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mrsgreenthumbs
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Yellowing leaves on my JUST sprouted green beans!

So Sunday my Green beans began breaking ground. Quickly I had 2 rows of pretty little green bean sprouts. The corn is not far behind and while not as many corn sprouts have popped up I'm crossing my fingers more do. So I noticed RIGHT off the bat that the snails and slugs were munching on my plants to the point that the plant's are almost nibbled away in some part's!!! :evil:

Then yesterday I notice that here and there they are beginning to turn yellow! Now this is a brand spankin new raised veggie bed, fresh soil, fresh manure. (well store bought, you get the idea) What is happening here? I water the heck out of the bed because I figured their seedlings... they need a lot of water. What can I do? I'm heading to the store today can any body help me? I used the same mix for my other much larger raised bed and all those seedlings (all be it not green beans, spinach, carrots, taters, strawberry's, bell peppers, onion, garlic, ect) did exceedingly well. I have NEVER had this problem before.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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applestar
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Only thing I can think of is that beans don't like too much water. They'll grow very long roots. So let the surface of the soil get dry and they'll be fine. Do the poke with your finger test. Some people say first two joints of your forefinger -- water when it's dry up to... that is.

tedln
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All the experts tell us that since beans are legumes and have the ability to fix nitrogen in or from the soil, they need very little additional nitrogen. In my personal experience however, when normally green leaves start turning yellow, they usually react well to some sort of nitrogen application. I have to do it every year with my green beans. They usually regain their vibrant green color within a day or two.

Ted
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jal_ut
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Fresh soil, fresh manure?

There is such a thing as killing your plants with kindness. Too much manure or fertilizer will do just as you describe. The plants will turn yellow and then die.

The problem is that the solution of the water in the soil is denser than the soluton in the plant cells so the water migrates from the plants to the soil to try to make a balance. Normally it works the other way.

I can't tell from here if this is what is going on, but it is a possibliity.

Be careful in using manure and any product high in nitrogen. It just takes a little. Bagged manure half an inch deep on the area is plenty. How much did you use?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

tedln
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If you bought the cheap bagged manure at one of the big box stores, most of the stores carry the same brand. I've purchased it and used it. I normally found it to contain a lot more sand and twigs than manure with little nutritional value. It is a good filler for raised beds, but I have always needed to add compost or other organic material to gain nutritional value.

I don't know how they do it California, but many states have large cattle feed lots where they are fattened before sale, and large cattle auctions. Both places usually have an excess of manure which they compost in big piles over time. They used to sell it for about $5.00 per pickup truck load. It is pretty strong and should be used sparingly. I guarantee your neighbors will know you are using it.

Ted
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Ozark Lady
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I would get a water meter, that you can stick into the ground and learn when and how much to water.

Do you happen to still have the bags? Can you find the bags at the store and take notes off of them of what they have in them, like the npk, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Then go look up your plants and see how close they are to what your plants want.

Mostly, I suspect, the soil is sterile and there is no bacteria to feed your plants. You need some not sterile dirt, even some woodland soil to establish your colonies, perhaps purchase some fishing worms?

Find someone with a dirty aquarium that needs cleaning and get the dirty water. Or even dig up a bit of your native soil and sprinkle it over the top of your bed.

It can be e: all of the above, or a: none of the above.

Can you be just panicking? How cool are nights? How much sun are your seedlings getting? What is the soil temperature?

You are going to have to play detective here.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Gary350
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Fresh manure may be the problem. Manure should be composted for several months before it is used it may have too much nitrogen. If your manure contains saw dust, straw or some other organic filler then it may be extremely low in nitrogen. It is possible fresh manure with filler can be too high in nitrogen now but after composting a month or so it will be too low in nitrogen.

Do an experement, if you have some seeds left over plant a few seeds in different soil and see what happens.

Do another experement. Water a few plants with nitrogen rich water to see if they get better.

Too much nitrogen is a hard problem to solve. Water a lot and the plants take in more nitrogen. Don't water at all and the plant die because they have already taken in too much nitrogen so the over dose.

tedln
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I believe it is possible to over fertilize. I saw a website last year (I can't remember the address) where some college students devised a test to prove the point. They created three identical garden plots within a few feet of each other. They purchased commercially available ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate fertilizer. They applied the fertilizer to all three beds according to the instructions on the bags. They then planted a variety of garden plants in each bed. Each bed contained identical plants. After the plants were growing, they again applied fertilizer per instructions to the first bed, double the amount for the second bed, and triple the amount for the third bed. They expected to quickly kill beds two and three. By the end of the growing season, bed number two had plants and produce double the size and output of bed number one. Bed number three had production and size triple that of bed number one. They simply were not able to kill the garden with fertilizer as they had expected.

I don't think their experiment proved excessive nitrogen fertilizer won't harm your garden, but it also failed to prove that excessive nitrogen fertilizer will harm the garden as expected.

Ted
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Gary350
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You live in California so this made me think of something. What is the temperature where your plants are?

When the weather gets hot you have to stop putting nitrogen on the plants other wise it will kill the plants. It usually makes the plants get very green first and the plants appear to be doing great because they are so green and growing so large but then the leaves curl, turn yellow and die. I am talking about fairly large size plants not new plants. New plants are very sensitive to nitrogen so they don't need much until they are about 4 weeks old.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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I cut back on the watering the last few day's and they greened right up! Now if I can just kill off most of those pesky slugs before they eat all my seedlings to stubbs we will be doing all right ;)
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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jal_ut
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I don't think their experiment proved excessive nitrogen fertilizer won't harm your garden, but it also failed to prove that excessive nitrogen fertilizer will harm the garden as expected.
Neat story tedln. No mention of just how mucn nitrogen was in the product they used. Bagged fertilizers vary a bunch in the amount of nitrogen. It would also be interesting to know what crop they were growing. How often do you hear that too much nitrogen will make lots of leaves but no fruit? I think that is a myth.

Yes, excessive fertilizer will kill your plants. You can test this easily with a plant in a pot. Just give it a tablespoonful a day and see how many days it takes to kill the plant.

I am not at all surprised that their test plots did much better with the addition of fertilizer. Nitrogen is the thing most often lacking in garden soils and especially if those "soils" came in a bag.

mrsgreenthumbs
Glad your plants are looking better.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

tedln
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jal_ut wrote:
I don't think their experiment proved excessive nitrogen fertilizer won't harm your garden, but it also failed to prove that excessive nitrogen fertilizer will harm the garden as expected.
Neat story tedln. No mention of just how mucn nitrogen was in the product they used. Bagged fertilizers vary a bunch in the amount of nitrogen. It would also be interesting to know what crop they were growing. How often do you hear that too much nitrogen will make lots of leaves but no fruit? I think that is a myth.

Yes, excessive fertilizer will kill your plants. You can test this easily with a plant in a pot. Just give it a tablespoonful a day and see how many days it takes to kill the plant.

I am not at all surprised that their test plots did much better with the addition of fertilizer. Nitrogen is the thing most often lacking in garden soils and especially if those "soils" came in a bag.

mrsgreenthumbs
Glad your plants are looking better.
I don't remember all the details of the experiment including the crops grown on the plots. I do remember they didn't mention having a control plot which had no additional fertilizer added. They did use virgin soil which had not produced any crops except ground cover in a number of years. They tested the soil for starting NPK levels, but since their interest was in nitrogen levels, they didn't seem to pay much attention to the PK levels. I think they were trying to prove the point that suppliers of commercial fertilizing products encouraged growers to over fertilize with nitrogen in order to sell more product. They simply based the experiment on the recommended application rates the commercially available bags provided.

They assumed the suppliers were encouraging garden and home users to apply excessive amounts of fertilizers. They believed the double and triple suggested rates would kill the gardens. They probably should have used additional plots to determine the actual nitrogen concentration required to harm the plants.

They also did not perform additional soil tests to determine the current effects and long term effects on beneficial soil bacteria and salt build up in the soil from excessive nitrogen application.

They also didn't perform any run off tests to determine how much nitrogen was being washed away by normal rain into local water ways.

They had a very narrow scope experiment on nitrogen effects without considering the interrelated effects of other factors.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!



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