marykay
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:01 pm
Location: arizona

raised garden not doing so good

In Quartzsite Arizona.In a raised bed I planted seeds as well as starts but neither seem to be doing very well. The leaves on the plants are turning yellow.the plants I started from seeds are not growing very fast. The soil we used are Kellogg Patio Plus which was recommended by the lady in the gardening department. We have a watering system set on a timer once a day. The top of the soil is turning white. Like a sulphar or calcium. However I don't know what I am doing or need to do. My husband says the garden should be doing better than it is and it looks sick. He wants to remove all of the plants and start over,but if we do this what do I need to do to the soil. Ph meter says 6. It gets plenty of sun. Help please.

stryper
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:03 pm
Location: Belleville, IL

I probably don't have the answer, but how hard is your tap water?

And did you put some kind of barrier between the desert soil and your planting soil?

The soil turning white seems to imply some kind of salt build up. IF you water is really hard and lots of it is drying on the surface then you could have an issue.

Just speculating here. Hopefully someone in your area has a better answer.
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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

I agree the white on the soil sounds like some kind of salt/mineral build up. You mentioned the watering daily, which probably in AZ you have to do, even now. But you didn't say how you are watering. Is it sprinkler, drip irrigation or what? What you want is to be watering the least often you can, but deep into the soil. Dig down into your soil after the watering system has done its thing and turned off again and see how deep it is wet. You want it to be wet 6" down. If it is, you might not need to water every day. Especially true if you mulch your bed. The mineral build up is from water evaporating off the soil surface. Mulching helps prevent that, so you lose less water, don't have to water as often and have less build up.

So suggestions would be if it isn't already, bury your drip line so the water is under the surface. Water longer but less often. Put a good layer of mulch down on top of the soil.

PH 6 is a little bit acid, but lots of veggies like the soil that way, so that should not be the problem. But salt build up can be.

Here's a previous thread we had about salt build up in the soil

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=241055#241055
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Yellowsnow
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:52 pm
Location: SC PA 6b

If you have a water softener in your house, the water will have increased salinity. That could be what the white build up is. Also a little more info on how you are watering and some pics would be helpful.

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