Overwatering? Underwatering? something else?
So I've decided to try and grow pole green beans for the first time ever...big mistake for this computer nerd...lol. Anyway, things went great as they started indoors but a few weeks after moving them outdoors, I'm worried I'm doing something wrong. We DID have about a week and a half where we had drenching rains. However, the raised garden bed I'm using has a water reservoir on the bottom with a drain plug, I've left that open constantly since I noticed the leaves changing colors. They're yellow as if they have too much water but they're dry and brittle. Then, I've got one plant in the sme.planter with what looks like a pest has been eating the plant. Now, my wife said she saw a mushroom somewhere in the planter. ANY ideas to help salvage my first attempt at gardening would be greatly appreciated. I'm in Maryland and I dont recall the exact date I planted the seeds but I do remember July 4th was the day I was supposed to expect to see a decent amount of beans that I could harvest. I did pluck about 10 beans but I'm even wondering if I pulled those too quickly. I've attached a phone so you can see what I'm working with. The soil is a mixture I made of one part kow manure, one part soil and 2 parts peat moss. Thanks!!!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Your soil planting mix is very heavy on the organic matter and manure; next time use a higher percent of soil and keep the peat moss to 10% by volume, or better yet use a less acidic organic matter product, preferably real compost. Use only composted or aged manure, not fresh raw manure. And keep that to less than 5%.
The soil with that high of an organic matter content may be retaining too much water. You can assess that by digging down a little and feeling the moisture content. Or buy a soil moisture meter and water when the moisture level drops to the lower moist range. Don't water if it shows 'wet'. Water before it goes 'dry'. The acidity may be altering the soil chemistry and availability of nutrients.
Don't bother changing the soil now, go with what you have this season and do the best you can. You can learn and make adjustments next season.
The mushroom is not a big concern, it is a fruiting body from a soil borne fungus, probably not a pathogen but from the manure decomposition.
Insect pests feeding on the plants, can be minimal and not a big concern, or they can get out of control and defoliate the plants and beans. The best way to deal with pest control is with a preventive program or early intervention and not wait for a heavy, advanced infestation. 70% neem oil products are organic program compatible and repellent in nature, not a knock down type action. If you have a heavy infestation of a chewing or sucking insect pest (caterpillars, beetles or aphids) you can use insecticidal soap or a botanical pyrethrins product as a contact spray for knock down.
So, tonight I did a soul test and the ph levels are just barely 6.5 but the nitrogen is registering between low and very low. What should I do to bring up the nitrogen levels? I've seen one article that discussed a long, slow, organic method and a chemical based method. Will the long, slow method result in my green bean plants dying off while the soil is trying to recover? Are the chemicals I would use THAT bad? Any suggestions?
wow....the Doctor is in the house!!!
Thank you for all the great advice.
So, you dont think my green beans are a lost cause? With respect to the soil, I used peat moss from a bag at Lowe's and the Kow Manure also from Lowe's. I followed a video I found online after consulting Dr. Google. Guess next time, I'll just buy something premixed...lol. unfortunately, I live in a townhouse so I cant just build a compost pile...my HOA and neighbors would go NUTS...lol.
I'll see if I cn find a water meter online and buy it immediately so I can check my soil saturation.
Again, THANK YOU for the advice...I've been fretting to survival of my first venture into vegetables and got truly discouraged. So, thanks for talking me off the ledge. 😉