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Plants frozen in time! Toplef10Plants frozen in time! 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Plants frozen in time!

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sanderson
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Norris50
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Plants frozen in time! Empty Plants frozen in time!

Post  Norris50 5/17/2022, 10:57 pm

Plants frozen in time! B10Plants frozen in time! A10
Help please!  I started the tomatoes in the first picture (below) from seed and transplanted them into this bed on April 29 and they have not grown at all.  The bed (MM) was refreshed this year with equal amounts of Black Kow, mushroom compost, evergreen from Lowes and Fox Farm Ocean Forest potting soil. I’ve added a scoop of Black Kow around each plant, a spoonful of Epsom salt, watered regularly and sprayed 3 days ago with fish emulsion.  The plants are not dead, just have not changed at all.  The potatoes are thriving in the same soil and the beans I planted on May 8 are up to 2-3” tall.  The strawberries, onions and garlic are in old soil from last year and are thriving (don’t ask how those things are planted together, lol). I have another raised bed with the same soil and the carrots, lettuce and chard, all planted on April 2, are all pathetic and only about 2” tall. What is going on? ☹
Plants frozen in time! E10Plants frozen in time! D10Plants frozen in time! C10
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Post  OhioGardener 5/18/2022, 3:52 pm

It seems odd that only the tomatoes are not showing any growth after about 2½ weeks in since being transplanted.  There can be so many reasons for this that it is impossible to guess the correct one. It can be transplant shock, which takes some time for the plant to recover from. Or, it could be not enough moisture down at the root level of the plants - have you tested the moisture down about 4" deep? Or, it could be a nutrition deficiency in one of the necessary elements. You added two components that should not be in Mel's Mix - Evergreen Topsoil and Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil. MM is a soilless mixture of compost, vermiculite, and peat, each of which have a specific purpose: Compost to provide plant nutrients; vermiculite to keep the soil loose and friable; and peat to retain moisture.  While Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil provides a lot of good things, including peat, earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion, and crab meal, it also contains most composted wood chips and it is an unneeded expense in MM.

Probably the best thing to do at this time is to wait & watch. If it is a problem with transplant shock, they will take off and grow as soon as they adjust. If it is a nutrient problem, the plants should start responding as soon as the organic material starts breaking down by the microbial life.

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Post  sanderson 5/19/2022, 12:53 am

What OG wrote.

Evergreen from Lowes contains wood and should be sifted.  Fox Farm Ocean Forest potting soil contains peat moss (which is already added in the MM and contains no nutritional value), forest products (wood), and sandy loam (dirt).  Adding a scoop Black Kow around each plant and a spoonful of Epsom salt is not needed.  Spraying the tiny tomato leaves with fish emulsion is definitely not needed.  

https://www.gardenmyths.com/fish-fertilizer-worth-buying/

In summary, only the Black cow (if screened) and the mushroom compost (if it was made with straw and manure and no peat moss added while being packaged for sale) are providing nutrients in a slow, natural manner.

The tomato start in the photo is very small and may be struggling with transplant shock or cold, over wet or dry bed fill.  They are usually taller, like 6" or even more, before they are planted.  Hopefully the tomatoes start to pick up.

Keep in mind that with SFG, fertilizers are not recommended.
https://squarefootgardening.org/2020/05/the-magic-of-mels-mix/

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Post  Norris50 5/19/2022, 9:43 am

All of this is good information and thank you, but where in the world do I get five different kinds of compost.  I've been to Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply and the Wilson County Co-op.  Occasionally I can get bunny poop.  I bought the Fox Farm thinking that because it contained the earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion and crab meal these would be some different types of compost. I don't have a truck and don't know anyone with a farm to obtain chicken or horse compost. I'm working on my own, but that will be for next year. I'm at a loss.  Again, thanks for taking the time to answer.
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Post  donnainzone5 5/20/2022, 7:09 pm

You're in Tennessee.  Do you have access to cotton bur compost?  Is there a Whole Foods Market or Home Depot near you?  They sometimes carry Cedar Grove organic compost.  Big Box stores, in my experience, seldom carry suitable composts for SFG.  What about mushroom compost (please read labels; some contain peat moss)?  Independent garden centers or nurseries sometimes carry a better selection.  And then there are grow stores.  I've found a good organic, plant-based compost, as well as a fish-based compost, at a local store.  And then there's composted chicken manure.  Sometimes, cow compost can be found (I bought this at the grow store).  Please note that only one of your composts should be manure-based.  If you're able to extend your search, I'm pretty sure you'll be successful.
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Plants frozen in time! Empty Its probably just the temperature

Post  tadpole207 5/21/2022, 6:46 pm

Temps have been wild all over the world. Tomato heirlooms usually need a lot of sun and heat to get growing. If there is a hot spell, then a cold spell, they save energy by not growing.

1. Not sure if you answered this, but what variety are they? 
2. When you grab the soil, does it stick together or come apart?
3. How much shade do they get per day?
4. How much sun do they get per day?

I can grow tomatoes inside the house as long as i have 3 constants- sun, water and temp.

happy footing.
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Post  Soose 5/22/2022, 7:31 am

Norris50 wrote:All of this is good information and thank you, but where in the world do I get five different kinds of compost.  I've been to Lowes, Home Depot, Tractor Supply and the Wilson County Co-op.  Occasionally I can get bunny poop.  I bought the Fox Farm thinking that because it contained the earthworm castings, bat guano, fish emulsion and crab meal these would be some different types of compost. I don't have a truck and don't know anyone with a farm to obtain chicken or horse compost. I'm working on my own, but that will be for next year. I'm at a loss.  Again, thanks for taking the time to answer.

Norris50, I'm new to this.  I had the same dilemma.  I bought some bagged "grower's mix" at great expense (relatively speaking), it was OMRI and looked healthy to me, didn't even have soil in it.  I thought I could compensate for the peat moss in it. It had all those healthy ingredients you mention, additives.   But folks here did not like it...  we're saving it for other uses, not my Mel's Mix.  (I was told by the manufacturer that it's very rich, their richest mix, and that if I used it for veg I would not have to fertilize for 2 yrs.  So I think we'll just add a little of it to other things in the new berry patch, etc.. Sparingly.)

For this year's mix, I bought bags of Black Kow manure at Lowe's.  And I bought the Black Velvet mushroom compost there after someone here said they liked theirs. Both were good looking products.  I am happy with them.  I did not have to screen them. 

I had some of my own compost for a third ingredient.

Then, I managed to find a homeowner/gardener who was willing to sell his last year's collection of compost and worm castings. He had made them well, far as I can tell. And he pre-screened for me, even had frozen to kill bug eggs as he made it.  I used them for two of my compost sources.  My next choice would have been someone who advertised himself as an organic gardener with organic compost, but I chose the first because I could see his sources, etc., and he was less of a drive.

I took a bunch of 5 gallon buckets and he loaded them up.  I'm finding it's a lot easier for me to manage buckets than bulk, so even with our old truck working now,  I fill and transport buckets.  Makes for easier unloading.  But you might also talk someone into delivering.

I don't usually participate in online social media but for this purpose I borrowed someone's sign in to look on FB marketplace. (Craigslist is dead in our area. Sad )  I managed to find several potential sources there.  And am still using that route to look for stuff for next year's compost ingredients, or brown sources for my own compost.
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Post  Hawgwild 5/22/2022, 10:23 am

Didn't see but what type of tomatoes that you have planted? I bought some carolina purple tomatoes from Lowes and they are only about 1/3 the size of my other tomatoes. Very slow growing but do have some tomatoes on them.  All were planted about the same time around the 1st of April. They are only about 14" tall while my other varieties are 3-4 feet tall. They received the same amount of water and fertilizer.

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Post  sanderson 5/26/2022, 4:14 am

Norris50, Ideal is to use 5 different sources of real compost. However, this has been a hard year to find a good variety of real compost in different areas of the country. Three (3) quality varieties is better than 5 improper "composts", that is. the ones often blended with other material such as peat moss, coir, perlite, sand, top soil, wood chips, etc. Do your best and keep looking for other varieties since you will be amending with compost each time you plant.

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