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Q.

Plants not growing

Zone 6b | Anonymous added on May 27, 2016 | Answered

We planted a garden this year. We started seeds inside and then transplanted them. The seeds never really did take off to begin with. They grew but not to a decent size. We do have a small amount of lettuce growing but that is somewhat stunted too. Different sized plants as if we planted at different times. Everything else is just little shoots that don't develop into anything. We used good compost from a local ranch, added vermiculite, perlite, and two different types of soil, one was really sandy and the other was Scott's soil. We have had a good amount of rain this year (we are on West Texas) but I don't think it would kill it off. Oh, we have raised beds which we used newspaper to cover the bottom as well as a landscape fabric to curb weeds from the bottom. Our seeds were heirloom from Annie's Heirloom Seeds. I never bought from her but I don't think these are bad. What do I know. We have tried to garden before but it never grows. This is a new home so I thought it might be different. Thank you for your time. I sure hope you can help. My 16 is very discouraged right now.

A.
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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 29, 2016

My best guess is that your plants got wet feet (too much water near the roots). This would stunt plant growth and even cause them to die. It is possible that your raised garden beds didn't have adequate drainage. Cornell University has the following guidelines for testing soil drainage in raised beds: "to test a site’s drainage, dig a hole 18 inches deep and fill it with water. An hour later there should be little of no water remaining in the test hole." Source: https://bit.ly/1eBxsII

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