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 Post subject: Yellowed Plants -- Help!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Location: Cedartown, GA
I have brand new raised beds, which began life as half compost and half topsoil. I've added dry molasses, bone meal and a bit of general organic fertilizer, and probably a few other things.

So far, it seems that everything I plant in it kind of struggles -- I put out spinach seedlings, and while they are growing slowly, the bottom leaves continue to turn yellow. I put squash starts out and their nice green is going towards the yellow side. I now have nasturtium seeds sprouting, and even they are a tad on the yellow side. The tomatoes are doing OK, but could be greener.

I always thought yellowing leaves was lack of nitrogen, but I would have thought I added enough stuff to suffice. I've used Garrett Juice on everything when planted and on the spinach more than once.

I'm stumped as to what to do now. What can I do to bring out more healthy green color in these plants and help them thrive?

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Location: Denton, Texas
Sounds like either too much water or too little. Have any pics?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Not likely to be too much -- may be too little, although it holds water pretty well. I can take some pics tomorrow -- now if I can figure out how to upload them!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:39 am 
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Here's a couple of pics I shot this morning. New leaves on the squash seedlings start out green, turn yellow. The chard was planted 6-8 weeks ago, and is simply stunted. The spinach was planted weeks ago, too, from basic Home Depot 6-packs. It yellows and doesn't grow much. The one in the foreground is by far the largest -- the others are still small.

I thought I was keeping them well watered, and we've had a good bit of rain the past few days. My eggplant, peppers, tomatoes seem to be more or less OK, although the tomatoes are not as green as I'd like. Nothing seems to be thriving except the eggplant, oddly enough.

I've ordered a soil test to see if the soil is too acidic, since our native soil is, and I don't know where the topsoil came from. But, I also added some garden lime in the form of dolomized limestone some time ago.

Thanks for any tips!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Hmmmmm....... done a PH test on that soil? Wonder if perhaps and Iron and sulfur additive might be the issue....


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:50 pm 
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We have had lots of rain lately. Is this in full sun? (Lots of water "less often" is better than a little water "too often"). Always remember that rule and this will probably bounce back.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:31 am 
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pH test is in process, should have results in about a week.

As to water -- yes, it's in full sun and for a long time there was nothing out there but the chard and spinach. I watered them pretty much daily, because the soil is porous and it wasn't raining at all. Now that the entire beds are planted, I have underground soaker hoses that I use when necessary and get the root zones good and wet. So far, that's been about once a week, I think. With the rain of the past few days, I haven't added any water at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:49 am 
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Is it possible the compost wasn't completely "finished"?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:56 am 
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Good question about the compost. I bought it from a nursery with organic leanings and they said it was 'ready', but it had more larger pieces of woody stuff in it than I would have expected. And, it sat in these beds for another couple of months and is mixed with half topsoil. The short answer is, I don't know. :?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:32 am 
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I might have your answer then...when "woody stuff" breaks down, it requires a LOT of nitrogen to break down. For instance, when you take down an unhealthy tree, your grass near the decaying roots always struggles. I might try a top dressing mix of worm compost, alfalfa meal, and dry molasses--covered with a 1-3 inch layer of leaf mulch. That is what I have been spreading over my yard where I have decaying tree roots and it has greened up considerably.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:06 pm 
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Wormrancher I think you may have hit it on the head. I've been uncomfortable with the compost from day one, but thought the guy knew more than I do. I guess I'll just do what I can with them for this season, then do a good winter cover crop and add manure and stuff in the spring.

Thanks, all. Will let you all know what the pH results show, in case you are curious.

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:34 pm 
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UPDATE! Soil test results are back, plenty of phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc, but pH is 7.9 -- too high!? They suggest sulfur or gypsum. What can I use that's organic? I'm not sure what to do with this.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:04 pm 
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When you have some worm compost available, the beneficial fungi and humic acid will help the situation, especially if you make an aerated tea out of it. Garrett Juice will probably help, it will probably help more if you make it fresh and keep it oxygenated before use.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:13 pm 
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Thanks! I put lots of dry molasses on it Sunday before the rains. Last night I added bone meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal around all the plants, then topped both beds with an inch or two of Black Kow composted manure. May be overkill, but don't think it'll hurt anything! I just need to get through this growing season, then I can make better adjustments.

I've used Garrett Juice and will continue to do so, don't want to do it too often, although maybe there isn't any such thing as 'too often'.

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