Garden Troubleshooting - Garden In Bad Shape - Too Many Variables :(

ninnymary

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I don't think my garden is as bad as yours but for the amount of time, energy, and money I expect it to be pristine! It should also have an abundance of produce! But it isn't.

One thing I am committed to is to not plant so many things in pots. They are high maintenance and a bear to maintain. I let a bay leaf plant that I have in a huge pot go without watering and now when I water it just runs through it. So tomorrow my husband and I are going to tip that pot over and gently pull out the plant. Then we will prune the root ball and water and stir, water and stir, water and stir the soil about 5 times to get it all moist. Not looking forward to it.

Last year I bought compost by the yard from American Soil and frankly I didn't notice any difference. This year I have a new planting area and have bought compost from Bee Green. We'll see how that goes but I believe there are a lot of composts that are not any good.

My blueberries in large pots are dying and I suspect the PH is off. Rather than trying to revive them I will just buy some more next year. So much easier.

So you see, it's not just you Nifty. We are supposed to have ideal climate for growing so many things but yet they are hard to grow. All we can do is keep on trying. I also try to ignore my husband who keeps telling me it's cheaper and easier to buy veggies at Whole Foods, haha.

Sorry I wasn't very helpful.

Mary
 

seedcorn

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I’m sure in the long run it is cheaper to buy what u want. Easier? YES! Nothing replaces the flavor of a tomato picked ripe right off of the vine! Also feel that way about sweet corn, green beans, okra and peppers. So you are not comparing quality for quality IMO.
 

hullsteel

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Ugh!

I'm in no way a garden expert. Sometimes I've just gotten lucky, but most of the times my garden has disappointed me. I see other gardens that have SUPER lush huge vibrant green plants with tremendous production

... and I'm stuck with plants (most vegetables) that barely grow or produce.

I feel like I'm doing most things "good enough" that they should be growing, but I keep running into stunted, yellowing, dying plants. :(

So, how do I go about troubleshooting when there are SOOO many variables?
  • Soil type/health
  • Water amount (too much / little)
  • Sun (too much / little)
  • Temperature
  • Bugs
  • Disease
  • etc. etc. etc.
A great example: Our basil is one of the few plants that is SUPER flourishing... but then we have two that COMPLETELY died (in the front of the picture), almost as though they were hit with herbicide:

View attachment 43790

... then we have tomatoes that are just scrawny and bare:
View attachment 43791


... then there's the zucchini. It grows a bit, then dies, then tries to grow some more. (oh and the weird volunteer lettuce thing next to it is thriving???):
View attachment 43792


I wish some magic garden expert could just come over and say, "OK, after testing your soil, plants, water, sun, etc., your problems are very specifically xyz, and here is exactly what you need to do to fix the problems!"

... I just don't know if that's possible :(
I wonder about your soil? Ive always used my own compost and had good garden soil delivered to my home. BUT, the last 2 years I have tried a new soil that is AMAZING. You mix compost, gardening vermiculite and peat moss in equal parts. It stays more moist, drains better, grows more plants per cubic foot, feeding plants usually not needed, easy to weed particularly if you use raised beds.
 

ninnymary

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I wonder about your soil? Ive always used my own compost and had good garden soil delivered to my home. BUT, the last 2 years I have tried a new soil that is AMAZING. You mix compost, gardening vermiculite and peat moss in equal parts. It stays more moist, drains better, grows more plants per cubic foot, feeding plants usually not needed, easy to weed particularly if you use raised beds.
Hull steel where do you live and what is the amazing soil? Is it one you buy locally?

Mary
 

flowerbug

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i would wonder at vermiculite and peat being all that great for plant nutrition. once peat gets dry it is so hard to get properly rewetted that i'd not really use it for anything other than inground use here. also it is often not harvested sustainably so there are other alternatives that i'd use instead. partially or mostly decayed wood chips will give the same sort of humus and compost in general should also work well when mixed in with some other topsoil or whatever you might have to use.

as a garden amendment both vermiculite and perlite have not really been useful as they will migrate with the wind and water way too easily.
 
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digitS'

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I don't know that we need to expect plant nutrients from peat and vermiculite. Holding moisture and loosening the mix, yes.

Plant food is in a good quality compost. It doesn't need to be the lightest, most wonderfully decomposed stuff. Screening helps. But, what is important is what goes into it. Fresh plant material ... I can make much superior compost here at home than what seems to be available for me to purchase. No big deal - just kitchen scraps, some good garden soil added.

Steve
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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I’m sure in the long run it is cheaper to buy what u want. Easier? YES! Nothing replaces the flavor of a tomato picked ripe right off of the vine! Also feel that way about sweet corn, green beans, okra and peppers. So you are not comparing quality for quality IMO.
I can't eat tomatoes from the store. The green beans are just amazing and at least one thing I grow and a lot of and this year I have enough in the freezer to feed 7 people this winter. DS and I have been eating green beans for supper EVERY NIGHT since they started producing and my brother when he comes and DD and family, but they are not eating them daily but a couple times a week and I gave her a few seeds to put in her box and her husband put up something for them to climb and she got her own beans every now and then enough for a meal. The 2 granddaughters love green beans and my daughter noticed a difference of how they ate mine compared to frozen from the store.
 

hullsteel

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Hull steel where do you live and what is the amazing soil? Is it one you buy locally?

Mary
Western Washington. I go to my local big box store and other than covid related shortages gardening vermiculite, compost and peat moss are right in the Garden Center in different size bags. I take a bucket full of each and mix in my wheelbarrow to get equal parts. A friend turned me on to it and last 2 years have yielded great crops. I use it mostly in raised beds but also in some pots.
 

Dirtmechanic

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I wonder about your soil? Ive always used my own compost and had good garden soil delivered to my home. BUT, the last 2 years I have tried a new soil that is AMAZING. You mix compost, gardening vermiculite and peat moss in equal parts. It stays more moist, drains better, grows more plants per cubic foot, feeding plants usually not needed, easy to weed particularly if you use raised beds.
try epsom salts for flavor.
 
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