I have strange and persistent dead zone in my garden, and I'm hoping you all can help me figure it out. I have an urban front yard garden with raised beds and in ground plantings. There is a small area, roughly 4' x 8', where no plant can be happy. Part of this area is inside a raised bed and part is in ground. No matter what is planted--annual crops, perennials, cover crop, nitrogen fixers, etc, all will be stunted and sparse. Even weeds don't like it much. The thing is, plants don't necessarily die, they just don't grow. Seeds germinate poorly, and transplants stunt. Eventually they succumb to pests or bolt in their stunted state. I have a healthy lavender hedge that runs along the front edge of my property, and as it passes through this zone the lavender is stunted. Not sickly, not seemingly stressed, but they have spent over a year in the ground and have pushed out almost no new growth and no blooms. Next to them are lavenders 4 times their size, planted at the same time from the same plant stock.
I have no gophers, moles, voles, or ground squirrels.
I have double-dug and added lots of compost and organic matter to the raised bed, twice per year.
I mulch, and chop and drop from healthy areas of the beds
I have used fish emulsion, kelp, bat guano, vermicompost, bokashi, and other amendments.
I have tried to seed and transplant cover crop, to no avail.
Sunlight and water are consistent with the healthy beds.
There are no allopathic species around that I know of. There are 2 redwoods 20' away.
Anyone had this happen?