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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:22 pm
Location: Elmore, AL

Not a Field of Dreams

I need some input! I have a 20x32 (approx) area that had previously been occupied by an above ground pool :x . The pool is now gone, the subliner sand shoveled away revealing virgin black soil about 6" deep and then sandy loam/clay. I tilled the area thoroughly and then added 70 bags of composted manure, then tilled that in. We planted several different tomatoe plants, various kinds of peppers, squash, cantalope, and eggplant. All were from Bonny Plant Farm starts.

I "plowed" into 6 raised rows about 10" high and set the plants in at the growers specifications. They seemed initially to do well. We received several days of rain in biblical proportions and then went into our normal rain/dry cycle.

The tomatoes were the first to show problems. The lower leaves/stems started turning yellow, then brown, then dead. Soon the tomatoe plants were bare from the bottom 2/3rds. All other vegitables followed suit. Some did produce pittiful looking fruit. The squash and cantalope flowered and never produced anything. One egg plant made one fruit. The peppers (banana and jalapeno) made a few that got to a pickable size.

I need suggestions. Did I over do the composted manure? Should I amend the soil with top soil from a dirt/gravel company? Or should I only buy sanatized top soil (EXPENSIVE) :evil:

We have an extension office in a nearby town. Do they normally do soil samples that would be of benefit?

HELP :?:

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Posts: 27919
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I think it's the chlorine. I can't remember which does what, but I think there is a remediation plant that can take up chlorine and lock it up in it's plant matter, which then can be mowed, bagged, and discarded.

The other possibility I can think of, though I don't know the actual implications, is the Zinc-Copper alloy that is in my shower filter -- it's supposed to recombine into Zinc-Chlorine and Copper-Chlorine molecules and trap the Chlorine.

If it's not JUST the chlorine, but combination of the various salts from the pool chemicals, I'm not sure what else can be done....

I think you should definitely get soil samples tested, explaining the specific problem.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

That is a classsic example of too much manure. 70 bags? Omigosh. 2 or 3 would have been enough. The only thing I can suggest to fix the problem is time. Try planting a little next year and see how it does before planting the whole thing.

Clorine quickly evaporates.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

soil problems

Agree with the way too much manure. Also the ground sitting under the pool would have been dead -- dry, compacted, oxygenless, no soil biology.

You need to get all that soil biology going again, microbes, fungi, earthworms, etc. That means you need a compost pile! Start your compost pile now, if you haven't already, and by spring you will have good compost to add. The compost will help balance out your excess nitrogen. You could also this fall till in a bunch of wood chips or shredded newspaper. The process of breaking down the carbon should help rebalance it.

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