Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: Charles Town WV

Newbie needs loads of help!!!!!

Hello all. I am located in zone 6 West Virginia. I am having problems with Okra, Topcrop Stringbeans, Cukes, Peppers, Squash, and Zukes. Here in WV, we have clay soil. We ammended the soil with Hummus, manure a 10-10-10 fertilizer and top soil. No lime. We were told that it was to late to add. With my okra, I have 6 plants and I have only harvested 2 pods. I know that you have to harvest in order to grow and that is what I did. With the topcrop stringbeans, the same thing 10 beans on 6 plants. This is really not enough to harvest for 1 person( I have a family of 4). What is wrong? Pollenation, watering, or fertilizer? Can I hand polinate Okra and Stringbeans?

My Cuke leaves are a crunchy and often tear when I am looking through them for cukes. Watering?

My Peppers are losing leaves from the bottom? Some with fruit and some without.

And finally my Zukes and Squash, Blossom Rot. I did read that it may be a calcium def. I bought Bone Meal to try to fix but I am still unsure. I have thrown alot of them away because of this. I have since added Bone Meal to my fruiting veggies because maybe they all need it since no lime was added.

Maybe I am not giving them a chance after adding the Bone Meal or maybe I jumped the gun by adding the Bone Meal. Desparately seeking help.

Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 8:09 pm
Location: SW Va

Just some quick notes to compare between neighbors. I'm not too far from ya.

Okra does not like the cool weather we've had this year. Keep it picked and it should hit its stride when it gets hot again.

Peppers usually set only a few fruits early on, and then load up like crazy in Aug and Sept. Stake the plants so they will be ready to hold the crop. Shedding old leaves from the bottom up is normal.

Be patient with the beans. Unless you really, really overfertilized them, they will produce nicely. And if you did overfert them, they may outgrow all that N and suprise you. Topcrop is normally a can't-fail variety.

Cuke leaves are naturally brittle, but a little tearing won't hurt them too much. Hail often shreds them up a bit, and they keep going.

Blossom rot in squash involves weather and weak pollination more than nutritional deficiency. And, if your squash is setting lots of blossoms, it's a comforting indicator that you did not overfertilize. Yea! Do keep gathering up the blemished blossoms, and hope for a few days of good sun.

For a newbie, it sounds like you're doing great. There is a lot to learn, but it's worth it. Do check the pH (you can buy cheap test kits at box stores) and start working with it if you need to. Potatoes love slightly acid soil, ao you may want to let part (or all) of your garden stay a little acid.

Good luck! And don't forget to plant a fall garden...

Gardener Don
Cool Member
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:05 am
Location: Southern Illinois, zone 5b

Welcome to the board. How has your weather been? Lots of rain in So. Illinois, zone 5b. Like the suggestion, keep picking the spoiled blossoms on the squash and peppers. Yes, cucumbers are tender and will tear or break easily. If they have turned dry and are dying look for cucumber beetles, a spreader of cucumber mosiac virus. A good cover of mulch would probably help. We have lots of clay here also. Plan on amending the soil with lots of organic next year. A good soil test, contact your local university extension for direction, is always in order. Your topcrop will produce more beans, however, you might consider planting more next year. 6 isn't hardly enough to feed a family of 4, if you like them like we do. Good Luck, keep in touch and let us know how you fare. Don

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