GAH! I'm able to get 5 and 6 yo kindergarteners to grow the most beautiful
peppers, tomatoes, and sunflowers from seeds in less-than-perfect
conditions. Such as having to train 33 kinders that they should not be
making their garden-areas into rice paddies -- "But Mr. Ranger... Plants
like water." Temperatures that were often lower-than-seasonally expected,
"Today's high will reach a stunning 50°F! Wear a sweater." And my favorite,
"It looked like a weed so I pulled it out." Over 60 plants were successfully
grown and, given recently emails, producing buds this week.
So given the boost of confidence I attempted the same in my own patch of
garden. Planted tomatoes (Early Bird, Granny Greens, Beefsteak, and Green
Zebra), peppers (Jalapeño, Serrano, Tequila Sunrise, and Purple Wonder), and
sunflowers (Sunbright, Valentine, and Florenza).
Everything started out GREAT. I used Miracle Grow garden as my base. The
germination of the seeds were immediate and every one of the shoots showed
strong potential. Daily sun is gradual, with the morning being shadowed
until around 11 and then direct sun from 11 to 6. Temperatures have also
been favorable with nothing too low (60s) and nothing too extreme (nothing
over 100). Recently, the plants came under attack from insects but nothing a
little night-time intervention couldn't control. I lost a few of the
sunflowers' leaves but nothing too major from the remaining plants. Two days
ago, I noticed several of the sunflowers starting to wilt. I checked the
soil and noticed it was damp but not soaking or spongy. I checked pH and it
was within the range I'd found. Yesterday, I noticed every flower wilting.
Today the entire batch are crashed and browned with several showing
predation. Worried, I looked over at the peppers, right next to the
sunflowers, and see the same thing occurring: predation, wilt, crumpling in
The soil isn't soaking. I haven't added _any_
fertalizers. They're starting
to bud and I'd like to save what I have left.
PS: For the member that mentioned I am not an experienced gardener, he was
right. I'm not. I normally purchase already-grown plants and simply keep
them growing. This season I wanted to try it from scratch and it's not