New To The Gardening Scene - Raised Beds and Wilting Plants


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Hey guys, I'm new to the site and relatively new to gardening. I've always done a small garden beside my barn, but it soon became overgrown and tangled as I became more and more busy over each summer. This year I promised myself I would do better and I mustered up the resolve to build raised beds for the numerous benefits: assistance in organization, less weeds, good drainage, etc. I built 3 beds. Two that are 6' by 6' squares and one rectangular one that is 12' by 6'. The beds are 8 inches deep and I filled them with approximately 3.25 cubic yards of premium topsoil. I also began a compost pile. I live in Northwest Ohio, hardiness zone 6a. After I filled the beds with the soil, I began to fill them with plants. I began in early April, planting a decent amount of onion sets in the 6' by 6' beds (Yellow Sweet Spanish in one and White Superstar in the other.) Over time, I began to fill in the beds with various plants. I placed 2 salsa hybrid seedling tomatoes in each square bed as well as a variety of pepper seedlings and some herbs like cilantro and basil in one of the beds. I filled the larger rectangular bed with squash, zucchini, green beans, cucumber, kohlrabi, and some mint. I thought all was well until I noticed none of the plants were growing after habitual evening watering and weeding. In fact, the plants appeared to be dying. Many of the leaves on the tomato and pepper plants (pictures included of both) appear singed and wilting away while other plants appear yellow and stunted. The only thriving plant seems to be the onions as they've taken off. I planted a small strawberry patch behind my barn as well, not in a raised bed as I hope they take off, spreading runners that I will be able to propagate into new strawberry plants. I planted 10 and 9 of the 10 appear to be doing well. Anyways, what have I done wrong and what can I do to save the plants? Any help is much appreciated. IMG_0668.JPG IMG_0670.JPG
 
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I think this is nutrient issue, the top soil may be good, but looking at the picture it just looks sterile,no life in it.

Did you add anything in the way of compost,manure or fertiliser?

If the leafy crops are failing .that is lack of nitrogen.
 
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Hi. :)

I agree, from those photos, the soil doesn't look very rich.

Also, did I read it right that you water every night? Don't water at night, that creates damp conditions, which encourages fungus and bugs, slugs, etc. Water in the morning, but not daily! I hardly ever water my in-ground veggies, usually we get enough rain naturally.
 
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Hey there :)

I purchased Organic Garden-tone 3-4-4 fertilizer last night at my local nursery as well as some Organic Tomato-tone 3-4-6. I applied the fertilizer as instructed for established plants. I also plan on picking up some triple 10 chemical fertilizer tonight but I will wait before application. I also began compost earlier on in the season but, sadly, not ready yet. Inside the compost, I have a large composition of horse manure that I received from a neighbor completely for free!

When should I (hopefully) start to see signs of improvement? Thanks for all of the help!
 
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what brand top soil is that? It looks pretty bad... probably a lot of clay content. I would definitely add organic matter to it, but the existing plants are going to be an issue.

As said above, water less. It only needs water if the soil is dry 2-3 inches deep. I would imagine you will see improvement, if they're going to improve, in a week or so. Won't be anything spectacular, just healthy new leaf growth.
 
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I purchased the top soil in bulk from a local lawn and tree service company. When there's a new house being built or a pond being dug, they sell the soil to one of the companies and they're 'supposed' to add ingredients to get the proper composition and then they sell it in bulk as premium topsoil. However, I feel like I may have ended up with topsoil with a much higher clay composition because my native soil generally has a very high composition of clay.

I've received heavy amounts of rain the past week or so and haven't had to water. I plan to water one day this week though. I have seen a decent amount of healthy leaf growth and the tomato plants have really began to take off. 3/4 Tomatoes are beginning to flower and the peppers are looking much healthier. Thanks guys!
 
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