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What's wrong with my brocolli? Why won't Watermelon Grow?

Hey everybody, my name is David. My wife and I decided to get a garden going this year. It has done wonderfully, save for the two issues I would like to bring up today.

1: What is wrong with my broccoli? It looks like it is being eaten by something. I don't want to use any pesticide, as these gardens have been 100% organic thus far.

2: Why won't my watermelon grow? If you can believe it, I planted the cucumber and the watermelon on the same day.

Any help is greatly appreciated!! I also included a few other pictures as well, in case you have anything else that will help us along the way!

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Need some help ASAP!!!

The broccoli are being eaten by either slugs, snails or caterpillars. If you have seen butterflies hovering around the broccoli the caterpillars are the likely culprits. I don't see too many holes in the other plants and slugs and snails would be going after lettuce too. Dipel will kill the caterpillars. You can hand pick them they will be under the leaf but they are hard to see since they are green. Some people also use neem. Whatever you use make sure you identify the pest properly and make sure the label lists the pest and your plant and you follow the directions on the label. Your plants, lettuce ?, have bolted and needs to come out.

You have planted corn along the fence in a line. You won't get much corn that way. Corn should be planted in a block for good pollination. You will need to bag the tassels and hand polinate.

Cucumbers can tolerate cooler temperatures than watermelon which is a warm season crop. If the weather is still cool, the watermelon will grow slowly. They don't like air temps below 70 degrees.

Super Green Thumb
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Re: Need some help ASAP!!!

You could have several pests. If it was my garden I would use BT (baccilus thurengensis) which IS an organic intervention.

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Re: What's wrong with my brocolli? Why won't Watermelon Grow

I'd bet is cabbage worms. Actually a caterpillar. Seen any pretty white moths floating around? They make a quick lace job out of pretty much any cruciferous vegetable. I'd plant more flowers with tiny blooms to attract predatory insects. That helps in the long run. Immediate steps for control would be hand picking. I've never used BT, but it's an organic solution to infestation. It works on caterpillars.

I suspect it's likely still too cool in your area for the watermelon. Cucumbers tent to be a little more tolerant of cool nights. I'm sure the watermelon will catch up when you have consistently warm days and nights.

Garden looks really healthy otherwise!!!

Mr green
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Re: What's wrong with my brocolli? Why won't Watermelon Grow

Another solution to decrease damage to your plants is to spread out different crops more even in a small bed. A small polyculture. For example not having all Brassicas together (kale family plants) having them together helps the pests.

Flowers are good as well, as already mentioned, you can sow some annuals among your gardenplot, many are edible as well. Another good thing to plant is usually some native perennial plants, they don't have to be in the bed tho.

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Re: What's wrong with my brocolli? Why won't Watermelon Grow

I agree with most that have been said already. Your cos/romaine lettuce have bolted and are not really the same flavor and texture as young. They are taking up space, casting shadows, and likely stealing water and nutrients from nearby plants in the crowded bed. If you want to save seeds, leave one or two plants farthest away from the others and cut the rest off at ground level. Over mature lettuce leaves can be good cooked. Stalk should be put in the compost pile.

If you can get some, mulch the strawberries with straw to keep the berries dry and off the ground. (I just found out nobody has them around here until new harvest in July due to crop failure last year :? )

Watermelons -- sorry to say the seedlings were badly grown with spindly elongated stems and crowded together when they should have been thinned to only two or three in the pot at most. I would choose the strongest out of each clump to keep and clip the rest off, then bury the stems up to the first set of true leaves with FINISHED compost -- if unsure, mix half and half with garden soil or the compost may damage the tender seedling stem.

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