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Trouble's Brewing in my SFG

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Post  Fantasma 4/23/2012, 9:02 pm

I'm having several problems with my SFG as of the past week or so and hope someone has some advice.

1. One of my yellow crookneck squash plants is losing its lower leaves. They just turn yellow, then brown, then shrivel up and fall off. The top of the plant still looks pretty good, but the damage just keeps moving up the stem. Also, the plant doesn't seem to produce female flowers other than the single one that was on the plant when I purchased it. I typically see 1-2 open blooms when I leave for work in the morning, but they're shriveled up my the time I get home.

2. The lower leaves on my pole beans are starting to dry up and turn crispy while the newer leaves are almost ruffly.

3. Finally, the leaves of my tomato plant are droopy. They've got great green color
and the plant is 3-4 feet tall and full of flowers. It just looks so
sad.

Here are the pics.

Trouble's Brewing in my SFG Squash11
Trouble's Brewing in my SFG Beans10
Trouble's Brewing in my SFG Tomato10
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Post  martha 4/23/2012, 9:21 pm

Hello, Fantasma, and welcome.

This is what I found on-line about the white leaves on your bean plants...

"White leaves on green bean plants can be a sign that the plant is being
attacked by one of three types of fungi: powdery mildew, bean rust or
pythium blight.

Read more: What Are the Causes of Green Bean Leaves Turning White? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6542135_causes-bean-leaves-turning-white_.html#ixzz1suqTJPkK"

Regarding the tomatoes, from Dave's Garden,

"
Some
of the leaves and branches of a few of my tomato plants have started to
sag, wilt and curl. They look otherwise healthy...
Answer:
My
tomato plants were doing the same thing, and your pictures depicted the
exact same curling leaves. I did a search on garden web and it was:
aphids, lack of sunlight or too much water, etc. I think my tomatoes
curling leaves was too much water. We have been deluged here in middle
Tennessee. With a little sunshine and heat lately, they are doing fine
now and the curling leaves are now the bottom branches which i have
pruned off for circulation. All the new growth looks fine. So maybe
yours will be okay. Check for aphids though. I had a few in addition
to the torrential rains and rubbed them off."


Regarding the tomato and bean plants, I have had plenty of problems, but not these two, so these suggestions are just based on initial research.


However, regarding squash,to me, the plant looks healthy. It is not necessarily a sign of a problem for the lowest leaves to turn brown. It is also typical for squash plants to have mostly male flowers early in the season. How long have you had this plant?



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Post  stripesmom 4/23/2012, 10:41 pm

I live where there are 10 acres of field around me. The farmer sprays his field with herbacide and last year, after he had it sprayed, my tomato leaves started to curl. Well, I was pretty unhappy about that. But, it didn't make any difference in the end. The leaves still were able to do what leaves do and the tomato plants produced tomatoes. If your in the city, you may have neighbors spraying some sort of chemical on their lawns that is drifting over with the wind. Ask them to let you know if they are doing this, so you can cover your garden. What comes to mind is spraying round up.
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Post  Turan 4/23/2012, 11:02 pm

The tomato looks water logged to me as well. And I am guessing there is powdery mildew on the beans and squash. These are things that with care on the watering and plenty of nutrition available the plants can outgrow and produce. Is your compost well composted or is it still nitrogen low? Squash grows well in compost piles, except if there is lots of wood chips that use up all the nitrogen.
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Post  Fantasma 4/23/2012, 11:14 pm

Thanks everyone for the help so far!

As for the beans, it's not actually white or really a coating on the leaves. I think the flash on my roommate's iPhone washed out the color a bit. The areas that appear white in the photo are faded greenish brown and super crispy. The leaf edges are basically dead and crumble when touched.

Regarding the squash, I've had it for about a month and it's been in the ground for 3 weeks. I bought it as a 4" potted transplant. I haven't noticed this problem with my other squash plant, but I just got it last week.

I'll definitely keep an eye on the tomato's water and sun levels. I realized about two weeks ago that I'd forgotten to drill holes in the bottom of the pot and I've just moved it to a slightly sunnier location.
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Post  camprn 4/24/2012, 7:04 am

What variety are the tomatoes? The heirloom tomatoes I grow have foliage that just grows like that kind of distorted and curly. I really don't see any trouble with those tomato stems in your photo, granted it's a close up... there could be other things going on that I cannot see.

____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  littlesapphire 4/24/2012, 9:24 am

As for the squash not producing female blossoms, don't worry about that too much. They usually produce a lot of boys first before the girls start coming out.
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Post  quiltbea 4/24/2012, 10:04 am

Leaf curl on tomatoes can be quite common so I wouldn't worry about it. I get it on some of mine sometimes and it doesn't hurt the plant or production. Its just the nature of the beast.

Trouble's Brewing in my SFG 06-15-12

This is one of mine in the comm garden last year.
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Post  Fantasma 4/24/2012, 10:13 am

@camprn wrote:What variety are the tomatoes? The heirloom tomatoes I grow have foliage that just grows like that kind of distorted and curly. I really don't see any trouble with those tomato stems in your photo, granted it's a close up... there could be other things going on that I cannot see.
Good call. It's a Cherokee Purple Heirloom. I'll just keep an eye on the plant for now and report any additional issues. I think I'm just stressing out because my dad used to grow tomatoes every year and I don't want him to make fun of my pathetic attempts. Very Happy
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Post  elliephant 4/24/2012, 1:41 pm

The beans look like they could have sunscald. That happens if they get wet while you are watering and then the sun shines on the wet leaves. Could that have happened? A bunch of my plants got sunscald when I was away for spring break and DH did the watering.
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Post  plantoid 4/24/2012, 5:55 pm

The tomato leaves look a wee bit like they have wilted due to big swings in day & night temperatures .

50 oF ( 10 oC ) for 12 hrs or more will give similar pictures so will any drop below 48 oF for just a few hours .

What sort of night temps are you getting ?

Can you cover the plants at night if the temp is a likley cause ?



Also a cause of light patches on leaves and pods on french beans that give similar results to your pictures is an infestation of bean thrips .

Get a magnifying glass and look for very tiny black or yellow elongated ( about 1/32 inch in length )creepies on the underside of the leaves .
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Post  camprn 4/24/2012, 6:12 pm

@Fantasma wrote:
@camprn wrote:What variety are the tomatoes? The heirloom tomatoes I grow have foliage that just grows like that kind of distorted and curly. I really don't see any trouble with those tomato stems in your photo, granted it's a close up... there could be other things going on that I cannot see.
Good call. It's a Cherokee Purple Heirloom. I'll just keep an eye on the plant for now and report any additional issues. I think I'm just stressing out because my dad used to grow tomatoes every year and I don't want him to make fun of my pathetic attempts. Very Happy
hmmm. did you plant any other varieties of tomatoes? Do you have a wider angle photo?

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Post  Fantasma 4/26/2012, 3:20 pm

Here are a few more pics. One showing how crispy the bean leaves are and another of the entire tomato plant as requested. It is the only tomato I planted.
Trouble's Brewing in my SFG Crispy10
Trouble's Brewing in my SFG Tomato12
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Post  hruten 4/26/2012, 9:46 pm

Hi, I know what you mean about success stress, me too!

We used to live in DFW metroplex. I remember my plants looked really good, and then the problems started. Two things I had issues with, 1. bugs, worms, and creepy crawlies in general (they really are bigger in TX), and watering. My garden area got full sun, which is great here in the NE, but was lethal for some plants in TX. Remember that pots dry out much faster in heat and sun than a bed. I also was a zealous waterer, but I often used the sprinklers instead of local watering. The waterdrops would magnify the sun and burn little spots on my plants.

I think something we gardening newbies forget is that there is much trial and error before the harvest. (In my case YEARS worth) Trouble's Brewing in my SFG 601593 I like what Hannah Keeley says,"Sloppy success is better than complete failure." At least we keep trying!
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Post  Fantasma 5/2/2012, 11:30 am

I've narrowed the problems with my beans down to a possible soil deficiency of some sort. I think it's most likely an iron deficiency. Does anyone know the quickest, easiest way to get more iron to the plant?
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Post  SwampCatNana 5/2/2012, 12:53 pm

Fatasma - did you use Mel's Mix formula for your garden soil?
Lee
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Post  Fantasma 5/2/2012, 1:42 pm

I used Ladybug Brand Square Foot Gardening Blend.

http://www.ladybugbrand.com/products/SqFt-Gardening-Blend.asp
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Post  SwampCatNana 5/2/2012, 5:58 pm

@Fantasma wrote:I used Ladybug Brand Square Foot Gardening Blend.

http://www.ladybugbrand.com/products/SqFt-Gardening-Blend.asp

Interesting. It has A blend of five superior compost, Coarse Vermiculite, Coir Fiber(instead of peat).
Lee
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Post  givvmistamps 5/2/2012, 6:55 pm

Very interesting; they say on their website they worked with Mel to create this formula. Isn't coir supposed to be a good alternative to peat moss? Perhaps since Mel has a blend of his own that uses peat moss, this company wanted (or was required) to make their blend slightly different. I would say that since they can't use Mel's name without being truthful (or sued by the SFG Foundation) this must be a pretty good mix.

What's funny (or frustrating) is, I just bought a bag of Lady Bug brand turkey compost yesterday at the hydroponics store...sure wish they'd had the complete mix instead! I could've avoided this mixing I'm going to have to do one little bucket at a time... No

Oh yeah, back to the question about iron! You can use bone meal or blood meal to help with that. Both are great, and you can find them in most gardening stores or big box home improvement stores.
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Post  Fantasma 5/2/2012, 8:18 pm

I was really impressed with the texture of the soil. It was so soft and fluffy that I really just wanted to curl up and take a nap on it. I'm not sure the cost of blending your own MM, but the Ladybug Brand stuff seemed really expensive to me. I found it ranging in price locally between $18 and $25 per bag. I ended up needing 9 bags total to fill my beds. It was by far the most pricey component of my garden.

Thanks for the info on adding iron!
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