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Plants starting to get pale green leaves

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Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  jjocsak on 6/21/2013, 10:11 am




This is my first square foot garden, 4-4x4 plots.
I made my Mels Mix up as follows:

1/3 peat moss
1/3 coarse vermiculite
1/3 compost mix with equal parts of the following:
organic mushroom compost
organic humus
organic composted manure
organic lobster compost
organic worm castings


Everything I planted came up fast and very healthy.
Now after 6 weeks many of the plants are taking on a pale green color.
The photo above shows a pepper plant and Greek Basil that should have bigger leaves
  and much darker green than is showing and in my opinion should be growing faster.
We have had a lot of rain lately as well.

This is very frustrating as I thought this was the perfect mix that took very little care.

Now what do I do?
Do I fertilize? (fish emulsion maybe)
Do I put more compost around the plants? I have left over compost mix.
Should I wait to see if things improve?

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I leave for vacation tomorrow and would like to do something before I leave.

Thanks
Jeff

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  camprn on 6/21/2013, 10:32 am

Solution: Topdress (1"-2") with any leftover compost is the short answer from me. That lobstah compost is great!

It is the perfect mix, for starting, but that doesn't equate with maintenance free, especially if you plant heavy feeders like tomatoes and peppers and eggplants.

The new foliage looks good. Typically older leaves will reach the end of their usefulness then yellow and dry up. YOu can make the plants look better by trimming of used up foliage.

Have a great trip!

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  lyndeeloo on 6/21/2013, 5:55 pm

Hi Jeff,
I had much the same problem (see "not so green" post) and got helpful comments and suggestions from the Forum. I started watering more regularly, instead of thinking the many inches of rain we'd been getting was doing the trick. The MM seems to drain water away very quickly and it is often dryer than I think.

I also addressed the possibility of not enough Nitrogen and top dressed the beds with alfalfa pellets and watered them in. The alfalfa seems to have done the trick and the garden has really greened up and is growing very nicely.

This is also my first year of SFG and I also used the Lobster compost as part of my MM. I still have several other traditional soil raised beds I have used for many years and used them as a comparison to the SFG. The other beds plants' were much greener and I was concerned as you are. Since the alfalfa pellets worked so well in the SFG I have also added them to my other gardens. Good Luck with your new SFG, I really enjoy my new garden and love reading everyone's posts in this Forum. You learn something new everyday from this community of gardeners!

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  jjocsak on 6/22/2013, 7:59 pm

@camprn wrote:Solution: Topdress (1"-2") with any leftover compost is the short answer from me. That lobstah compost is great!

It is the perfect mix, for starting, but that doesn't equate with maintenance free, especially if you plant heavy feeders like tomatoes and peppers and eggplants.

The new foliage looks good. Typically older leaves will reach the end of their usefulness then yellow and dry up. YOu can make the plants look better by trimming of used up foliage.

Have a great trip!

Thanks that's just what I did. I used the left over compost mix and added some Coast of Maine fertilizer (organic) mixed in as suggested on the package, then watered well.

We'll see how that works.

Jeff

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  jjocsak on 6/22/2013, 8:09 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:Hi Jeff,
I had much the same problem (see "not so green" post) and got helpful comments and suggestions from the Forum. I started watering more regularly, instead of thinking the many inches of rain we'd been getting was doing the trick. The MM seems to drain water away very quickly and it is often dryer than I think.

I also addressed the possibility of not enough Nitrogen and top dressed the beds with alfalfa pellets and watered them in. The alfalfa seems to have done the trick and the garden has really greened up and is growing very nicely.

This is also my first year of SFG and I also used the Lobster compost as part of my MM. I still have several other traditional soil raised beds I have used for many years and used them as a comparison to the SFG. The other beds plants' were much greener and I was concerned as you are. Since the alfalfa pellets worked so well in the SFG I have also added them to my other gardens. Good Luck with your new SFG, I really enjoy my new garden and love reading everyone's posts in this Forum. You learn something new everyday from this community of gardeners!


Thanks for the encouragement. I guess it was naive for me to think I didn't have to do anything with the beds after planting.

BTW where did you get the Alfalfa pellets?

Jeff

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Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  Frenchbean on 6/23/2013, 5:55 am

Jeff your garden looks fab. Im over here in the UK I really wish I could buy the tomato cages you have, they look so sturdy. Its my first year to. Even though I ve been on this forum for about a year learning. Very Happy You guys seem to get more blends of compost and manure than we do over here. I wish you all the luck.

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  lyndeeloo on 6/23/2013, 7:34 am

Agway, Blue Seal in a 50 lb bag. Compressed alfalfa pellets. No other added ingredients according to the label. Some feed pellets contain other nutrients for the animals so I looked for the one that was just alfalfa. You don't need a lot. They expand when wet and start to crumble. Each time you water they break down a little more. Sort of a time released thing. They dry out between waterings and sometimes I stir the around a bit and break the up some more. You can use them as often as you like according to what I've read and some people spread them heavy and after watering the make a crust over the soil and it acts as a mulch cover for weeds. I was concerned about fungus growing on it so I keep it a little bit away from the plant stems.

Lyn

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  jjocsak on 6/23/2013, 7:41 am

@lyndeeloo wrote:Agway, Blue Seal in a 50 lb bag. Compressed alfalfa pellets. No other added ingredients according to the label. Some feed pellets contain other nutrients for the animals so I looked for the one that was just alfalfa. You don't need a lot. They expand when wet and start to crumble. Each time you water they break down a little more. Sort of a time released thing. They dry out between waterings and sometimes I stir the around a bit and break the up some more. You can use them as often as you like according to what I've read and some people spread them heavy and after watering the make a crust over the soil and it acts as a mulch cover for weeds. I was concerned about fungus growing on it so I keep it a little bit away from the plant stems.

Lyn

Thanks Lynn. Do you know if the pellets are organic?

Jeff

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

Post  lyndeeloo on 6/23/2013, 8:41 am

What I bought does not say organically grown on the bag, and the product is generally used as animal feed. I am very careful what I use in the garden, no pesticides or chemical fertilizers, but I can't say my garden is certified organic. I am sure there is an organic source for it on the internet.

Here's a link to a site that might be helpful to you
http://www.organic-garden-goddess.com/alfalfa-pellets.html#axzz2X2fNAJNH

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Re: Plants starting to get pale green leaves

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