I have a major problem where all my vegetables have very luight green leaves
to where the are almost yellow. I live in northeastern PA and June was just
30 days of rain and now sun so this may be a factor.
The veggies that are light green are Tomatos, peppers, beans, cucumbers,
onions, cabbage. I use 10-10-10 fertilizer, and Ironite. PA has acid rain
so I usually mix in soem lime in the early spring.
Also the plants are not growing bushy at all the tomatos and peppers are
Check the actual pH. You are describing chlorosis and chlorosis can have a
whole host of causes ... including disease, mineral deficiencies
(magnesium, manganese or boron) pests (sucking and root insects), soil
compaction, overwatering and bad pH. (The insects don't actually cause
chlorosis but their damage can mimic it at first glance).
Googling for chlorosis led to this link:
Hope this helps,
Bill, thanks for suggestions and link.
I will check the PH again. I'm starting to believe that chlorosis is the
problem. From the link you supplied over watering is a main contributor.
Again - we had approximately 30 days of water during June in PA without any
sun. Lack of iron is also a contributor and I normally till in dry Ironite
in the spring and then water with the water soluble form every 2 weeks. I
have rasied beds 2" X 12" so drainage is usually not an issue, but the long
rains may have just washed away every nutrient in my soil! I just may send
my soil for analysis at Penn State U.
I'm just starting to believe that the lousy weather this spring was the
majority of the problem. I just checked the PH levels in a few spots and
it's running 6.8 to 7.0. Not too bad but I guess it could be more acidic.
I think PA acid rains will take care of that but I'm going to water 2 tomato
plant with Miracid just as an experiment. I have added composted manure
this spring but lightly about an inch over the plot and tilled in in. I
agree that I need more organic matter. I can get spent mushroom soil very
easily and will add it this fall as in the spring it produced too much
ammonia as it still is cooking. I plant in raised bed using 2"X12"X16' so
the drainage is fairly decent.
It also looks like we need iron around here so I use the Ironite which also
has some very good trace minerals.
I take pictures of my garden and the last good graden was 1985 when I
installed the raised beds and used a sterilized soil of 25% peat, sand,
vermiculite, top soil.....things grew gigantic that year! It's been
downhill since then when the bacteria and fungus take over.
I've done well with the mushroom soil - but this is only my
3rd season living here, so I don't have long experience with
Contrary to what several people have said about letting it
age, I added mushroom soil directly to my raised beds this
spring. I was worried about doing this, and didn't really
want to but - because neither my husband nor myself is
capable of digging in our heavy clay (health problems)- I
had very little choice in the matter.
It was either fill the raised beds with mushroom soil or
don't plant them at all. (This was the first year we've
used raised beds.) Some of the raised beds got about 1/2
mushroom soil, and some got 100% mushroom soil.
So far everything is doing very well indeed - this is
squash, zucchini, chard, peppers, tomatoes, lettuces,
various Asian greens, various herbs, and cucumbers. (I
never got the pole beans planted - I hurt my back and
haven't been able to work in the garden for the last month.)
The only problem we're having is that the mushroom soil
drains fast, and needs daily watering in the heat we've been
having for the last two weeks. This may partly be because
we're using tires also - they're small compared to most
raised beds, and have black solar-heat-collecting sides.
When we're finished setting up the tires (raised beds) and
filling them (we're only about 60% done now), then we'll buy
hoses with emitters, and put one emitter in each tire. Then
watering will just involve turning on the tap. That will be
good. Meanwhile, my husband is going out to water with the
hose daily - a nuisance, to say the least.
I do know that - in various locations - I've always
concentrated (above all else) on getting organic matter into
the soil, and I've always had very good results. So I think
Pat, I was told that the reason spent mushroom soil is so great for the
garden is that it is aged horse manure. If that is true, you shouldn't
need to let it age; that's already been done. I would think even if it
were fresh at the start of the mushrooms, it would be aged when you
received it. Partly, it might seem what the definition of "aged" is.
My garden has been fortunate that I've been able to bypass the mushroom
stage and used the aged horse manure directly, in past years with
thousands of earthworms included. I figure with that many earthworms
working it, it can't be too fresh to use in my garden.
Who knows for certain about the spent mushroom soil? And how old is
"aged" when it comes to horse/steer manure?
This was my reasoning as well. In any event, since we had
two choices -
1. Plant in spent-mushroom soil
2. Don't plant at all
- the choice was easy!
Everything appears to be thriving, so it's evidently not a
Last year's spent-mushroom soil was black, crumbly and
completely odorless. This year's was obviously younger:
dark brown, crumbly, with a slight odor. But it still
worked out well.
Oh, wouldn't that be lovely? We're beginning to have
earthworms - we sure didn't start out with any in the heavy
clay. We have quite a few now.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.