don't know much about the fertilizer needs of watermelon, but okra like poor soil. Don't over fertilize when they are so small.

I think this, along with a lack of patience is my issue. We had several nights that got into the very low 40's. I know we had record setting lows one night and tied the record on another night. I think I check my garden too much (twice a day). After getting discouraged, I didn't go out there for about 36 hours. Things looks so much better when I walked out the yesterday evening. Everything looks much happier. My tomatoes are showing signs of growth. My okra looks as if it has turned a corner, seems like the green is returning to the center leaves. In the future I think I just need to chill out and just be a little more patient. I think I just kind of freaked out when I saw the wilted watermelon along with my slowly yellowing okra. In fact I harvested my first radish today. Very Happy It's not much but enough to restore my enthusiasm.

@johnsonjlj wrote:As far as your compost man knowing anything about SFG, if he's never done it, don't worry about what he's saying. If you have good compost, you have good compost. Mel suggested 5 different types of compost because it gives you a better final result. Using only horse manure compost might cause you to be missing nutrients vital in growing vegetables. I'm with Turan- it sounds contradictory to say that it's too rich for seeds but needs to be supplemented with fertilizer for growing vegetables. If that's the case, what is it good for?

This is very true, he admitted he knew nothing of square foot gardening. And in his defense, I know nothing about gardening, so I may have very well misunderstood him. He was very excited to speak to me and he just unloaded on me, so it was a lot to take in. Also I would like to apologize if I seem argumentative about my mix and or the compost. I admittedly know nothing and sincerely appreciate the advice from you all who are very experienced. I just feel like the compost was made right and is good. It was recommended to me by a SFG person on this forum who has had success with it in the past and continues to use it presently. I am going to continue updating you guys on my progress. With your help and advice I will decide on my compost once I've finished this growing season. I truly appreciate all the help.

-StinkyFeetMendoza

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  littlejo on 5/12/2013, 1:13 pm

You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  RoOsTeR on 5/12/2013, 3:17 pm

@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

Wait! That's not normal? cyclops

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  Turan on 5/12/2013, 3:32 pm

@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

I still do this. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  llama momma on 5/12/2013, 3:45 pm

Each morning before going outside I open the blinds and grab the binoculars for a quick close-up view of everything.

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  Goosegirl on 5/12/2013, 5:40 pm

@Turan wrote:
@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

I still do this. Rolling Eyes

Um.....guilty! geek

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  jazzycat on 5/12/2013, 7:47 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@Turan wrote:
@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

I still do this. Rolling Eyes

Um.....guilty! geek

GG

Ditto. I'm in my first year, of course, but my mate thinks I'm WAY too obsessive about the garden and the plants. I check them in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. I take pictures, usually once a day or at least every other day. I figure it's a way to keep a record of what's going on. That's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it! What a Face

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  Pollinator on 5/12/2013, 10:49 pm

@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

Gosh! I put chicken manure under my sweet corn seed, and I have to plant quickly and jump back, or the seedlings'll poke me in the eye!

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

Post  littlejo on 5/13/2013, 7:47 am

@Pollinator wrote:
@littlejo wrote:You're doing good! My first yr. I planted seeds in the AM, and went back to see if they had sprouted in the PM of the same day.
Jo

Gosh! I put chicken manure under my sweet corn seed, and I have to plant quickly and jump back, or the seedlings'll poke me in the eye!
rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl

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Re: Yellowing Okra and wilting watermelon :(

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