Q.Vegetable Garden Problems
I have a raised bed vegetable garden (approximately 100sq ft), using an all organic program. I have several issues that I can’t seem to figure out, as when I look them up online and in books, they all seem to contradict each other.
1) tomatoes – very lush, tall green plants, with little to no flowers.
2) tomatillos – spindly, thin plants, with lots of flowers that turn to very small fruit and fall off (about 1. 5 inches in diameter) – they are right next to my lush tomato plants, which I don’t understand at all
3) cucumbers – tall, viney, few leaves, few flowers, but no fruit
4) zucchini – some are quite large, green, flowering only male flowers (or a few females with no pollination); others are small, yellowing, with buds that don’t flower at all (they are in a row)
5) green beans – short plants producing like crazy, but beans are a bit thin.
6) yellow summer squash – small plants, yellow to light green, buds that don’t flower.
7) bell peppers – all plants are short and spindly; green bells aren’t flowering; red bells have tons of fruit that only gets about 2 inches and then turns red almost overnight. I harvested one just to see, and it is spicy, not sweet, but I’m thinking that’s because they are so small.
8) various hot peppers – short, spindly, but producing consistent, although very few, tasty peppers
9) strawberries in container – not flowering or growing; still about the size they were when transplanted two months ago, but green and appear healthy I used an organic vegetable fertilizer by Jobe’s that is a little higher in P at planting and as a side-dress when some flowering started, as well as a mixture of liquid fish, liquid seaweed and molasses.
I foliar fed with Garret Juice a week ago, and plan to do it every two weeks (hoping it will help). I added composted manure to a vegetable garden mix of soil before planting. I mulched with a thin layer of compost (as that is all I had ready), and then large pine bark mulch, keeping the mulch away from the stems. I have a few minor pest problems (ants being the worst), including small holes in the leaves. I added orange oil to the Garrett juice when I foliar fed. I was thinking of using garlic tea, but don’t want to kill off the few green lacewings and other beneficials. I purchased some beneficial nematodes that I am about to add to the lawn (for flea and ant control) and was going to add some to the vegetable garden as well. I try to water regularly, but it isn’t perfectly consistent. I have added herbs and even petunias to the garden to promote pest control and attract bees for pollination.
I crudely did a home soil pH test following instructions online, adding vinegar and baking soda to separate samples, and got no reaction. I assume my soil is neutral. I am planning to send a sample off for nutrient testing, but really need to do something quick or I am afraid I will have no yield this summer. I also want to start seeding my fall squash and melons, but would like to know what is going on before I add anything else. I need advice on what could be causing the low production, low pollination, poor growth, how best to fertilize, and organic pest control options (mostly for flea beetles and ants). Any advice you can give will be very helpful!
I may be wrong, but it seems that your soil maybe too acidic, it needs to be alkaline. just over the middle range, I do not use pine bark it can be acidic.
I mulch with grass cuttings which break down quickly and provide nutrients to the soil, also it sounds like you are using too many fertilizers stick to one that gives you overall feeding avoiding too much confusion amongst the plants.