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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  Emily49 6/1/2020, 5:06 pm

I'm feeling quite pessimistic about my garden.  Things are going so slow!  I feel like I don't know what I am doing.  

My radishes take way more then 3 weeks, lettuce is still tiny too.  Bean seeds rotted in the ground.  Melon, cucumber and squash never germinated inside.  got 3 carrot plants. (I'm re-trying them in a corn meal substrate inside now)

now my new Tomatillio plant has yellow spots on the leaves.  I'm heading out now to put some epsom salts around it.

Emily
Emily49
Emily49

Posts : 84
Join date : 2019-05-27
Location : Stewartstown, PA zone 6

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Post  mollyhespra 6/1/2020, 10:28 pm

Emily, do you have a plain mason jar with a lid? Any glass jar will do, actually.

Take your bean seeds (maybe it'll work with the squashes, too) and soak them overnight. Drain the water off but leave them moist. Put the lid on askew to let a bit of air in and then place in a warm location out of direct light. A couple times a day, rinse the seeds and repeat.

Within a few days you'll have sprouts. I wait until it looks like most have sprouted and *then* I plant outside. Even so, it'll be a few days to a week before you see top growth, maybe longer, but the success rate for me is much better than direct sowing.

A picture of the tomatillo leaves would help.

And don't despair. We've all been there. It's a learning process. I've been gardening for years and I'm still screwing things up and learning from my mistakes. You'll get there if you don't give up.
mollyhespra
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Post  mollyhespra 6/2/2020, 12:17 pm

Actually, I thought of something else that might be happening: is your MM fresh this year? Have you had your NPK levels tested? You might have a shortage of something or other too. My MM the first year was really low on nitrogen because I used horse as one of my 5 composts and while the poo was composted nicely, there were still tons of un-composted wood chips in the poo which robbed my MM of nitrogen. A little organic supplementation and all was good. Get a cheap testing kit if you can and test your MM. HTH!
mollyhespra
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Post  Emily49 6/2/2020, 7:29 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:Actually, I thought of something else that might be happening: is your MM fresh this year?  Have you had your NPK levels tested?  You might have a shortage of something or other too.  My MM the first year was really low on nitrogen because I used horse as one of my 5 composts and while the poo was composted nicely, there were still tons of un-composted wood chips in the poo which robbed my MM of nitrogen.  A little organic supplementation and all was good.  Get a cheap testing kit if you can and test your MM.  HTH!
I have kind of lost track of the ages of my various beds.  I thought it was in my record, but it's not.  I will get working on the tests.  Is there a good chart somewhere of what to add organically to fix each of those shortages?  I have Epsom salts, dried milk, and bone meal.  

I think I have a picture on my phone of the leaves.  Something is also happening to my pepper leaves.  It's a bit of a work around to get pictures from my phone to the forum, but I'll get them up.
Emily49
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Post  mollyhespra 6/3/2020, 10:20 am

Well, what I did was I took the test strips (literally) to my local organic nursery guru and he told me what to do based on my levels. That was forever ago, so I couldn't tell you specifically now, but I'm sure if you post your results here you'll get some good advice.
mollyhespra
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Post  Emily49 6/4/2020, 11:22 am

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Emily49
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Post  Yardslave 6/4/2020, 12:29 pm

Looks like the leaves have spotted from either a tobacco-mosaic virus or they have fallen pray to a leaf sucking insect at work under the leaves- like whitefly. Feed them with a good dose of 5-10-10 fertilizer and spray them down with neem oil. If they respond, give them another dose at 2 week intervals. If you decide to pull them out, don't dump them in your compost bin as the clippings may innoculate the rest of your compost with the pathogen problem. That's why hot composting is important- to keep the bad things out of the compost. I learned the hard way when I tossed cuttings of tomato plants that had fusarium wilt. The compost wasn't tended well enough and all the tomatoes and eggplants I side dressed later with that batch wilted and died. Like the saying goes; "get back on the horse that threw you"-I suggest that replanting is doable, even though it's a bit late, You may consider nursery plants in 4" pots that are already up  (be sure they are not root-bound). If you're starting from seeds, keep the beds shaded from the harsh summer sun until the sprouts throw their second batch of leaves, then let them have full sun. Just make sure the soil stays moist all during the day so the sprouts don't get stressed by variations in moisture and fail to thrive. Once they're up, mulch around the plants to help keep the soil moist during the hot Summer weather, and feed them.
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Post  Dan in Ct 6/5/2020, 8:39 am

Hi Emily,

Will leave you with a couple of links but first because by how fast my tomatillos are growing I would follow Yardslave's advice and check for insects on the undersides of the leaves, I am thinking aphids and if you are like me you made need a magnifier to spot them. Too much nitrogen leads to excessive leaf growth which aphids find irresistible. You have mentioned using corn meal in past posts which gives a nitrogen boost. If it is aphids and you keep spraying them off with water, the plant should recover as long as no plant disease or virus was transferred as aphids are a vector for several. The first link is to Burpee's Learn about Tomatillos page.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZo4GpjswhU

The second link is to The Bryce Institute, part of Cornell University and The Physalis Improvement Project that I am taking part in and if your variety of Tomatillo is Toma Verde you may want to take part in also. Here is the link to PIP.

https://btiscience.org/our-research/bti-physalis-project-2/

Good luck, I am growing all 4 of the Physalis species, tomatillos, 2 different species ground cherries and Golden berries. First time for all. Not bragging, just explaining why I am running around like The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
Dan in Ct
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