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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
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    118

    Default Veggie problems in garden

    Live in NE, and about 3 weeks ago I planted cukes, zucs, yellow squash, and now I'm noticing that some of the plant stems are turning white and appear to be splitting. The plants were healthy when I transplanted, but now they appear to be stunted - not growing and fading in color.

    Whatever "this" is, appears to only be effected the "vine-like" crops. Thankfully, its not bothering the tomatoes or peppers or rhubarb. Any suggestions? I'm trying to stay organic - not using pesticides. Soil is very sandy even with compost mixed in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,048

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    How much water are they getting? My cukes grew to full height last year, then suspiciously did the same as you've described, then became infested with critters. We deduced that the plants didn't get enough water, weakening them and making them susceptible to the critters.

    For a natural pest repellent and killer, Google "neem". Neem is a type of tree and from it come a number of natural products that have great beneficial properties to humans, plants and animals. One of those beneficial properties is that it deters and kills fleas, white fly, black fly, and a number of other unwanted pests, WITHOUT any toxic chemicals, additives, or by products. We use it extensively and love it.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    Have been watering once or twice a week since we have also been
    receiving rain. Last year I think I may have watered too much since the tomatoes had black spots on bottom. 3/4 of the veggie
    appeared fine, but the bottom was black.

    How much water is the "right" amount? Again, its very sandy soil
    even with compost, and almost appears to "bead" up on surface.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,048

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    I cannot say for your location, as water needs are contingent upon soil type, day to day temperature, and other weather related factors. What I can say is that the soil should be moist. Since that is a subjective term, here's the best description I can offer. When you initially water, the ground is very wet, almost muddy, a few hours later the water should have dissipated, absorbed and evaporated so that the soil remains obviously moist, but it's not "muddy".

    Your description is seemingly contradictory, in that you describe the soil as sandy, yet "beads" water, which is indicative of clay soil. At any rate, sandy soil will dry out much more quickly because water will pass through it and evaporate out more readily. Clay soil is the opposite, it takes a long time to saturate, then retains that moisture much longer. I'd recommend using the finger method described above. Sadly, your vine crops are probably beyond salvage, so you may want to replant those as soon as possible instead of waiting to see.

    The blight you mention on the tomatoes I believe is called "blossom rot". I do not know the cause or correction of this, Google will probably be your best bet.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    > Sadly, your vine crops are probably beyond salvage, so you may want to replant those as soon as possible instead of waiting to see.


    You're probably right. Maybe I should just remove them tonight and get new plants. I'm just fearful "this" will occur again with the new plants.

    The garden topsoil is very powder-like (that's why I describe it as "sandy") ... when its dry, the top layer is fine and it runs through your fingers. But it can form a hard "crust" after rain and sun (the garden gets a lot of sun). Someone mentioned too that perhaps the soil has been "overworked" from tillin'.

    Previous owners did have a pool in this location, but it was filled.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,048

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    Quote Originally Posted by crylakel View Post
    The garden topsoil is very powder-like (that's why I describe it as "sandy") ... when its dry, the top layer is fine and it runs through your fingers. But it can form a hard "crust" after rain and sun (the garden gets a lot of sun). Someone mentioned too that perhaps the soil has been "overworked" from tillin'.

    Previous owners did have a pool in this location, but it was filled.
    The more you describe the soil, the more I'm convinced that it's got a lot of clay in it. Being that it is fill for what was once a pool, most likely very low quality fill and not even "top soil". If I were a betting man, I'd wager that there isn't enough nutrients in the soil to support much for life either, which along with water issues can cause all kinds of growing problems for the plants. When you pick up some new plants, grab a soil test kit too, then before you plant do the test and see where the nutrient levels stand. Odds are nitrogen isn't even going to register and the other two will be negligible as well.

    Good luck and report back with your findings.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Veggie problems in garden

    Just to follow-up on previous "conversation", my zucs and yellow
    squash have produced rather well. all things considering. been
    very disappointed in cukes. the plants are lush and green, with
    a lot of flowers. plenty of bees. but the cukes appear stunted.
    they get only so big, and then the ends curl up. they taste fine, but look terrible. am lucky if I get one or two cukes a day. in the past, I could pick a dozen or two.

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