vegetable garden problems
We planted our vegetable garden a little on the late side due to constant rain. I better back-up a bit - our location is Solon, Ohio. We planted tomato plants of various sizes, pepper plants, eggplant plants, collard greens plants, misc. lettuce plants, zucchini plants, squash plants, cucumber plants, red cabbage plants, onion sets and the following from seeds: lettuce, radish, beans, carrots, onions and leeks. I may have missed a few items. Since we have not had a garden for several years, the ground was rather solid, so we asked the landscaper who takes care of our lawn to roto-till the area for us. With all of the rain that we had, the ground was rather wet, so they hand dug the earth to let it dry out some. Then they roto-tilled with a small tiller and advised us that we needed several yards of "leaf mulch" which was spread out evenly over the entire planting area. It was not turned into the soil. I probably should have asked, but I did not and continued to plant the garden. This leaf mulch is approximately 4-6 inches deep. Now the plants have been in the ground at least four weeks now maybe a little longer. The pepper plant leaves are turned to yellow except the top few, the tomato plants do not seem to be coming along so great, the eggplant plants (which were absolutely magnificent when planted) are shriveling up although they are producing fruit so far and their lower leaves are the same as pepper plants turning yellow. The red cabbage seems ok, the collards don't look good, the lettuces are looking good, and all of the seed plantings look good, especially the beans. The squash types are not fairing well either. We fertilized first with miracle grow (sprayed with hose applicator) and recently with with garden variety dry 10-10-10. We also watered at first, thinking the plants were needing it; however, I dug down into the soil to find it very wet. Really do not know what to do at this point. Can you offer any suggestions? Also, I tried to roto-till between rows (which I did for at least half of the garden) and spent more time cleaning the mud out of the tiller than I spent on actual tilling. Appreciate any help you can offer!
I think the cause of your vegetable problems may be the rather deep leaf mulch, which should be applied to the soil either after planting or dug in before. Plants will not grow properly in this sort of medium unless it is very well rotted. A mulch is meant to conserve moisture or to suppress weeds.