Stunted, yellowish veggies

Been lurking here for several years, absorbing and learning all I can about gardening. Great group with lots of good info. I've always tried to keep my gardens simple and easy to manage.
Here's my problem. For the second year now, about 2/3 of my garden appears stunted and has a yellowish color to the plants, mostly tomatoes, peppers and a few herbs. My veggie garden is small, only about 25' X 25'. I border the whole thing with marigolds. The marigolds on the south end are 3 times the size of the ones on the north end. The entire garden gets equal sun exposure. I've had this garden for about 10 years and only in the last 2 years has this problem showed up. Just seems strange that only part of the garden is affected.
Any idea what I should look for or do? Thanks!
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See ya,
Mike

"It is never too late to become what you might have been." - George Eliot
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Should have noted: Zone 5, west/central Ohio.
--
See ya,
Mike

"It is never too late to become what you might have been." - George Eliot
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1. Did you happen to put a bunch of leaves in the garden last fall and till them in? 2. Are you using fertilizer? What kind? Did you put it over the entire garden?
Steve
midocr wrote:

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Steve said:

And I would add:
3. Does the garden slope in any particular direction (say, from north to south)?
4. Has the garden received regular applications of compost? Home made or brought in?

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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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I brought in a pickup truck load of what appeared to be real good compost from our township compost facility about 4 years ago and spread it over the entire garden and tilled it in. The township collects grass clippings, leaves in the fall, and shreds tree branches all year. Composts it all through the winter and offers it back free to residents. Everything did great the next couple of years. I don't make enough of my own compost for the veggie garden, just my smaller flower beds. I use Miracle Grow fertilizer but have not applied any yet this year. I started out with Miracle Grow weed preventer with fertilizer this year but did not use it last year and had the same problem. The garden is flat with no slope.
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See ya,
Mike

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Assuming the weed preventer is safe to use on vegetables (and I really assume it is), the only thing that I can think of real quick is that the plants are starved for nitrogen. If you plan to use Miracle Grow anyway, use it now on about half the yellow plants. Wait a week or so before you do the others. It should be obvious very soon if they were simply starving.
Steve
midocr wrote:

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midocr said:

Four years, and no more compost added?
I think next fall you had better get another load of compost brought in. And plan for it at least every other year. Either that, or start collecting leaves in the fall (you know, the ones your neighbors have conveniently bagged for the township to collect) and till them in before winter. Add some manure or alfalfa pellets at the same time, if you can. *Every* time the soil is worked, you should be turning in some organic matter.
I suspect that your plants need more nitrogen (if you've been rained on like we have here in Michigan, that's a certainty) and the slow ebbing of that four years ago load of compost hasn't helped your soil hang onto the fertilizer you've used.
You might want to consider using a slow-release, encapsulated fertilizer like Osmocote for bedding plants and vegetables. It won't be leached away as readily as Miracle Grow. (It doesn't have to be Osmocote brand; there are similar products under different brand names.)
I mainly stick to organic fertilizers, myself, and where I don't I use Osmocote (or the equivalent).
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message

you tell him, Pat. It could be a number of things, but the fact that it did well for two years points to what Pat says. Let me also guess that the flower beds, which are getting the kitchen compost (the most fertile compost there is), are doing great also. If that is the case, even leaves won't do - they are great for texture but low in nutrients. Bring in a truckload of manure. It is best to manure each bed every second year *once they have some fertility* (so not for the next three years), but manure some bed every year, and rotate around heavy and light feeders accordingly.
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I think yellow is a sign of need for iron.
hawk
midocr wrote:

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If nutrients' the problem, yellow lower leaves indicates lack of nitrogen. Yellow top leaves indicates lack of iron. Many other factors can also cause yellowing. Any chance you can send a picture of your garden?
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I'm pretty sure that iron doesn't suddenly run out. It would be next to impossible to have enough iron one year and have a serious deficiency the next. It just doesn't leave the area easily. Nitrogen, on the other hand, does wash away easily and a garden needs a steady supply from one source or another.
Steve
Pen wrote:

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Low enough pH can leach out iron. Again, there isn't enough info to tell what the problem might be. Another possibility is the garden might be in the way of an expanding mushroom ring. If so, given time, the fungi will run its course and the soil will be better than ever.
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/county/cass/horticulture/inform/disease/fairy.htm
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Beyond the nutrient or lack of nutrient or too much nutrient questions, and diseases..
where is the garden in relation to your neighbors' properties.
where is it in relation to driveways, roads, neighbors's driveways?
There could be spray drift if the yellowed side say.. got some drift from roundup.. I notice that plants in my yard that got hit by some round up turned yellow when it was not enough to kill them, but sickened them.
If they're contaminated by 24D.. they generally have contorted new growth I guess.. maybe yellowing.
Soil contaminated with petroleum product causes yellowing of plants and stunting when roots encounter it.
I don't know if the garden was near a place where it would have gotten a lot of exhaust build up say over winter from cars "warming up", or exactly what it would do, but would think it might be like petroleum contamination.
There are so many different things it could be, and as another asked, is it possible to post some pictures of the garden in context.. otherwise shots from different angles of the whole garden so it can be seen in relation to its surroundings, and some closer shots of the garden as a whole, then the affected area, and close ups on the plants most affected. Don't want much do I? ;-) A picture will help, more might help more. :-)
Janice
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The main thing you need is a complete soil test(not just a pH test) and stop all the guessing. Guessing may just make a bad situation worse. A soil test from your local Extension Office will give you a complete soil analysis plus tell you what you need to do to correct any problems for the type plants you are tyying to grow. The price for the test is very minimal.
Take soil samples from about six inches deep at various places in your garden. Stir all the samples together to get an average sample. Put about 2 cups of the soil in a plastic baggie and carry it to your Extension Office. They will handle it from there and send you a detailed analysis back in the mail. If you have questions about the analysis, they can answer all of them.
I never cease to be amazed at how people try to guess solutions to problems when all that almost free help is available at their local Ag office.
Bob S.
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