Stunted growth?

slewiJuly 20, 2014

I dont know whats going on, unless it is not enough sun? I have 5 4x4 boxes, two are on the se corner of the property, which gets some morning and late afternoon sun (due to neighbors trees) and 3 boxes on the sw corner which gets about the same amount (again, with the trees.) Im having problems with things not growing or not producing. i have pepper plants, cukes, melons, squash, eggplant, and herbs not even any larger than when they were transplanted. I have some corn in which is about waist high, and it set its ears already. The corn I started from seed, the rest I bought them all from a local farmer or they are the Bonnie transplants from Lowe's, and got them in last month.

I fertilized with a side dressing of 2-5-3 which I got at Lowe's at the start of July. I cant find 5-10-10 anywhere.

I want to clear out a box and start a fall garden in the se corner, but I dont want to waste the time and effort if Im not going to get anything. Can anyone help? Thanks.

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

What did you fill your raised beds with?


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:24AM
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Compost, peat moss mostly. The 3 in in sw corner got some stupid expensive Dr. earth Organic compost, with all kinds of organic goodness in it according to the bag, plus the peat moss.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:46AM
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I'd say your problem is the peat moss.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:00AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

My guess would be the peat moss. It either made your soil too acidic or it wasn't moistened properly and is dry underneath the surface.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:27AM
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It is very likely your soil mixture is unbalanced. In what way is nearly impossible to say. Peat has nearly no fertility in it and compost is extremely variable. Bagged composts are notoriously crap, often made with "forest products", meaning lumber mill sawdust. More marketing goodness than anything else. Your 2-5-3 fertilizer has only three things in it out of many needed for healthy plant growth. And as far as you know, none of these were actually deficient in your soil mixture to begin with. You may in fact have too much of something. That's why I prefer to use half soil and half organic materials in raised beds. That way I can add lime or whatever as indicated by my other (not raised) garden bed soil tests.
When you throw together materials for raised beds, it's often a guessing game as to whether it's adequate or not. That's why old Mel tells you use five different sources of compost. Because then you have a better chance of getting the things you need. But it's still a crap shoot.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:18PM
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planterjeff(7b Grant Park Atlanta)

It sounds like you have Jobes organic fert am I right? That stuff is good, but it doesnt give the plants the nitrogen kick I think they need to get you going in a container. It just takes too long to become available and sometimes it may be washed out of the container before it can even be used. I do use Jobes, but I also supplement with compost tea and Alaska Fish emulsifier at least once a month or more often if needed. It is also at Lowes/HD. It works great at getting your plants through those slumps.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:35PM
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