Growing Vegetables/Raised bed garden


My vegetables in my raised bed garden are not doing well (especially tomatoes and peppers). Everything looks stunted, although they are producing a small amount of vegetables. I planted them about a month ago. My raised bed garden is very high- probably 3 feet, filled totally with a garden soil/ peat mix. We have had rain almost every day for the past 16 days (in Northeast Ohio) so I have not been watering much. I fertilized the plants with Miracle Gro twice as instructed over the last few weeks. The surface dirt will dry out so it appears cracked in areas, but as soon as I unearth it underneath, it's moist and crumbly to touch. I've seen many other gardens in my area doing very well, so I don't think the weather is to blame. My yard gets full sun until about 4 pm in the afternoon. I just can't figure out what the problem can be. Also, there are ants in the garden here and there, but I haven't seen any pests. Any suggestions? Some leaves on all of my plants have been yellowish, but truly, the plants aren't even producing much in the way of leaves.

I also live in NE Ohio, and the weather has been unusually wet. We had 16 straight days of rain, and it has had very inconsistent effects on the gardens. My raised beds are 2' and I have had no problems. I supplement my soil with compost every spring, and this really helps with drainage, as well as feeding the plants. Other gardeners I know are having poor results. I believe the excess rain has saturated the roots, causing leaves to yellow and plant growth to stunt.

The good news is that this is a temporary setback and the plants will recover.  Continue to fertilize with a high phosphorus product for tomatoes and peppers. Also, be sure to mulch the plants with dried grass clippings or compost to cool the soil and reduce the need for watering.  Within 2-3 weeks, the plants will resume normal growth and production.

Have a great weekend.


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Mike Mascio


I have been an avid gardener since 1985 and an AllExpert volunteer since 1998. I specialize in soil preparation, seed starting and plant propagation, flowers, vegetables, and general landscaping. I am a strong advocate of the square foot method of gardening and the use of organic controls for pests and diseases.

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