Author Topic: Need help with poor results for a few years  (Read 305 times)

thefist

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Need help with poor results for a few years
« on: April 12, 2021, 03:25:40 pm »
Hi,
I've been planting earthboxes for about 10yrs.   In the last 3 or 4, I've had terrible results.  Here's the best I can describe it:

Each year I plant 2-3 boxes of tomatoes, 1 misc. pepper, 1 cucumber.   Mix used has mostly been Premier peat moss with added vermiculate and perlite per recc's.   Sometimes Miracle Grow Organic potting mix used to top off boxes.  10-10-10 fert from garden centers and Espoma garden lime used.   
All 5 boxes watered with AWS, which appears to be working properly. 

2016 - moved to new house, garden location is in full sun all day.  Good results with full size plants and high yield on all boxes.  Mostly used wire cages.
2017 - switched to trellis' from cages due to high wind.   Same mix.   The result this year was VERY SHORT plants on all boxes.  Indeterminate tomato which grew 10' tall stopped at only 3 or 4 and often bushed out.   This happened on all plants, even the peppers.  Pepper plants previously grew 6' high, but stopped at about 3' or even shorter.  Cukes did not grow to full size either. 

WIth everything growing short like this, it doesn't seem like some plant-specific disease.  What could be going wrong here?   
I have tried changing out the mix completely a couple times since 2017.  I briefly used plastic bags as covers, which worked in the past.  Last year was Earthbox covers and same result. 

I can't say for sure, but when planted, the small plants seem very healthy and look great.   It is after AWS attached when this happens.   Could I have a water problem?   I run a hose above ground from spigot to the garden before connecting AWS.   

I'll look for pics and post if needed.   Note that in my neighborhood there are a few people with earthboxes.

Help!   

gardendoc

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2021, 09:34:37 am »
Weird. Definitely would like to see some images. Do you fluff the container mix top to bottom when adding more at replanting?
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thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 09:43:54 am »
Weird. Definitely would like to see some images. Do you fluff the container mix top to bottom when adding more at replanting?

I do fluff the mix each year.   Dump the box each spring and clean out and then prep. 

I found pics, but canít seem to upload them.   These are just from Apple photo library, .jpeg.    Is the forum really limited that .jpeg is rejected but .jpg is not?   

gardendoc

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2021, 10:25:33 am »
Sharing images is an issue. There's no need to dump and clean the container mix. I have 136 and I've never dumped any in the 13 years I've been growing in them.
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thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 12:22:10 pm »
EARTHBOX ADMIN PLEASE READ...

OK, I have to rant.   I have been trying to upload pics for an hour.  I copied pics from my photo library and changed file type from jpeg to jpg.   Still wouldn't upload.  I tried saving each photo to .png.   The error then said it was too big.  Sure, the jpeg is industry standard and nice and small.   
I interact frequently with various fora and NONE have this problem.   Please fix this archaic issue for the benefit of your customers or provide an FAQ on how to upload.   

gardendoc

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 02:56:26 pm »
In the past images couldn't be uploaded until the member had 10 posts, I don't know if this has changed
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thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 05:30:39 pm »
pic of tomatoes.   about 60 days after planting.  Typically they are double this size by 60 days. 

thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 05:51:02 pm »
close ups of tomatoes. 

thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 06:30:16 pm »
Peppers.   same as before, taken at about 60 days.   

gardendoc

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 09:48:23 am »
The plants look healthy. Do you always plant the same varieties?
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thefist

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 10:11:44 am »
For tomatoes, I plant 2 or 3 boxes every year.   Will usually pick from Celebrity, better boy, early girl, Roma.   Havenít had good luck with heirloom and stopped.  Probably used big boy too sometimes.   
Cukes are from seed, and not always same type.   JalapeŮos every year and a mix of other peppers.   Havenít had good luck with bell peppers.   Could be too hot.   
Even basil struggled last year.   Very frustrating. 

Question for you...
Are you still using plastic tucked in the sides for covers instead of the shower cap?   I did that for years with great results.  Iím just trying to eliminate things to see what might be happening.   I had better luck with half the sun exposure.  Odd.   Itís certainly hot here, but not like the Deep South.   

gardendoc

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 01:13:48 pm »
I'm back to shower cap, not the elasticized. I buy row cover and cut and tie the corners and stretch over my EarthBoxes. I learned this tip at the EarthBox Garden Center in Ellenton, FL from Blake's son.
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Mary-Alice

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Re: Need help with poor results for a few years
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2021, 12:48:54 pm »
Have you talked with neighbors to see if they had similar changes within their gardens? Maybe you all had a weather pattern that threw things off?