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Old 09-16-2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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Sick garden

My garden flourished beautifully last year. We didn't mulch or fertilize because we only had time to kill grass and create garden space. I guess we tilled the dead grass into the ground. We had large plants and more food than we knew what to do with.

This year my garden is pathetic. Before planting I dug in nutrimulch turkey manure, which around here is supposed to be the best. We had a last spring and early frost (like Sept 1st, but it hasn't frozen since. The nights get down to about 40 though). I've had hardly any tomatoes and all my plants have some strange illness or another. The aspen trees next door started getting sick first with brown crispy, shriveling leaves (bottom pic). Then the aspen sprouts in my yard got sick (upper right), then the tomatoes (middle left). Can a tomato plant possibly get the same illness as an aspen or is it something else? My parsnips look similar to the tomatoes. And on the side of my house the morning glory has turned white and then shrivels (bottom right--I'm glad it's dying but it's killing the squash and asparagus). The asparagus it turning brown as if it's dry(top left with morning glory climbing), but it gets plenty of water. My willow tree on the side also has leaves like the aspen.

Any words of wisdom for my black thumb?

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Old 09-16-2008, 02:27 PM   #2
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Is Nutramulch safe for vegetables?
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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Are your neighbors experiencing similar problems?? If so, maybe a call to your local County Extention office for answers...Or maybe you local garden center could help. There seems to be a Fungus-Among-Us...or something.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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I was just out wondering the same thing.
What's up with these splitting, rotting on the vine tomatoes?
I thought it was RIPENING on the vine!
The one on the ground is a Black Krim, the one hanging is a Big Mama roma.... which looks ok but when I sliced one yesterday it had a big ol dry area inside it.

And the white popcorn looking stuff seems like some sort of fungus... I think.

I did plant almost a month late, but still, last years crop was as tall as I am in July, these barely make my waist.

I'm so bummed. I dont even want to waste my effort next year. I've never had such a cruddy garden year.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
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Have you had warm temperatures, but not big temp swings from day to night, this summer? Have you gotten a lot of rain? Rain can cause ripening tomatoes to swell and split. If I have some that are more than halfway ripe and it rains, I pick them and let them finish ripening on the counter. They're just as good that way.

The problem with supermarket tomatoes, as opposed to vine-ripened, is that they're picked way too early, when they're still green, then refrigerated, which lessens their flavor, then artificially colored with ethylene gas. But that doesn't mean you have to leave them on the vine till they're fully ripe. If I did that, I'd never get any - the birds would have pecked holes in them all!
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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yep GG, I think all of the above, although it wasnt too hot at all this year.
wet beginning, dry middle, wet end.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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How does my garden grow?

BADLY. I don't think it is any thing you have done. The WEATHER in most parts of the country has been different this year.

The cherry tomatoes on our deck grew....just giving fruit.

Other plants...NOT GOOD. I think most gardeners report the same....
NOT A GOOD YEAR.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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Having learned my basics of gardening in Utah, I'd say your problem (and looking at the dirt) was not enough organic matter in your soil. It needs to be loosened and aerated. Hubby jokes since we moved here (and you need to know we've pretty much covered the country) that the rest of the country has dirt, we have soil. You need to turn your dirt into soil, and fertilizer, no matter how organic, won't do it alone. As others have said, call your UofU extension service to find out what is best. I'd guess big bales of peat moss, cheap. But find a local expert.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Having learned my basics of gardening in Utah, I'd say your problem (and looking at the dirt) was not enough organic matter in your soil. It needs to be loosened and aerated. Hubby jokes since we moved here (and you need to know we've pretty much covered the country) that the rest of the country has dirt, we have soil. You need to turn your dirt into soil, and fertilizer, no matter how organic, won't do it alone. As others have said, call your UofU extension service to find out what is best. I'd guess big bales of peat moss, cheap. But find a local expert.
You are absolutely right about the dirt on the side of the house. We have never been able to mulch that part. The part with tomatoes and carrots has been tilled every year though, and mulched, plus we dug in some of the dead plants from last year for organic matter, but you can't really see the soil from that part of the yard in the pictures.

And thanks for reminding me about the U of U extension service--I forgot all about that!
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
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I have a big, huge, mushy spot in my heart for UU. They operated on my mom when I was a teenager .... 30 years ago or so. Some of the staff seemed to think she was a "charity" case (we were military, stationed at Hill at the time). But the docs were top-notch.

If you can get carrots to grow in it, you are probably OK, it isn't compacted too badly. But every fall throw in something, then in the spring turn it under. When you do it and find earth worms, you can yell success and run in circles screaming that you are the champion!
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