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To plant or not to plant!!!!

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To plant or not to plant!!!!

Postby Perry » Apr 20, 2008 2:17 pm

Hello,
I am new to this site and am looking for some xpert advice.
I have been growing a vegetable garden now for about 20 years in the same spot. Approx size 20x40. The usual veggies, lettuces, carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. Well the problem is that I have noticed a decline in output from the plants, size, fruit which I have been watering lots and fertilizing on occasion (miricle grow), I also put every couple of years some well aged cow manure down.
My big concern is I am starting to see the potatoes get a lot of scabs on them and the potatoes seem to be rotting turning like mush. The tomatoe plants seem to be smaller than they used to be and I am also experiencing a lot of the tomatoes devoloping end rot on the fruit.
Am Iover watering, over fertilizing, or has my soil just become tired and exhausted from all the years of growing year after year?? Should I give the soil a couple years break to regenerate?? Sure could use some help
Thanks Perry
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Postby Venice » Apr 20, 2008 3:03 pm

I know you can plant a winter crop to help your soil out for spring.


I would be tempted to get rid of some of the soil, or relocate it and haul in some compost, manure and good healthy topsoil.

The endrot shows a lack of calcium in the soil at planting time for the tomatoes. so amend with some calcium or broken up egg shells.

Good luck

Ven
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Re: To plant or not to plant!!!!

Postby butterfly » Apr 20, 2008 3:06 pm

Perry wrote:Hello,
I am new to this site and am looking for some xpert advice.
I have been growing a vegetable garden now for about 20 years in the same spot. Approx size 20x40. The usual veggies, lettuces, carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. Well the problem is that I have noticed a decline in output from the plants, size, fruit which I have been watering lots and fertilizing on occasion (miricle grow), I also put every couple of years some well aged cow manure down.
My big concern is I am starting to see the potatoes get a lot of scabs on them and the potatoes seem to be rotting turning like mush. The tomatoe plants seem to be smaller than they used to be and I am also experiencing a lot of the tomatoes devoloping end rot on the fruit.
Am Iover watering, over fertilizing, or has my soil just become tired and exhausted from all the years of growing year after year?? Should I give the soil a couple years break to regenerate?? Sure could use some help
Thanks Perry



Rotate your crops
You need to plant beans where you planted tomatoes last year and so on

You need to do this each year Don't put the same veggies in the same place you put them the eyar before

If not the crops you plant take the good out of the soil and nothing put back in

That is why your crops declined

So rotate your crops, I hope you understand what I mean
Cheers Butterfly




Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family.
Having both - is a blessing."--Donna Hedges
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Postby murphy » Apr 21, 2008 8:08 pm

yup...gotta roatate those crops...not just cause of depletion of the soil..but also because of soil born fungus and other pests...this is especially important for tomatoes and potatoes...and by the sounds of things...this is your problem.
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Postby Perry » Apr 21, 2008 9:40 pm

I appreciate the help, the reason I had the potatoes and tomatoes in the same spots year after year is for the sun. My garden is close to a fence that is on the south side of the garden so the plants are blocked by the fence. Tomatoes and potatoes love the sun!! But I guess at the expense of poor soil and poor plant growth in the end. I will also supplement my soil with egg shells and calcium. Do you still think I should put a garden in or let it rest for a year? Any other suggestions?
Thanks Again
Perry
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Postby Venice » Apr 21, 2008 9:47 pm

Perhaps if you still want some veggies you could leave the beds bare this year or plant a benificial crop.

And if you want some veggies, then try planting some in some pots with fresh dirt and manure. Put them on top of your bed in the sun.

Ven
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Postby kelly_m » Apr 21, 2008 9:56 pm

Perry,

Resting the soil is always a good idea, but not something you really need to do.

Like BF says, rotate your veggies.

Tomatoes, especially. If planted in the same spot year after year they will detriorate...they take the nutrients out of the soil and don't replenish. The soil becomes too poor for them to produce anything halfway decent. If other parts of your garden are getting a few hours of strong sunlight, than you are okay...Or even, find a sunny spot in other gardens and plant among your flowerbeds for a year. Heck...I had some planted against my pool deck fence along with herbs one year...it got some morning and hot early afternoon sun, but was shade but two large maples for the rest of the afternoon.

As Ven mentioned as well, you can plant soil enriching plants as well in some spots...alfalfa come to mind there...

Good luck. check out some companion planting info, crop rotating...you should be swimming in tomatoes this year!!
Kelly
Zone 5a/b


OLD GARDENERS NEVER DIE. THEY JUST SPADE AWAY
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Postby Eeyore » Apr 21, 2008 10:08 pm

I'm not a veggie gardener but I've heard that there is some type of virus that gets into the soil that causes Potato Scab. You might want to look that up while you are looking at rotating your crops. I do believe you may have to move the potatoes for several years in order for the soil to clear itself of the virus and don't use any of your scabby potatoes for starters in a new location.
Lyn
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Postby butterfly » Apr 21, 2008 10:10 pm

Perry wrote:I appreciate the help, the reason I had the potatoes and tomatoes in the same spots year after year is for the sun. My garden is close to a fence that is on the south side of the garden so the plants are blocked by the fence. Tomatoes and potatoes love the sun!! But I guess at the expense of poor soil and poor plant growth in the end. I will also supplement my soil with egg shells and calcium. Do you still think I should put a garden in or let it rest for a year? Any other suggestions?
Thanks Again
Perry


Perry

I am moving thing around this year too and yes you can plant wheer you did last year, just plant something else and make a new bed to Tom and Potatoes

BTW Toms and Potates should not be planting together, they are in the same family

I am swapping ends this planting beans and beets chard etc where I had the toms last year and putting in a new bed for potatoes

Add straw in between your rows keep moisiture in and you =wont; need to weed. I haven't weeded a garden in 20 years

Put 5-6 inches of straw down for wallking

it breaks down over summer and winter, leaving you rich dark brown loose soil. MIne is full of big worms this year and this will be just the 3rd year for this bed

The other bed is rich and lovely and loose too, itf the straw breaks down some during summer , just ad some more

No, slugs will not shetler there or havn't for me and I didn't water once and I had a nice full crop of everything
Cheers Butterfly




Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family.
Having both - is a blessing."--Donna Hedges
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Postby dlb » Apr 21, 2008 10:15 pm

Tomatoes and potatoes are both vulnerable to blight, some of the symptoms of which you have described.

Potato scabbing often happens when manure has been used as a fertilizer.

Take a look at some of the articles on this page and see if anything looks familiar. You can also find a tomato page if you follow the links at the top left of the page.

http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Potato_List.htm
Dora
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