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Trouble with my garden - need help please

Hello all
similar to another recent post I am having trouble with my plants just not growing. We live in Eastern TN near Knoxville.

We transplanted most of our stuff starting on Good Friday - then the weather could not make up it's mind what it wanted to do. So we were patient and tended to it trying to make sure it got enough water but not to much...
We have 3 large raised beds and bought what we were told was mushroom compost and mixed with our own compost of mostly yard rakings from last year. (I am very suspect of this so called mushroom compost now). Nothing is growing.

The spinach has had what look like burned leaves since transplanting. I picked those out but there are more. They have not grown at all (literally) since we planted a month ago.
So far the only good things is that it does not look like they are being attacked

Broccoli and Brussel Sprounts and Bush Green Beans are getting eaten but they are growing. (these are in the same bed as the spinach)

Tomatoes are not growing and getting sickly looking

Strawberries started out great but now getting eaten (same bed as the tomatos)

Okra getting eaten and has not grown

Zuccini grew a little but not much and is now getting eaten

Peppers were only recently transplanted but now getting eaten (same bed as okra and zucinni and now squash that was just transplanted since our earlier attempts did not do well so we bought new ones)

Can anyone give advice on what do about plant food or something else that would help them to start growing?

We just ordered Neem Oil as a friend said it worked great for him last year on the pest control (hope to have it by the end of the weekend to apply)

Any help would be tremendously appreciated!!!!

Susan W
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Posts: 1858
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

My guess is too cold for some of your plant babies! I'm in Memphis, the other end of the state, and usually a bit warmer now than you. It's been chilly and rainy, and for us growers throwing some things off. Your warm spring stuff (peppers, tomatoes, squash etc) may be OK to put out in the next week. If your broccoli is growing, should be OK. Just find out what is eating it! Not sure about all of your plants. (I do herbs, not much in veggies).
Hope this helps!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree, the peppers and squash especially really need warm weather and probably shouldn't have been put in the ground that early, if it was still chilly and wet.

Spinach and broccoli should have been ok. The broccoli getting eaten, is that roundish holes in the middle of leaves? That would likely be slugs/snails which love broccoli. Try dusting on and around it with diatomaceous earth. Go out at night with a flashlight and check the leaves, to see if you find them - you will not see them in the day time.

Senior Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:28 pm
Location: upper michigan

One thing ive learned in my short experience in gardening is to not push mother nature, she will beat you everytime...

Its very hard at times being patient, but in the long run if you can wait it out until warmer temperatures you will have healthier plants in theory

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Be sure to identify what is eating the plants before applying neem or anything else. It's a waste of money, time, and many other things to apply neem if the plants are being eaten by, say, snails or slugs. Neem doesn't have any effect on them.

Several other techniques do (e.g., smashing with a trowel right back into the soil they stole the calcium from to build their shells....), but neem relates to snails/slugs like fish relate to bicycles.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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