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Need suggestions for soil mistake

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Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  twiggy321 on 5/12/2013, 9:07 am

I am new to gardening and need suggestions for fixing my soil mistake. I have a raised bed that I started (about 4 weeks ago) before discovering square foot gardening and Mel's soil mix. I used Miracle Gro gardening soil mixed with small amounts of peat moss and chicken compost. The plants (tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, radishes, eggplant, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce) are growing with mixed results. The tomato plants are okay and are actually blooming. Everything else seems to be struggling; radishes are small and leaves are yellowing; squash is growing but some of the leaves closer to the ground are yellowing; cucumbers plants are small and I don't think they should be at this point; spinach is barely producing. Should I transplant everything into a second bed I have started which has Mel's mix in it? Is that possible at this stage of plant growth? Or should I just wait and see and hope for the best? Is it possible to mix peat moss and vermiculite into the Miracle Gro soil to improve it? Thanks!
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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/12/2013, 9:16 am

glad you\'re here

Hmm...I transplant stuff all the time and would be tempted to move to the new box. More often transplanting works for me, but occasionally I lose 1 or 2. I don't know much about Miracle Gro other than it rocks for potted SuperTunias.

Someone who knows more will be along to help you.

CC
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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  twiggy321 on 5/12/2013, 9:22 am

Thanks CapeCoddess. I am very, very tempted to transplant but am waiting for advice for now. Smile
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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  camprn on 5/12/2013, 9:28 am

I believe that all is not lost. If you are down south and the temps are getting warmer your radish and spinach will struggle, they like it cooler, in general. Did you transplant the cucumber plants? If so, more than likely it's transplant shock, they don't like that. The squash first leaves generally die off pretty soon after the plant starts to grow well and my recommendation is to snip the yellowing leaves off and see how the new growth comes along. The tomatoes and eggplants like it warm so that is good. Those are heavy feeders so you are going to have to plan ahead.

At this point in your season I suggest moving ahead with a plan to topdress your beds with a 5 way compost mixture, as the fertilizer that is in the miracle-gro mix will be exahusted in about another month. At the end of the growing season mix in as much compost as you can fit into the box and you should be good to go.

Do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book yet?

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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  llama momma on 5/12/2013, 9:39 am

I have a whole different idea ---
I love the results of Mel's Mix so much that I would say yes indeed, transplant whatever you want into the second bed with your properly made Mel's Mix. I just think its harder to mess with a bed amending it and so forth. Then you can compare the two beds later on. As you'll see many times on this forum and in the book your compost is 1/3 of Mel's Mix from 5 or more sources, 1/3 peat, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite. This terrific mix will determine your success. Honestly, I've got barely 3 years of gardening experience using only Mel's Mix and it continues to impress me how little I know, yet how well the garden grows. Don't worry about the timing of your garden consider more importantly the learning curve and you'll be on your way to very happy gardening experiences. Last thought if you don't have the book, get it as you will refer to it often, the newest edition came out about three months ago.
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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  twiggy321 on 5/12/2013, 10:24 am

Thanks Camprn and llama momma for the advice. I think I will combine both sets of advice. The tomato and squash plants are pretty big right now. Tomato plants are about two feet tall and full of blooms. The squash plants are just a bit smaller and also have lots of blooms. I am going to leave those and top dress the soil around them. Everything else is very small and I think I will transplant them into the new bed. Then I will amend the soil that is left in the first bed and replant.
The cucumbers were indeed transplanted (as was everything else except spinach, radishes and lettuce) so the transplant shock makes sense. I live in Georgia were the temps definitely make a difference too.
I don't have the Square Foot Gardening book yet but hope to get it very soon, hopefully today.
Camprn, when you say plan ahead for the heavy feeders, what do you mean? I am thinking you might mean feeding them something like compost tea?
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Re: Need suggestions for soil mistake

Post  camprn on 5/12/2013, 11:01 am

@twiggy321 wrote:
Camprn, when you say plan ahead for the heavy feeders, what do you mean? I am thinking you might mean feeding them something like compost tea?
Yup, that's right, or topdress with a few inches of compost. Sounds like you have a good plan to move ahead. Good luck and let us know how it works out!

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