Something is wrong with cucumbers??

I have some questions:
I have planted tomatoes, cucumbers and watermellons.
Here are other little details. 1. I plant on a slope. 2. I plant in a plastic 5 Gallons containers, I buy from Home Depot. (Will it be big enough to grow the plants? Or should I cut out the bottom of it.? Or buy bigger containers?) I feel container 50% with dirt 50% with compost. Dirt is from the slope where I plant. Compost is from the city dump. They sell it to you at $8.00 per cubic yard. Very good deal. If I buy from Home depot in plastic bags, it will cost me about $200.00 per cubic yard.
Anyway; First 2-3 tomato plants I have planted in a soil I have bought from Home Depot. On the bag it was written something like "soil for Tomato Plants"
The rest of tomatoes I have used the mix I have described above. It is apparentl that first 2 plants are much better off. They are juicy, tall with alot of green juicy leaves. The ones that live in a mix I have made do not look that healthy. What is the reaso? Maybe I should add something else to the soil as I make it?
Another question. Apparently, at least half of cucumbers I plant and use the same soil mix are dying. Another half lives but they do not look healthy. Why? What coudl be wrong with the soil?
Also, could it be the mulch I am covering the soil around the plants when I plant it? The mulch. I make my own. Probably it is not perfect. Maybe it is bad. Let me know. This is what I do.
The place where I plant had big bushes growing. I have cut the bush. Cut the branches off. Cut branches in small pieces. About 2-4 inches long. Small pieces that contain both branch and leaves. Use these pieces as mulch. Anything wrong with that? Could it be the thing that hurts the cucumbers. Apparently it is OK with tomatoes and Watermelons.
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Mark wrote:

Perhaps the problem overall is the soil you used in the containers. You can't put regular soil from the ground into a container. It becomes too compact and won't hold moisture or nutrients. You have to use potting soil because it won't compact under the weight and holds both moisture and nutrients. You use it for one season, then dump it and use new potting soil the following year. I often cut it with some peat for added moisture retention and organic matter. You can certainly add compost to the potting soil as well (perhaps 1/4 compost, 3/4 soil or 1/5 compost, 1/5 peat and 2/5 potting soil).
Right now, I'm growing cucumbers, celery, cauliflower, corn, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes in 30 L containers (which I believe works out to 5 gallons). They're all doing fine. I also grow potatoes in half barrels. I put one seed spud in the 30 L ones and three in the half barrels. So far, everything is doing great.
I can't see anything wrong with the mulch unless it was diseased or had been sprayed recently with something.
Container gardening also requires that you water daily. The container will dry out faster than the ground. Don't wait until you see it dry on the surface - water evenly every day. And you should also have drilled three holes in the bottom of the containers. Without the holes, the water would simply rot the roots.
..
Zone 5a in Canada's Far East.
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Mark wrote:

What is the city dumping there?? I would be VERY leary of using city compost for edible products since people sent a lot of toxic waste to the dump via city pickup. Using the city compost for flower gardens is one thing, but for vegetables is a severe health risk.
Bob
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Bob said: "What is the city dumping there?? I would be VERY leary of using city compost for edible products...."
In our local compost plant, you will also find sludge from the sewer treatment plant. Yep, human waste...
With the smells coming from the plant, it would appear that their piles are nowhere near hot enough either--at least as much as the toxics that folks put in with their grass clippings, I also worry about the health risks of using not-completely-cooked human waste in ANY of my gardens..
Goose bumped all over at the thought,
Deb

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It is probably a combination of red spider mites and cucumber beetles. Look under the leaves and check for small red/black specs and small webs. Also looks like a little mildew could be present. Spay with a neem oil solution and your favorite fungicide.
JEM

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