Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Dry versus fresh spices to infuse vinegar
by sanderson Today at 2:47 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:39 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:28 pm

» Eat Broccoli Leaves? Brussels Sprouts? Cauliflower?
by CapeCoddess Today at 2:25 pm

» Asia Region -Showcase of Gardens - Show Us Yours
by sanderson Today at 2:14 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by trolleydriver Today at 1:37 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Today at 1:29 pm

» New England, December 2016
by CapeCoddess Today at 1:26 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by countrynaturals Today at 1:22 pm

» December: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by countrynaturals Today at 1:13 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by countrynaturals Today at 12:52 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by trolleydriver Today at 11:59 am

» Your Christmas wish list?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 11:15 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by Robbomb116 Today at 10:18 am

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee Today at 10:11 am

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by AtlantaMarie Today at 5:51 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 5:44 am

» Winter Gardens - Photos
by sanderson Today at 3:55 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by Kelejan Yesterday at 11:54 pm

» Log In
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 5:23 pm

» Winter's Coming!
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 4:52 pm

» SFG Adventure of a first time gardener in ND
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 3:41 pm

» Gnome Pumpkin Pie
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 1:22 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 1:17 pm

» Mid-South: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 7:15 am

» Greenhouse dreams
by trolleydriver 11/30/2016, 11:18 am

» putting your raised garden beds to bed for Winter
by jimmy cee 11/30/2016, 8:46 am

» last chance to pre-order baker seeds-rare seed catalog
by trolleydriver 11/30/2016, 8:30 am

» Mid-South: November 2016
by AtlantaMarie 11/30/2016, 6:33 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson 11/30/2016, 2:33 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Help, some of my plants are dying???

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 3:13 pm

Hi, this is my first year SFG and I am currently in El Paso, TX (military), our weather has been great, mid 50's at night and mid 70's-low 80's. I have most of my garden planted, I started my seeds indoors awhile back and they were all doing great. I transferred into the beds with Mel's Mix and 2 of the 4 tomato plants and all 12 strawberry plants are dying after thriving for a few weeks. The strawberries are dead, the tomato plants can still be salvaged if I knew what to do. Any suggestions? The strawberries are in separate containers with MM and the tomatoes are in the beds and the square next to them, the veggies are thriving.

Thanks in advance for any help.   (Also, I do have my compost in the area so there are flies, but from what I have read that should not be a problem....

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  camprn on 3/25/2014, 3:18 pm

How much are you watering your plants?

Please post a photo or two, this will help us give better advice.

____________________________

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Pictures

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 3:59 pm

I can not post a picture for a week since I am new to the forum. I am watering every other day or daily because it seems to dry out quickly. The berry plants shriveled and are now non existent, the tomato plants are turning yellow on all the leaves.

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/25/2014, 4:11 pm

Did you make your own Mel's Mix?  If so, which composts did you use?  Or did you use pre-packaged MM?  

Did you "fluff" the peat moss before measuring, since it doubles in volume when it has been fluffed?  

The answers to these questions may answer your inquiry.  A common cause of plants turning yellow and/or drying out is common in first-year SFGs that have too much peat moss, fewer than five, or poor-quality composts that contain peat or uncomposted wood ingredients.  

We're here to help you have a successful experience with SFG!


Last edited by donnainzone10 on 3/25/2014, 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

donnainzone5

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1914
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 69
Location : Bend, OR (Zone 5-6)

View user profile http://www.amway.com/DonnaKBecker

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 4:16 pm

@chopperwife wrote:I can not post a picture for a week since I am new to the forum. I am watering every other day or daily because it seems to dry out quickly. The berry plants shriveled and are now non existent, the tomato plants are turning yellow on all the leaves.
Welcome, chopperwife!  You can post photos (the sooner the better from the sounds of it)....you just can't post links for a week.


CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 4:18 pm

I did make my own mix, I used 6 sf of peat moss, 6 sf of vermiculite, and 6 sf of 4 different brands of compost that I bought at 3 different stores for a variety. We mixed everything on a tarp and then scooped into the beds randomly so that it was mixed up more. I didn't fluff before per say, but even at doing all this, I still had to purchase a few bags because it did not fill the beds that I had. I have 2 4x4 and 1 2x8 that is 1 ft high instead of 6 inches.

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 4:20 pm


chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 4:24 pm

Well done! Nice bed, too.  Is it just that back row that's having a hard time of it?  The plants on the left (radishes?) look great.  What's your watering schedule like?

Also, I read that you used only 4 different composts.  What were they please?

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  meatburner on 3/25/2014, 4:44 pm

CC, reread chopperwifes volumes, in particular.  If two beds are 4 x 4 x 6" and one is 2 x 8 x 12", I think that is 32 cubic feet.  She mentions square feet but I thing she meant cubic feet.  If the peat moss wasn't fluffed before mixing the other ingrediences, that would make about twice too much peat moss in the mix.  6 cf of compose = 6 cf, 6 cf of vermiculite = 6 cf, 6 cf of peat moss fluffed would equal more like 12 cf.  So 6 + 6 + 12 would make 24 cf of mix.  That would explain the need to buy more bags to fill the boxes.  An also would be way too much peat moss in the formula.  Am I thinking that right?

meatburner

Male Posts : 311
Join date : 2012-10-24
Age : 66
Location : zone 6b, southwest missouri

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  camprn on 3/25/2014, 4:53 pm

Stick your hand down into the mix several inches. Is it moist or dry? When you are watering, how long are you watering? My first inclination is the plants are not getting enough water.

Typically if it was a mix problem ( and yours looks pretty good in the photos) that shows up after weeks.

____________________________

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 4:59 pm

When I stick my fingers down a few inches it is a dry moist, so I will make sure that I water daily, and I'm afraid as the summer comes I may have to water a couple times a day. 

Most everything is going great, it was just those two things. Thanks  Very Happy

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 5:04 pm

@meatburner wrote:CC, reread chopperwifes volumes, in particular.  If two beds are 4 x 4 x 6" and one is 2 x 8 x 12", I think that is 32 cubic feet.  She mentions square feet but I thing she meant cubic feet.  If the peat moss wasn't fluffed before mixing the other ingrediences, that would make about twice too much peat moss in the mix.  6 cf of compose = 6 cf, 6 cf of vermiculite = 6 cf, 6 cf of peat moss fluffed would equal more like 12 cf.  So 6 + 6 + 12 would make 24 cf of mix.  That would explain the need to buy more bags to fill the boxes.  An also would be way too much peat moss in the formula.  Am I thinking that right?
Could be, meatburner.  But some bags of peat come fluffed already and some are in blocks.  We don't really know which she started with.  Also, some composts contain peat & some don't.  Again, we don't know the ingredients in hers. *shrug*  And it's looking like a watering issue in that back row to me...if not a nutrient issue.  She said they did well for a few weeks then this.  So if any of her composts were of the miracle grow type, they may have run out of steam by now. 

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 5:08 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@meatburner wrote:CC, reread chopperwifes volumes, in particular.  If two beds are 4 x 4 x 6" and one is 2 x 8 x 12", I think that is 32 cubic feet.  She mentions square feet but I thing she meant cubic feet.  If the peat moss wasn't fluffed before mixing the other ingrediences, that would make about twice too much peat moss in the mix.  6 cf of compose = 6 cf, 6 cf of vermiculite = 6 cf, 6 cf of peat moss fluffed would equal more like 12 cf.  So 6 + 6 + 12 would make 24 cf of mix.  That would explain the need to buy more bags to fill the boxes.  An also would be way too much peat moss in the formula.  Am I thinking that right?
Could be, meatburner.  But some bags of peat come fluffed already and some are in blocks.  We don't really know which she started with.  Also, some composts contain peat & some don't.  Again, we don't know the ingredients in hers. *shrug*  And it's looking like a watering issue in that back row to me...if not a nutrient issue.  She said they did well for a few weeks then this.  So if any of her composts were of the miracle grow type, they may have run out of steam by now. 

CC
They were not miracle grow type, they were organic compost, some had wood chips, most smelled like a barn yard  Wink

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/25/2014, 5:09 pm

So far, the only pre-fluffed peat moss I've seen is Miracle-Gro.

donnainzone5

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1914
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 69
Location : Bend, OR (Zone 5-6)

View user profile http://www.amway.com/DonnaKBecker

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  camprn on 3/25/2014, 5:10 pm

Try watering longer. It sounds like your beds and plant roots are not getting enough water. When the hot weather comes your garden will benefit from using a  mulch of some sort.

____________________________

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/25/2014, 5:11 pm

So, specifically, which composts did you use in your MM?

donnainzone5

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 1914
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 69
Location : Bend, OR (Zone 5-6)

View user profile http://www.amway.com/DonnaKBecker

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  camprn on 3/25/2014, 5:11 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:So far, the only pre-fluffed peat moss I've seen is Miracle-Gro.
and that's not peat moss that you want to use in the SFG.

____________________________

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

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13983
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 5:13 pm

@chopperwife wrote:They were not miracle grow type, they were organic compost, some had wood chips, most smelled like a barn yard  Wink
Wood chips are nitrogen suckers when mixed in compost.  You may be low on nitrogen.  Anyone else think that may be the problem? 

What's your watering schedule like?  Do you remember the names of your 4 composts?    

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 5:17 pm

I know one was Natures Way. I purchased 2 from Lowes, 1 from Home Depot, and 1 from a local nursery. They all said organic. I do not remember the other names, it was 2 months ago. But they smelled like a barnyard  Wink

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  chopperwife on 3/25/2014, 5:19 pm

@camprn wrote:Try watering longer. It sounds like your beds and plant roots are not getting enough water. When the hot weather comes your garden will benefit from using a  mulch of some sort.
Thank you, I will do that!!

chopperwife

Posts : 8
Join date : 2014-03-25
Location : El Paso, TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 5:34 pm

The past 2 summers I had to water twice daily during our heat waves.  I also put shade tunnels made of burlap over the susceptible plants. 

Let us know how the deep watering works out after a few days, chopperwife.  

Gotta dash home and get ready for the White Hurricane as they are calling. ugh.

CC

CapeCoddess

Posts : 5357
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 60
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  meatburner on 3/25/2014, 5:41 pm

chopperwife, do stay in touch here as there are some folk who really know what to ask and give you suggestions.  Pictures are extremely important as the plant condition is so important to observe.  Great forum!!!  CC, be careful and stay safe.

meatburner

Male Posts : 311
Join date : 2012-10-24
Age : 66
Location : zone 6b, southwest missouri

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  nycquilter on 3/25/2014, 5:45 pm

Hi all, it's good to be back on the forum!!

anyway, I was thinking that some of the compost may not be broken down as much as it should and then would "burn" the new plants (ask me how I learned this).

Laurie

nycquilter

Posts : 128
Join date : 2011-08-01
Location : zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/25/2014, 6:56 pm

Few ideas:

1. The stuff that smells like barnyard manure sounds like it may be too high in available nitrogen because of being poorly composted. There's also the possibility of it being high in salt if it is particularly high in certain manures, like steer manure, if I recall correctly. So file that under possibly too much nitrogen.

2. The stuff with wood chips in it sounds like it may be poorly composted too, but in this case that would mean your nitrogen could get tied down as soil microorganisms use it to build their bodies while digesting the high-carbon wood.

3. It's possible to have too much nitrogen AND too much carbon at once. An example would be a combination of #1 and #2 above -- too much manure and/or too much raw manure, and too much carbon(wood). Supplying extra nitrogen isn't enough to decompose heavy wood content right away. It simply goes into growing even more microorganisms which then try to steal more nitrogen to break down the wood. End result is faster wood breakdown, but that doesn't mean anything positive for the gardener until the wood is finally broken down and the nitrogen released back into the soil again.

4. The plant in the back middle looks yellowish and stunted. How early did you put it out? Was the soil very warm yet? 50 degree air temperatures may not mean your soil is anywhere near 50 degrees. Over here, we can go from a freezing night to 50 degrees in a few hours, but the soil stays much colder.

5. It's very common for people to come to the forums and find out their Mel's Mix was lacking, so they need to improve it. Usually they needed more and better compost, and fairly frequently they appear to have added too much peat -- usually because it was also in their store-bought compost. Excess peat can make peat more acidic than most garden veggies like, which can interfere with nutrient uptake.

It sounds like your compost was put together less than optimally, perhaps with too much peat. You might want to start thinking about amending it now. Lime can raise the pH if your soil is too acid. Some animal poop, like llama and rabbit and I think goat (double-check on that) don't need composting, so you can add them directly to the garden if you get it.

6. Remember that the compost component of Mel's Mix doesn't call for five different brands of compost, but five different types. If you got four brands of compost, you may not have four different types. At least in anything but name.

As an example, around here it's hard to find any compost that isn't wood or peat based. Even the more exotic ones often seem to add the exotic ingredients more to the label than the bag contents; open them up and they're still full of wood. Check your ingredient labels carefully. Is your compost mix as varied as you thought it was? I find labels often misleading.

Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3636
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 55
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2014, 9:14 pm

Chopper Wife, Welcome to the Forum!  glad you\'re here 

I'm late welcoming you today, but, I think you have already found out that these folks will really try to help.

I started SFG last March and my little plants looked so healthy, and then they suddenly stopped flourishing. These folks helped me. My basic problem was that I used Kellogg's compost because the label had at least 5 different ingredients. However, the ingredients were not fully composted and were not in 5 relatively equal proportions. Most bagged composts are high in peat moss (wait, I'm already adding peat moss!) or wood chips that have not fully broken down. Someone else had first year problems because they didn't fluff the peat moss before measuring. There goes that pesky peat moss again. Since I started making my own compost, like so many folks do, nutrition is no longer an issue (there are special needs plants but that's another subject).

Start with your deep watering and see how things go. The other plants look healthy so it may just be the tomatoes. Being in Houston, you may be having warm weather that is evaporating the moisture. A layer of mulch will be a life saver in warm and hot weather.

Again, welcome!

sanderson

Forum Administrator

Female Posts : 12216
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 68
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Help, some of my plants are dying???

Post  Sponsored content Today at 2:57 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum