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Help

Help
Posted by Brooke from Rome, GA on 2009-08-01 02:31:00

I just started growing a fruit/veggie garden this year. I have two raised beds connected to one another. They total about 18 feet long and 4 feet wide. I have a wide variety of plants in rows of 4 feet (pumpkin, cantelope, watermelon, cilantro, parsely, basil, oregano, okra, carrots, pole green beans, squash, zukes, cukes, tomatoes (roma, german queen and big boy), onions (red, white and yellow), jalapenos, and bell peppers (red, yellow and green). I am struggling! I'm doing this all organic. I was doing well in the beginning (I planted everything on Mother's Day weekend). We went on vacation the first week of June and no one watered my garden. It rained once while we were gone - towards the end of the week. When I came home my leaves were yellow and brown and falling off of just about all of my plants. They were also wilted a little. I tried to get them back, but I've had trouble since. I use some kind of organic plant food and now am using fish emollsion (sp?) 1 time a week. I have a problem with the water staying in my bed - it tends to slope out and onto the ground. I water 1-2 times a day, depending on how dry the soil is. I'm not watering too much...my soil is extremely dry towards the end of the day and no wetness in the ground after the end of the day. I have a soaker hose connected to my garden, but don't run it because the water basically runs right out onto my yard and it's very ineffecient and doesn't really "soak" the garden. I have flowers on several of my plants, but all they do is fall off and never produce any fruit. I've replanted a few of the plants since Mother's Day, after my vacation, but still no success!! Can someone please help me!!! I would appreciate anything! I was so excited about having fresh fruits for my family, but I'm getting quite discouraged!

Thank you in advance for any help that you can offer!

Brooke
  • Plant damage
    Posted by David Konnick from NJ- northeast on 2009-08-09 09:12:00

    Composted soil will help. Watering only in the early morning hours may also. It gives the plants time to dry which would minimize Blight. I'm guessing your are experiencing this fungal infection. You are raising a number of plants that are susceptable to this disease. Tomatoes,cukes,cantalope,potatoes, peppers, for sure. There has been some recalls on tomatoe plants this year, it seems that a commercial grower from Alabama that shipped potted babies to big vendors sent out infected seedlings. This affects your buds and the growth of your plants. It's a bit late now, but, they do have some products that help. One organic concentrate is called "serinade". Other products that are not organic are chlorothalonil and mancozeb. Ortho-max, a garden disease control concentrate has the former chemical. It does work well, and washes off any fruit at harvest. The Seranade may work well also, but You may have needed to apply it early in the plants development. That also goes for the others I've mentioned, although they will definately knock down the fungus. Don't get discouraged! Salavage what You can this season and get ready for next year. You must prune off any leaves that have blotches and discard them in the trash away from the gardening area. At the end of the season You must do the same with the old Plants themselves. Look up early blight and different types of "wilt" diseases. You could probably find plants that have a resistance to some of these issues. Again, don't get discouraged, many commercial growers are fighting this this year. Good Luck!
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