annastasia76
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Location: Southern Ca

question about soil

sorry I am not sure if this is the right place to put this question but since I didn't see a section for soil and the spot in question is for veggies I figured that this is as good a spot as any.

I started gardening on my slope 2 years ago. There is one section that I am having troubles with. the first year I don't remember adding anything to the soil, some zucchini just happened to start growing there and so I added more in a line, it grew beautifully until temps reached about 110, maybe slightly more then I noticed the new leaves that were growing wouldn't unfurl all the way and they would be twisted, same with the flowers, until they wouldn't open at all and just be a hunk of mess, I was told that it was just because of the heat. last year I added manure to the whole garden (not just the one section) the rest of the garden grew beautiful but that one area was stunted, nothing got very big and got very few (very small) crops from it. now I am wondering if something got into the dirt, I have no clue what or how to even find out.

oh and that one section is about 2-3 foot wide by about 15-20 feet long.
Annastasia

gumbo2176
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When you added the manure, was it well rotted and composted or was it fairly fresh. If it was relatively fresh and not completely broken down, that could be part of the problem. I would go to the local nursery and get a soil test kit and see if any nutrients are lacking. You may also want to pick up a PH meter to check to see if the soil is in the zone needed for the plants you are trying to grow.

annastasia76
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I checked it last year with a kit I bought from the store and it said it was fine but I don't trust those kits

On the bag it says composed manure, when I mixed it into the dirt it was about 2 months (maybe more) before I planted. But I did that to the entire garden and the rest was fine.


I just thought of something, there is a california pepper tree above that spot, could that effect it?? It didn't effect the row below.
Annastasia

gumbo2176
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So much for the test kit and raw manure theory!!:>)

I'm not at all familiar with a California Pepper Tree but if it shades the area a good bit of the day, that could be a reason for low growth rate and production. Before Hurricane Katrina took the neighbors HUGE pecan tree, the rear section of my garden didn't do as well as the rest of the garden that got 8+ hrs. of sunlight a day. Now that the tree is long gone, my whole garden grows at the same rate.

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farmerlon
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annastasia76 wrote:I checked it last year with a kit I bought from the store and it said it was fine but I don't trust those kits ...
I don't trust those either ... I would suggest that you submit a soil sample to your local County Extension agency for testing.
That's typically very easy, inexpensive, and accurate. :)

annastasia76
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thanks, the tree doesn't shade the garden
Annastasia

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jal_ut
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Squash is susceptible to a number of problems. It also doesn't do that well if it gets above 95 degs. I think your problem may be crop related, not anything wrong with the soil. Rotate the croips and plant something else there this season.

If you want to grow squash, find out your average date of last frost and plant squash seeds one or two weeks prior to that date. By getting an early start you may get a harvest before it gets too hot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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I started gardening on my slope 2 years ago.
Where is the problem area? Top, bottom or middle of the slope?

Eric

annastasia76
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the problem is twards the middle of the slope.

but I think I may have noticed one thing that could be a contribute to the problem, but not sure. today when I was loosening the soil and adding manure I noticed that there are a few tree roots in that area, I'm not sure if that's the total problem since I watered with a drip line but it could be part of it.
Annastasia

DoubleDogFarm
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Yes, roots can be a problem.

In another post you talked about decomposed granite. I'm thinking your soil maybe sweet. High on the PH end. Alkaline. You may have to add something to lower the PH. More towards the neutral side.

Eric

annastasia76
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Location: Southern Ca

I was watching that end of my garden today and it looks like one end at the very end gets a bit of shade.

I never realized how much my tree has grown, when I first planted it about 3 years ago it was about 3 foot tall and I dug it right out of the ground at my parents place, now it's 3 times the height of our 5000 gallon water tank. I am also looking at the line of the rest of the slope for the rest of my garden and I think I might be in some trouble for the future because I have 3 more smaller pepper trees down the line and I think they will end up shading the rest of the garden. I am now hunting for other locations, the only other spots that have decent soil has either the leach lines under it or the other spot is a ways away from the house and is where hubby decided to put his junk.

I think I will have to start making raised beds, wood is so expensive right now.
Annastasia

DoubleDogFarm
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Raised beds, yes, but no wood.


Eric

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jal_ut
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About tree roots: Trees will send out roots in all directions and they go at least as far as the tree is tall. Some roots go down deep to anchor the tree, but lots of roots are shallow, because this is where the best soil fertility is. Tree roots compete with other plants for water and nutrients. The trees compete with other plants for sunshine.

I had to move my garden over twice as my trees grew because nothing would grow well where the tree roots were underneath.

I think you have good advice about checking the acidity of your soil too.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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