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Stunted growth

Posted by rwh999 none (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 12, 14 at 21:15

I am trying my first garden this year. I am in South Texas and planted about 3 - 3.5 weeks ago. It seems to me that the plants haven't grown much at all, but many on the plants are putting out buds. I have several pepper plants serrano, jalapeno, and green pepper plants that probably aren't even 6 inches tall, but they have all put out buds. The tomato plants have gotten fuller and the stems thicker and maybe a little taller, but not much and they are putting out buds. Same with the tomatillos.... My Zucchini plant has put out a few leaves and is a little bigger than when I transplanted it, and it is pushing out buds too. I believe I have been under watering a little as it has been hot and windy. The last week I have watered more and the plants are looking not quite so droopy.

Do the plants sound normal, or maybe they lack some nutrients? How should I proceed with my garden?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Stunted growth

I live in a very different climate from you, but I have had similar experiences with plants that are root-bound. If that is the case (and your watering doesn't fix it) about all you can do is pull up the plants, break up the root ball, trim any dead roots, prune the plants back a little, and replant. You will surely lose time, but you have a long growing season - if it stays below 105.

RE: Stunted growth

Hi rwh999, I live in the DFW area and grow the stated crops as well. The first thing I wonder about when reading your post is soil- raised bed? In-ground? Did you add any amendments? Secondly, watering is very important, depending on your soil type- sandy or clay-like. I would advise mulching your garden to retain water-it really makes a difference.


RE: Stunted growth

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 13, 14 at 15:27

First thing I though of was lack of nutrients. What did you amend your soil with? What fertilizers, if any did you work in? Have they had any supplemental feedings of any kind? Did you have your soil tested before planting to find out what it may be lacking and what its pH is?

Little to no nutrients means stunted or little to no growth and stressed plants. Stressed plants will sometimes developed buds long before they are large enough to support them in an effort to survive.

Can you post some pictures of the plants and provide more details on your soil preparation, fertilizers, and watering regimen?


RE: Stunted growth

Don't be distracted by early budding. All plants do that. Just pick them off. Peppers do that routinely. Your big problem is that the plants aren't growing. But it may be premature to worry much. When I put out plants, they don't grow much for a couple of weeks, as the roots get established. Then, BLAM, they take off. It has been a very cool spring in Texas, so things are going to go slower than one might otherwise expect around here.

Before focusing on nutrients (as in, chemical amendments), it would be interesting to hear more about your soil quality. What was there before you planted your garden? How deep did you dig? What did you dig into it? Are your neighbors growing vegetables successfully? What are they doing that you didn't? I wouldn't worry much about a soil analysis just yet if your nearby neighbors aren't having any trouble. Same soil.

RE: Stunted growth

I just bought my house last june and was told the previous owners brought in the soil for this garden. The neighbors said he had a good garden every year. I have not done a soil test yet. I have increased the watering and the plants are looking a little better (except for litte black flies on the new growth on the bean plants I think they are thrips..) but nothing Is growing great. I have another jalapeno plant that I planted by the house and not In the garden that Is probably 2x as big as the one planted at the same time In the garden. It Is planted In a small bed that looks like It had regular soil mixed with gardening soil. I prepared the soil by turning it with a shovel as deep as I could get it and adding about half a bag of black kow brand composted manure and turned it in real well. This is not a raised bed garden. I have some tomato tone and some garden tone coming that I was going to use on my next days off. I am also thinking of doing a soil test.and then adding the tomato tone and garden tone. Any other ideas on what I should do?

RE: Stunted growth

How much are you watering?

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