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Stunted growth in sheet mulched bed

 
Mohsin Javed
Posts: 17
Location: Lahore Punjab Pakistan
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Hi everyone, I made a sheet mulch bed with cardboard and dried grass on top of compost-added soil. I put in seedlings with a handful of compost and soil. Most of them, however are stunted in growth and look pale. Am I missing something basic? Many of the seeds iput in have not germinated and the garden is shaded completely by my apartment block. The tomatoes on my regular bed are doing ok growth wise but the same is not true for my sheet mulched tomatoes.
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Ken Peavey
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I'm guessing the cardboard is restricting the roots of those tomato plants if the plants are on top, or restricting water penetration if the roots are below the cardboard.
 
Mohsin Javed
Posts: 17
Location: Lahore Punjab Pakistan
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I punched holes into the cardboard before putting on seedlings. Is stunted growth an indication of lack of sunlight?
 
Ken Peavey
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It can be not enough sun.
You mention a pale color which causes me to think the roots are not getting enough water..
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hi Mohsin, did you say that you added compost to the soil?

What was the compost made of?

Is the soil warm or cool?

Does the soil smell /stink?
 
Mohsin Javed
Posts: 17
Location: Lahore Punjab Pakistan
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I put in compost bought from a nursery. The soil is moist and quite cool to the touch. The smell is faintly earthy. My theory is that it might be something to do with the grass mulch that iput in. I have another bed where I have put in the grass mulch but haven't added the cardboard. Having the same stunted growth there. Only the daikons seem to be doing well. Some of the mulch is still green underneath.
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Without asking a lot more questions I can't guess exactly what is wrong, but for one thing.....tomatoes are sun plants. While they will survive in shade if the soil is moist enough and fertile, they will slowly, spindly, and produce poorly. Out in the sun they are still demanding in that they want fertile soil, even moisture, warm temperatures during the day and cooler at night, and fairly loose soil. They are pH sensitive too. So there could be a lot of factors going on.
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