Mixed results from my garden.

Hello,
Id like to report my garden results so far. I did the straw cover garden with ground cover for weed issues. In a Ruth Stout kinda That part is fantastic. Ive been following the advice from the nematode book. And trying to get my soil back in check. And am trying to not use weed or bug killers. I have Very little weeding even though the fabric rotted in the sun. The straw held down the weeds very good.
I have the following successes.
Stupendous corn 6 ft tall. Ears are looking good so far. Stupendous Heirloom Tomato plants. None red yet. For the record Ive always had great maters. Eggplants doing above average. I still have A couple of stunted plants. But the big ones have flowers. They seemed very iffy and slow growing at the beginning. Peppers are doing fine. Four mixes of heirloom Lettuce went nuts . I couldnt eat it fast enough and. I lost over half to bolting and seeding. The ones still out there are about 3 feet tall. And taste bitter. Red Onion sets were mixed. They all grew fast and tall . Some developed halfway underground , some seeded without getting big underground. Some barely got bigger then the set themselves but grew really tall. I used most as green onions. Celery is doing great too. As long as I water it daily.
Now the failures.
I tried seeding the following plants. All failed outside. Green beans, peas, Carrots, Beets, Broccoli. I reseeded some more beans elsewhere and in planters and they are weak and flimsy. One flimsy plant developed one flimsy pea pod. I lost track of a lot of them to weeds.
But all the reseeded beans are still alive.
One beet plant developed the beet above ground . It was about 3/4 inch around and about 3 inches long. With short 1 inch roots just below the surface. I moved it and buried it and it died.
I cant get root plants to grow here apparently. But everything else is booming and growing very fast.
And the final issue.
I found a baby toad in my garden. Which is relevent because I had for many years sprayed bug and weed killers excessively. And strerilized the soil. And I havnt seen toads in many years either. I suspect i have no worms or very little. And I used to be loaded with worms . There are no bees here either , again due to me past years spraying. And I removed all my blighted fruit trees that attracted them.
Im taking the toad as a good sign. Because Im not near natural water.
I dont seem to have any major bug issues.
I have japanese beetles now feasting on my grapes. I dont eat the grapes but theres thousands in there. They tried for my corn a little but i sprayed them with a bit of garden plant bug killer. And theyre staying on the grapes.
Early in the season , I had flea beetles severly on the egg plants. But these very little chewing now.
And suggestions for how to figure out why I cant get root plants to grow.
Thank you
Diesel
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You didn't say anything about amendments to the garden (manure, bone meal, ect.). I've never used a ground cover. After spreading my amendments (18.37 lb. chicken manure/ 100 sq.ft., 3 lb. rock phosphate/ 100/sq.ft., and one gallon of wood ashes per square yard on clay soil, I lay down newspaper (or cardboard) over the pre-existing vegetation, and cover that with alfalfa/lucerne ($14 - $15/bale). The earth worms seem to love it. This is probably too rich in nitrogen, which, as in composting, should be in a ratio of 25/1 for carbon/nitrogen. You may want to add some additional manure as straw has no nitrogen to offer the soil ecology.
I've had poor experiences germinating in the soil, especially with mulch, where even rolly-pollies become your enemy. Germinating inside has worked well for me, and then moving them into the soil when they are 5 - 6 in. tall.
Peas need to go into the ground when it is still too cool for most plants. Here in N. California, I'm thinking March now, after planting in April this year. They are turning brown now.
I've had poor success with carrots and radishes. The best I did was on an area that wasn't mulched (no cover for the beasties). This year I tried it again, and ran into problems with our rascally raccoon digging the soft soil of the carrot patch (unfortunately raccoons seem to like the food that they find in mulch, and our blueberries), which has been subsequently armored with 2"X 4" wire fencing laid on the ground (he seems to like long, sweeping, digging strokes, and avoids the wire). But basically, for carrots, radishes, parsnips, and beets: soft soil, no mulch until plants are established.
Beans get germinated inside, and go outside at 5". I haven't had any problems with the beans. Ours are in flower now.
I had trouble with eggplants too, but it seems to have cleared up on its own.
Now would be a good time to plan ahead on the Japanese beetles and spray with "Milky Spore" <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_spore> and <http://www.planetnatural.com/site/milky-spore.html
It will take a few years to completely control them but it is classic Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
If you do heavy mulching with a carbon/nitrogen ratio or 25/1, the earthworms will return in large numbers. As for the bees, it may not be your fault. THe wackos across the street from us grow ornamentals and think nothing of bombing the place with Sevin. I try to have flowers for the bees to work from early spring on. We are fortunate that the main spring weed here is wild onion which attracts the bees, and then we also have wisteria, chinese lanterns, valerian, peaches, violets, and assorted herbs that keep the bees coming. It can be as easy as a large (2' X 2') planting of alyssum in the middle of your garden.
The frog seems a good omen. Maybe a small pond with a place to hide. I'd love some frogs for the slug and the snails, but we have a pride of cats, 4 or 5 depending on whether Mr. Time-Share is here or not. He usually shows up around dinner time (ours), and then goes back to a neighbor who seems to have a better brand of cat food than we do. OK, too much information ;O)
Hope some of this helps.
--
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wrote:

I didnt ammend anything. I threw some fertilizer down at tilling time. And Ive added watered fish emulsion once.

Apparently mine have too.

I was hoping for some soil reason why some plants are going nuts and others are dying.
Maybe its just as simple as getting plants from the greenhouse. Everything I got from them went nuts. All the root plants i tried to seed died. Well almost.
I do feel better though.
Cant wait until next year.
Thanks
Diesel
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Nitrogen for vegetative growth 3 lb. rock phosphate/100/sq.ft., Phosphorus for root and flower development
and one gallon of wood ashes per square yard on clay soil, Potassium for the chlorophyl, and general plant health

"Tilling Time"? Rototilling time? If so, that could be where most of your worms have gone, to humus. Earthworms give critical support to bacteria, and fungi in the rhizosphere of the soil. Some rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria (rhizobacteria) are antagonistic to plant-parasitic nematodes.
I really recommend "no-dig" gardening. It's better for the soil, easier on the back, and definitely easier on the earthworms.

With all that carbon source, little of the nitrogen from the fish emulsion will find its way to your plants for growth.

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None4U wrote:
...
where are you at? what is the lay of the land/garden area where this is happening? it might be too low or flooded.
describe your seed planting methods?
what kind of soil conditions do you have underneath the mulch? mulch is only good for many seedlings after the plants are growing and established as it can cause damping off type problems or other rot troubles.
what kind of rain and temperatures did you have when trying to get the seeds to go?
i suspect it was too cold and wet for you when you planted and they drowned or rotted, but hard to say for sure.
songbird
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Ohio
what

Flat .

Nope.

Put them in the tilled ground, water them.

tilled soil .

It was cold still in frost risk. But I didnt get any frost . Quite a bit of spring rain.

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None4U wrote:

rotted.
songbird
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Save the Leaf Litter
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wrote:

Thanks.
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