Fl zone 9b Container garden yellow leaves stunted growth


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Hello I just started my container garden in central florida zone 9b this month after moving here. I have newly planted okra,black eye peas, and New Zealand spinach and have run into some problems. All of these plants have acquired very pale green/yellow leaves 2 weeks after germination. Also the blackeye pea leaves have a very strange tendency to close tightly together. I couldnt find any information on this. My homemade container mix is compost,perlite,vermiculite, with wormcasting and azomite. My mix and container ideas come from a YouTube gardener named "bubblebeet". If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated! Very happy to join this forum!
 

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Looks like you are using plastic totes, did you drill holes for drainage?
 
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Yes i drilled atleast 12 half inch holes. We have had rain for about 10 days straight. I ve read that rain in hot climates lower soil PH but idk how quickly.
 
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Hello I just started my container garden in central florida zone 9b this month after moving here. I have newly planted okra,black eye peas, and New Zealand spinach and have run into some problems. All of these plants have acquired very pale green/yellow leaves 2 weeks after germination. Also the blackeye pea leaves have a very strange tendency to close tightly together. I couldnt find any information on this. My homemade container mix is compost,perlite,vermiculite, with wormcasting and azomite. My mix and container ideas come from a YouTube gardener named "bubblebeet". If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated! Very happy to join this forum!
Your plants have severe chlorosis, probably nitrogen. Plants require macronutrients of which your plants are receiving none or very little. Your growing medium is OK if you fertilize with a fertilizer with NPK. (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) All of the stuff you are growing in are great soil amendments but they are not macronutrients. Azomite is great for adding trace minerals but it has zero NPK. Wormcastings has a tiny portion of nitrogen at 1-0-0. Get a good organic fertilizer such as Fox Farm, Medina, or Espoma. You may have stunted your plants. I would start over
 
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I do have alaska fish emulsion 5-1-1 that i apply every ten days but i ve only done it once because of the heavy rains. I bought a soil tester and i noticed all of the bins that have my homemade mix with stunted plants have a ph between 4 and 5.5 while my containers with premade mix are balanced and they are thriving. I just dont understand what would make it so acid. I ve never bought bagged compost with such a low ph? Thank you for the responses.
 
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I do have alaska fish emulsion 5-1-1 that i apply every ten days but i ve only done it once because of the heavy rains. I bought a soil tester and i noticed all of the bins that have my homemade mix with stunted plants have a ph between 4 and 5.5 while my containers with premade mix are balanced and they are thriving. I just dont understand what would make it so acid. I ve never bought bagged compost with such a low ph? Thank you for the responses.
What is the brand of the compost and what is it made of. Some brands use a lot of sphagnum peat in their mix which is very acidic.. And that fish emulsion, which is good stuff, just isn't enough. That and the heavy rains which leach your nutrients away is why your plants are chlorotic.
 

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Apart from the soil amendments problems, you also have some variety problems. For example, the okra pictured is way overcrowded...probably at most two plants, better only one in that space and best not in a container at all. Okra is not a good choice for containers. Black eyed peas naturally seek out companions to anchor to and/or climb on....again a poor choice for containers.

Fixing the soil amendments will never fix the natural needs of okra and peas for space. They make terrific plants when planted in open space.
 
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The brand of compost is called "Earthgro cow manure and organic compost". I was gonna thin out the okra after the seedlings established themseleves but i understand what your saying. Due to the fact that im renting i really wanted to push the boundary i guess with what i can grow in containers.
 

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The brand of compost is called "Earthgro cow manure and organic compost". I was gonna thin out the okra after the seedlings established themseleves but i understand what your saying. Due to the fact that im renting i really wanted to push the boundary i guess with what i can grow in containers.
This is another of your problems. This product has very little NPK. I really didn't pay attention to what you were growing only what was happening to your plants. @Meadowlark is correct in his post. Even the New Zealand spinach is ill suited to a container as it grows to several feet long in a type of vine.
 
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Think 5 gallon buckets. Rebar up the middle. Feeder roots need room.

Also below here is a couple charts showing how phosporous locks up at low pH. Its a big deal for roots. Its is so acid at 4 and 5.5pH its a problem for uptake unless its an azalea or blueberry acid lover type plant which those are not. There are fast available calcium pH raising liquid products for landscaping and gardens. The calcium will not only help but also be good for growth. Stay off the fish, use a more broad nutrient tomato food like epsoma tomato tone ingredients on everything. You will note the lower nitrogen ratios when you look into it. Don't ride the N train.

Fixation is bad, as P is then not available and pH is a factor in this over time. Not saying the fertilzer will fail, just that low pH will render unintended changes as time goes by.

Fig-6.1.gif
soil-ph-phosphorus.jpg
 
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So it most likely is lack of macro nutrients and the ph is locking up other nutrients too? I think im just gonna buy premade organic container mix and put an organic granular fert in it. I use jobes organic tomato and vegetable fertilizer on my tomatoes and peppers in 5 gallon buckets with premade mix and they are doing fine. I didnt mix it into my homemade mix though.
 

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... Due to the fact that im renting i really wanted to push the boundary i guess with what i can grow in containers.
Understand and as much as I love okra, I'd probably try the same if limited space. Go with the largest container you can to increase your odds. Good luck!
 
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Ok then to avoid all the trouble with the ph and the questionable compost im just gonna do what i said in the last post and start over. Definitely gonna try bigger container for the spinach and okra. Thank you all for the help and input! Hopefully i ll have a positive update in 2 weeks.
 
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Ok then to avoid all the trouble with the ph and the questionable compost im just gonna do what i said in the last post and start over. Definitely gonna try bigger container for the spinach and okra. Thank you all for the help and input! Hopefully i ll have a positive update in 2 weeks.
Pics rule!
 
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DirtMechanic is right, your pH is way too low; your growing medium may have all the nutrients it needs, but they will not be available to the plants. Add a couple of handfuls of woodash in addition to Chuck's amendments.
 
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So after two weeks of restarting and mixing jobes organic vegetable and tomato fert. Into all the container mix i have the peas and okra are doing great and a much darker shade of green (i know overcrowded but i will thin). I notice in the past 2 weeks my already established and productive bell and cayenne pepper plant have started to turn yellowish aswell. I assume it is the same issue so i gave them jobes but it only caused them to produce a massive amount of flowers and fruit. I believe this is caused by the jobes tom fert.'s very high phosphorus (2-7-4 i prefer the 2-5-3 but amazon sent me the wrong one for some reason). I watered in a .75-1 gallon mixed with tbsp of 5-1-1 fish emulsion between the two plants yesterday to see if the nitrogen would green them up but minimal change or none occured. Is they're anything i could do to fix this?
 
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