Help! I just moved to North Carolina (not far from Greensboro) and I was SO excited to have a garden. I got cedar raised beds and filled them with what I thought was good soil. I did a thin bottom layer of a mulch like mix that was made of aged pine bark fines and cow manure, then the majority of the beds were filled with a mix of 35% "top soil" (whatever that is), 35% aged fines, 30% cow manure. Then I put a little bit of potting soil that the gardening center I went to recommended for raised veggie beds. I planted according to a square foot gardening method garden planner tool I found on a gardeners website. Everything looked fantastic at first. The transplants (tomato, pepper, cabbage, broccoli) grew very fast and the seeds all sprouted up in a week, and I was getting ready to thin things out. But then it all went downhill! The leaves on the bottom of most of my plants started turning yellow, curling or drooping off. The growth of almost all plants now seems very stunted, and the last few seeds that had sprouted up haven't grown since (cauliflower, arugula). My plan right now is to get a pH testing kit and see if that reveals anything, but I've also read that those kits can be inaccurate. I'm wondering if this pattern is more consistent with a nutrient deficiency, perhaps nitrogen or magnesium??
help!! I'm so afraid I'll lose them all!