View Full Version : Problems Growing

07-03-2006, 03:31 PM
I live in NE NV and uptil this year and last year the wife and I did not have a problem growing some vegetables to include baby pumpkins. Now it seems that we can't grow anything. Last year we couldn't get anything to grow in the backyard garden and that was after 3 starts in the house. Last year we let the front bed have a break and now this year we can only get 1 pumpkin plant and 3 squash plants to grow. They are in separate areas of the bed.

Usually we can grow sunflowers like weeds and nothing. My peppers wouldn't come up either. I'm frustrated and ready to give up. I rototilled the front bed 3 times this spring in preparation. I just don't get it and coming to the end of my proverbial rope with gardening.

:mad: :( :confused:

07-04-2006, 02:39 PM
Consider having a soil test done. You can order a soil test kit or take a sample and send it to a lab. It isn't expensive, like $10, and it'll tell you if you have a major soil problem.

Could be a nutrient deficiency, a ph problem, a chemical spill, any number of things.

07-04-2006, 10:00 PM
I tested the soil and I have high everything. The Ph is in the 8 range and nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are real high.

I don't know what to do now and really need to reflect inside and see If I want to continue gardening. It's starting to be a pain and I don't have alot of money to put in the dirt.

Any advice would be appreciated.......

07-06-2006, 02:56 PM
That PH is too high. 7 is neutral and most plants like it slightly acidic, so 6.5.

Try working in some compost and some sulphur. If you use mulch try using a pine based mulch as that can also help acidify the soil.

Compost can usually be bought anywhere that sells top soil or garden soil (Lowes, Home Depot, etc) if you do not make your own. Sulphur is usually found with the specialty fertilizers, sometimes called Garden Sulphur.

Reconditioning the soil isn't an instant fix, it might take awhile, but its something you'll need to do.

As for what caused this... certain chemicals or other compounds are high PH, such as cement/mortar/lime.

07-07-2006, 02:22 PM

First let me thank you for your replies and the effort you've taken to help me with my gardening woes.

Now this spring just prior to planting I rotolilled the soil twice and then about a month before planting I spread a 16-16-16 off brand fertilizer down and then tilled a third time.

I'm guessing that is why my nutrients are so high (phosphorous/potassium/nitrogen) I still don't know what sent the Ph through the roof. A couple of years ago I put down what was called mulch but really looked like tree bark.

I will try to amend the soil in the fall and I guess leave the bed alone for a year or two, what do you think.

07-09-2006, 12:52 AM
Tree bark is mulch.

Sometimes lime can leech out of a concrete driveway or foundation to cause a PH increase.

Could be too synthetic fertilizers that are salt based have turned the soil alkaline.
I would stop fertilizing other than compost, put down garden sulphur, and top dress with compost. Then yes, leaving it alone for a year might help.

A professional soil test might be worth it at this point as well, just to be sure. Kinda like how most women who score positive on a home pregnancy test still go to the doctor for confirmation.

07-09-2006, 12:59 AM
One other thing you can try is finding plants that like alkaline soils (assuming it isn't a different problem). Off the top of my head the only one I can think of is clematis, which is a flowering vine, but a Google search would probably locate a whole list.