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HELP - my garden is in trouble!!

 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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My garden seems to be in trouble! Two days ago it was beautiful and green. I know it's not heat stress because I have been watering it faithfully. I don't see any bugs on the plants. The problem is all over the garden on all the plants. Even my herbs look sick. Any help would be welcome.

I just had to deal with an infestation of squash bugs. Everything was going great and then suddenly everything is not so good!
cucumbers.jpg
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Beets.jpg
[Thumbnail for Beets.jpg]
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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More photos:
beans.jpg
[Thumbnail for beans.jpg]
beans 2.jpg
[Thumbnail for beans 2.jpg]
 
                            
Posts: 43
Location: Pennsylvania, Zone 5B
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Maybe it's a fungal disease, fungus likes a lot of water.
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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I don't think I've given it too much water. It has been really hot here lately - mid to upper 90s. I only water in the mornings.

How can I tell if it's fungal and what do I do?

Here are a  couple more photos:
tomatoes.jpg
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sage.jpg
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Seren Manda
Posts: 62
Location: Northern Cali, USA -zone 9-
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Have you tried some fish emulsion fertilizer to see if they perk up? The purple and yellowed leaves makes me think a nutrient deficiency.
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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That is purple sage.  It's supposed to be purple.   But it shouldn't be yellow with brown spots in the center.  I went out and looked closely at the soil, and I think maybe 'decev' is right - I've overwatered. I have been killing my garden with kindness! 

It has been so hot I have been watering every morning (this is my first REAL garden). The info I researched after the fact says water twice a week. I have brought it on myself. I guess the only thing I can do is wait until it dries out and see if the garden survives.

But thank you for trying to help and thanks for your advice.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I often see advice that says "water twice per week", or "water once per week", but they aren't telling you what kind of weather/soil conditions they are dealing with.  A sandy, well drained soil will need more frequent watering than a heavier soil.  Scorching heat, likewise versus mild weather.  The best results I have had with tomatoes, peppers, and many other annuals, is to wait until I see the leaves begin to curl, and then to water (heavily) the following morning.  One good, deep watering per week is better than 7 shallow waterings in the same week.  Shallow watering promotes root growth at/near the surface, whereas a deep soaking encourages roots to go deeper where they are less likely to suffer drought conditions.  Daily watering creates a dependency on daily watering.

On many crops, a good 3-6" layer of mulch will help retain moisture, as well as blocking the sun from baking the soil.  For squash (or other ground covering vines) I would not recommend it though, as the vines protect the soil, and the mulch just provides a cozy environment for the squash bugs to breed.

Good luck, and I hope your problem gets solved.
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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John Polk wrote:
I often see advice that says "water twice per week", or "water once per week", but they aren't telling you what kind of weather/soil conditions they are dealing with. 


Thanks, John. It really rained last night; we had the whole light show. And unbelieveably, the garden looks better!  I don't think it likes our well water all that much. But it is too wet. I will take your advice and wait until it 'asks' for water.  We have a lot of clay in our soil. Here are two photos I took this morning at 6 a.m.  So pretty...
Shabbat morning, 6 a.m..jpg
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Composter.jpg
[Thumbnail for Composter.jpg]
 
maikeru sumi-e
Posts: 313
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Beautiful photos, I'm envious. Yes, well water is different than rain water. Rain water is more healthy for plants.
 
John Polk
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I don't know why, but I was thinking you lived in Texas (hot/dry might have made me think that).  But your photos showed more trees than the state of Texas has (JK).  Now I see IN.  I'm old enough to remember the (nonsensical) lyrics "It don't rain in Indianapolis in the summer time..."  I remember burning out the motor on my windshield wipers driving through Indiana in the summertime!!!
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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Well, here it is Sunday, and the melons, beans, cucumbers and tomatoes look okay, but I don't think the squash is going to make it. About 75% of the leaves have turned yellow. 

It is 90 degrees and sunny, but humid. It will take a while for the ground to dry out. Our well water is very hard: iron and calcium with some manganese. I read the other day that you should NOT water directly on the leaves of the cucumbers and the squash and of course that is exactly what I have been doing.
 
John Polk
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Yes.  Water drops on leaves act like magnifying glasses, plus wet leaves invite fungus and diseases.
 
                              
Posts: 13
Location: NH
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I'll second John Polk, it's a good idea to water moderately (when you need to).  It looks like you are dealing with a few pest problems and minor deficiencies.  But the important thing to remember about pests is that they thrive on natural imbalances (excessive watering for instance)  Squash bugs are nasty!  They are vicous and they carry disease.  That fact coupled with excess water makes for a nasty situation.  If your squash patch isn't too big, take a portable vacuum out there in early to mid july before they multiply like mad!  Have you seen little beetles on your beet greens?
 
Christina Darling
Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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heartseed wrote:
  Have you seen little beetles on your beet greens?


Uhh, no. But there are what look like small white dots or spots and tiny holes.
 
John Polk
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Another factor to consider regarding over watering, is that a healthy soil should have approximately 25% of its volume comprised of air and water (in roughly equal parts).  Too much water will fill the air spaces, leaving the roots and soil microbes in an oxygen deprived environment.  If this situation happens within the first few inches of the surface, it creates a "hard pan", which life giving oxygen cannot penetrate.

If you are providing excess water, you may be depriving roots and microbes of their needed oxygen.  They cannot survive without both.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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On the cukes, powdery mildew or rust... I had some rust on one of my plants and removed the leaves and was able to stop it's progression. Some suggest a copper fungicide, but as long as my cucumbers are still growing I don't apply anything (after removing stricken leaves).

As for the tomatoes, two things may be occuring. Sometime the upper foilage of the tomato plant shades out the lower leaves (near the ground) and they mellow and turn yellow.
You may very well have low nitrogen content as well and need to check that. It could very well be lack of phosphorus too.

Refer here: http://www.primalseeds.org/nutrients.htm

 
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit
Posts: 201
Location: Germany/Cologne - Finland/Savonlinna
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Using cold water might be an issue, too. I always leave some filled up watering cans in the sun. Watering with cold water is stressful for plants in summer.
 
Rita Vail
Posts: 63
Location: Northwest
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It looks like some kind of air pollution. I read that radiation can make the soil too alkaline. Can't remember where I read that. I am in NW Arkansas and my garden is not thriving for no reason. I finally put some sulpher down today to see if that helps. I've been using urine, enzymes, and seaweed, rock powders, paramagnetic rock powder - can't use fish emulsion until I finish fencing dogs and cats out. It's been the toughest year to garden I can remember in 40 years. People who have hoop houses seem to be doing the best.
 
George Lee
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Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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RitaSparrow wrote:
It looks like some kind of air pollution. I read that radiation can make the soil too alkaline. Can't remember where I read that. I am in NW Arkansas and my garden is not thriving for no reason. I finally put some sulpher down today to see if that helps. I've been using urine, enzymes, and seaweed, rock powders, paramagnetic rock powder - can't use fish emulsion until I finish fencing dogs and cats out. It's been the toughest year to garden I can remember in 40 years. People who have hoop houses seem to be doing the best.


What do you have growing? and do you have any photos? My friend's are in Arkansas and their stuff is growing well...

Also, I wouldn't just randomly throw various topdressings down and expect them to work... That's not how it works. There aren't really quick fixes in nature. Everything takes time to settle and begin to progress.
 
Rita Vail
Posts: 63
Location: Northwest
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Most amendments went in last fall or this spring. Only the liquids during summer. The beans and tomatoes are strange. They looked good, but did not produce. Squash and cukes also. I didn't have many pollinators, only a few. No one gardens anywhere near me, exept some flowers here and there. And most people gave up on watering weeks ago. It was over 100 for many weeks.

I used to filter my garden water. Maybe that's it. I bet there's more chlorine than usual,even, because of the heat - water comes from Beaver Lake. Oddly, the celery did well. Also kale and collards are still fine. It's the tomatoes that mystify me.
 
George Lee
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RitaSparrow wrote:
Most amendments went in last fall or this spring. Only the liquids during summer. The beans and tomatoes are strange. They looked good, but did not produce. Squash and cukes also. I didn't have many pollinators, only a few. No one gardens anywhere near me, exept some flowers here and there. And most people gave up on watering weeks ago. It was over 100 for many weeks.

I used to filter my garden water. Maybe that's it. I bet there's more chlorine than usual,even, because of the heat - water comes from Beaver Lake. Oddly, the celery did well. Also kale and collards are still fine. It's the tomatoes that mystify me.

Do you have any coloration on your leaves,stems? I know lack of phosophrus will retard new growth. Plants become stunted. Standard green to slightly dark with purpling under each. Older leaves go yellow and fall off. Nitogen is important for overall growth as well. Nitrogen deficiency can be observed with a mix of emerging green and yellow leaves.

Worm compost in bulk may be your answer. Topdress as soon as you get some.
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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JRTgirl wrote:
My garden seems to be in trouble! Two days ago it was beautiful and green. I know it's not heat stress because I have been watering it faithfully. I don't see any bugs on the plants. The problem is all over the garden on all the plants. Even my herbs look sick. Any help would be welcome.

I just had to deal with an infestation of squash bugs. Everything was going great and then suddenly everything is not so good!


OK, I'm going to to say under-fertilized.  The plants in the fotos look to me like they are growing slowly.  They should be able to outgrow the insect problem.     

Try a little liquid organic fertilizer in a couple spots and see what happens.

A thick mulch - 12" - over winter might help your soil's tilth.
 
Brenda Groth
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could you have possibly obtained some compost or grass clippings or something on your garden that might have been treated with a weed killer?

a lot of commercial products and even things from your neighbor could have weed killer on them..so you gotta watch that.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Yes,that happens from time 2 time. It's important to source your own materials and know their origin and fert/nutrient/application regiment.
 
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