Garden isn't growing right :(

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by sbush033, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. sbush033

    sbush033 Member

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    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    I'm not quite sure what's going on, but my garden is growing weird. I've never been able to grow cucumbers here (Eastern WA, I can see Idaho from here, been in our house 5 years) but I've never had problems with tomatoes, potatoes, zuc's or other squash and the sunflowers have always been large enough to chop down with an ax.

    Well, this year something weird is going on. The zuc's have a bumpy texture (almost like blisters), the yellow squash is shrunken and mostly green, the tomatoes are sparse and the sunflowers are small.

    My mother-in-law actually planted for me this year using layer gardening (mil is a former landscaper and ran a greenhouse supply store for years, but it was on the other side of the state. Also, the layer gardening was my idea from a book I read). I was in school all summer so I didn't really help out but I trust her to do gardening right. In fact, usually what she plants overtakes my plants as she has a green thumb. With nothing growing properly, I am at a loss. My mil thinks maybe there is a virus in the soil but I don't know how to tell or where to go for testing.

    My husband's uncle lives just a couple of miles from us and has a wonderful garden and the others on our road look great.

    Any thoughts on what is going on and how to fix it?? I'm at a loss and just about to give up completely.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    Stacey
     
  2. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Surrey,BC,Canada
    Stacey--any grass clippings or hay from an unknown source used in the "lasagana layers"? Clopyralid traces will affect many plants, esp. the tomatoes. I did think they were restricting its use, but eastern Wash. has been one of the worst affected areas if memory serves.

    The other thing would be a nitrogen hunger from too much carbon in the layers. I think your experienced gardener helper would be aware of that, tho. Very weak yellowed growth overall would be the clue for that one.

    Glen
     
  3. sbush033

    sbush033 Member

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    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Thanks, Glen. I've been using hay and grass from my yard. However, there is a catch. A couple of years ago my neighbors had their yard 5 acres sprayed for napweek (sp) and it drifted over to my property. They had a lot of problems and almost lost all of their Russian Olives as well as the rest of the trees on their property. As a result of their spraying, my cherry tree is losing bark and all of it's leaves even though the gardening company assured us that all we had to do was prune and fertilize. We are going to cut it down soon because we don't see any hope for it.

    I know my mother-in-law fertilized, and my hay field is mostly Alfalfa so I'm thinking that it's the other stuff you mentioned.

    Well, before I sound completely like a moron (my grandpa had the green thumb in the family), I'm going to do some more research on the Clopyralid you mentioned so I at least know what I'm up against. I will move the garden if I have to but we've put so much work into it that I'd hate to start over again.

    Thanks for the info.

    Stacey
     
  4. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Denman Island,BC
    The list of sprays for napweed(s) includes picloram (Tordon), clopyralid (Lontrel), dicamba, and 2-4-D, all having long to very long persistence (up to 5 years for picloram). Several city composting programs have been sabotaged by lawn grass clippings with clopyralid residues as the composting temperatures are not sufficient to decompose it.

    If you think the compost layers are a risk, you should remove them before the fall rains wash the residues into the soil. Ask your neighbors what they sprayed, then research that. If they had it sprayed by a licenced applicator, contact them as well. These are all supposed to be sprayed with low pressure equipment, and in "suitable" weather to minimize drift.

    Ralph
     
  5. sbush033

    sbush033 Member

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    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    5 years? Gosh, no wonder my garden isn't growing.

    I'm still trying to catch my neighbors to see if they remember what was sprayed. It really sucks, though, that their thorny Russian Olives that grow over my fence came back just fine but my summer food source is struggling. I know they used a company to spray for them, and of course they sprayed when it was windy (which it usually is around here).

    Is there somewhere I can take my soil to be tested? And if I do have residual herbicides is there any way to counteract the effects?

    Thanks for the info.

    Stacey
     
  6. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maryland USA zone 7
    Hi Stacey,

    I am so sorry to hear about this. You can contact your local extension service for testing.
    http://ext.wsu.edu/

    Good luck,
    Newt
     

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