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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 1

This is my first time posting on the forum. I recently moved from Colorado and just built a raised bed vegetable garden in Parker County. I bought soil for the beds - 50% composted horse manure, 40% topsoil, 10% lava sand - from a reputable company. This is my first year gardening in Texas and I am concerned my soil may be contaminated due to many of my plants being stunted with twisted growth and tiny leaves. :cry:

I planted potatoes from seed that came up spindly and thin, with tiny, tightly curled, twisted curlique leaves. I also planted swiss chard and beets from seed that were stunted and had slightly cupped leaves. My onions from starts are small and poor looking. About 5 weeks later I transplanted very healthy tomato plants into more beds (with same soil mix) and they were fine for about 3 weeks. After they began to root in the new soil, their new growth came out spindly, twisted and curled just like the potatoes. :x

My plants are green without yellow on the leaves. There are no brown spots or other damage on the leaves. The leaves are incredibly tighly curled and are skinny and small, and the plant growth is generally stunted. As one would expect, there are no flowers on the plants.

I have had some success with radishes and lettuce in this garden. My carrots look fine but are small, and cilantro and dill are also fine but small. I transplanted cucumbers and squash at the same time as the tomatoes and they seem to be small but OK. I have checked repeatedly for pests but I am sure I do not have aphids or spider mites. I do see some ants in the garden soil. I use garrett juice for a foliar feed and on the soil every two weeks.

I tested the soil with a home kit and found the soil low in nitrogen. I have been adding blood meal per the bag's directions, and working it into the soil every two weeks.

My grandfather is an 80-year-old wheat farmer from West Texas. He thought the plants demonstrated 2-4-D toxicity. We are totally organic and are quite removed from any neighbors (whom we have never seen use any type of amendment on their landscape). Given that the potatoes demonstrated problems before the tomatoes were even transplanted I do not think that this could be the result of herbicide drift.

Has anyone had a problem like this before? I don't think this is a virus becuase it has affected every single plant at the same time. My extension agent thinks it is a problem with the soil as well; but I am not sure what it is. If this is an issue of a nutrient imbalance I am confident I can amend it with compost and a good organic program, but I do not want this soil in my garden if this possibly chemically contaminated.

I tried to upload pictures but wasn't successful with the interface. Email me for pics if you are interested.

Thank you!

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 1:52 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Dallas,TEXAS

Texas Certified Nursery Professional
Texas Master Naturalist
Organic gardener
Native Texan

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