New house and garden didn't produce


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We moved to the country last year, and I was very excited to have a big garden this spring. I planted tons of tomato plants along with other stuff. Well hardly anything produced! All my tomatoes were very small and I didn't get hardly anything. Nothing else I planted did well either. Nothing seemed to thrive.

We put the garden where the hubby wanted it, near the lagoon in full sun. Could it have been the soil? I did not test it, we just thought that being near the lagoon it would be fertile ground. We got decent rain this year so we didn't have to water very often.

Any thoughts?
 
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Get a soil test so you know what you are dealing with. You can get a PH meter cheaply at a big box store or nursery, but send off a sample to be tested for nutrients or lack thereof. If you have a county agricultural agent he/she can help you with a kit, send it off, and help you interpret the findings.
"Lagoon"? If this is a wet area created by drainage, you might want to see if it contains fish, water plants, amphibians. If not, the drainage may contain something that is preventing growth in the lagoon and the surrounding land (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.)
We, too, moved to the country about nine years ago, and put in large gardens. I have been gardening for most of my life, but forgot the first rule of gardening--Start Small!
Please let us know where in the USA you are--I'm in central Texas and any further advice I have may be of little help to you.
 
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When I enlarged a garden I got the same bad results, and the soil looked so lovely and crumbly! I was very disappointed!

I think that I figured it out: when I removed the sod I removed the food for countless plant eating bugs, and so they could eat my veggies or starve. So they converged on my veggies and ate them! The cutworms were VERY bad!

Also, vegetables need a lot of potassium and phosphorus but grass needs a lot of nitrogen. So, the soil that grew good grass for me did not have the right balance of nutrients to grow good beans and peas. I know this because I (belatedly) got a soil test done, and my soil needed 10-10-10 to grow good vegetables.

Also, I do not know how much water you got, but if the soil goes under water then the nitrogen in the soil will be destroyed. I used to know why but I have forgotten. I saw a good example of this this year: half of my garden was a half inch under water. Most of the plants drowned but the tomatos did not. Mind, they fruit is small and the yield is poor even though I scattered some fertilizer in the garden, but the tomatos did not drown. Too much water might have affected your garden as well.

This has been a hard year for gardening: between the heavy rainfall and the lack of sun over my area of the continent, yields were very low. I grew my cucumbers on the high ground but even so I got 1/3 of the yield that I got last year. Plants use nutrients, water and sun to make their food: we had so little sun that I am certain that the photosynthesis was reduced.
 
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I am in Kansas. "Lagoon" is what people around here call where your house water drains. Toilets, showers, etc. I have thought about the soil ph but have not done it yet since the year is drawing to a close. I kept thinking things would pick up but it never did.

The garden was on a stretch of the yard that is slightly sloped. So when we got a few really heavy rains, it did have standing water. That was only until the rain tapered off. After the rain let up it would drain fine.

I had wanted to place the garden near our pond but with all the brush that would have had to be cleared, it didn't happen.
 
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Get the soil tested as has been suggested also if you have access to manure get as much as you can and till it into the soil.
 
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One would think that the soil in a brand new garden would be extremely fertile but usually this is not so. The reason it is not fertile is because there is not much organic matter in the soil and what is there is only the decomposing remains of what was there before, be it grass, weeds whatever. Just fine for growing those grasses and weeds but vegetables need more nutrition than grass or weeds. In other words your garden soil needs to be enriched and the best way to enrich your soil is to incorporate copious amount of organic materials such as compost and manures. Compost tea is the best way to stimulate the growth of the micro-organisms in the soil. These organisms are the fungi and bacteria needed to break down the matter in the soil thus enabling your plants to uptake the nutrients they need. I am sure you garden will be fine and will become better each year if you keep adding compost and other organic soil additives
 
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The drainage from your house water may be the problem. Toilet water? That is not what you want in your garden--you probably clean your toilet once a week with some sort of cleaner--that is going into your lagoon, not to mention the human waste which may or may not have pharmaceuticals in it.
Showers? The shampoos, soaps, and shower cleaner residues are not what you want in your vegetable garden.
I would strongly suggest that you move the vegetable garden away from the "lagoon" and have a small area near your house tested for nutrients. When it is convenient to go out and weed for a bit, or water, or just take a look at what needs to be tended or harvested, a vegetable garden does much better. You can always expand a good area, but fighting a bad garden area is frustrating, and the compost and manures that Chuck recommended will do a whole lot of good in your garden.
 
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There aren't very many grass-eating bugs. Our lawns provide almost no benefit to insects.
Where I live, we do have them! Grubs are the worst because they are everywhere and they eat roots, but cutworms can get bad also. I have forgotten what else we have that eats grass. And, when the grass was removed and my garden was planted the vegetables did get munched on.

MissKrystal1982, I do not know if the soap and chemicals from your house hurt your veggies or if it was the brief standing water, but in Eastern Kansas it was flat out not a good year for gardens. All of us struggled!
 
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So sorry to hear that your new garden didn't produce, and I also agree with @marlingardener about moving your garden area to a different spot.
 
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When we moved in this house, my plan was to make the backyard a vegetable garden. But since my husband knows gardening, he inspected the soil and pronounced a loud no. The topsoil is a mix of sand and some clayey soil and about 2 inches below are stones and rocks or maybe a boulder. It took 3 people more than a week just to remove those rocks and overhaul the soil. Fortunately, the work on the soil had good effects to our plants.
 

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