Gar­den trou­bleshoot­ing

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - By Ricky Ens­ley [email protected]

Prob­lems may in­volve di­rect in­jury, ab­nor­mal growth, or both. There may or may not be a rem­edy. Some prob­lems may af­fect all veg­eta­bles, oth­ers one crop, one va­ri­ety, or some­times one or two plants.

Com­mon prob­lems with causes

If the plants are grow­ing well this is fre­quently due to ad­verse night tem­per­a­tures be­low 60 de­grees F and above 75 de­grees F. Also heavy use of ni­tro­gen fer­til­izer will cause blos­som-drop es­pe­cially when ap­plied at or closely af­ter flow­er­ing.

Caused by in­suf­fi­cient cal­cium when fruits are form­ing, rot is char­ac­ter­ized by a large dry brown to black and of­ten de­pressed leath­ery area at the blos­som end of fruit. Cal­cium de­fi­ciency usu­ally re­sults from im­proper soil pH, ex­ces­sive ni­tro­gen fer­til­iza­tion, rapid plant growth, and dras­tic fluc­tu­a­tions in mois­ture caused by heavy rain­fall or drought.

Of­ten a re­sult of us­ing old, large or overly-hard­ened trans­plants. Young trans­plants (5-6 weeks from seed­ing to plant­ing in the gar­den) with 5-7 true leaves nor­mally pro­duce the best yields and fruit size.

Cu­cum­ber mo­saic virus, a com­mon dis­ease prob­lem in Ge­or­gia. Se­lect mo­saic-re­sis­tant va­ri­eties. Sud­den rise in tem­per­a­ture or de­pleted soil mois­ture can cause wilt­ing too, but plants will re­cover.

Sev­eral causes, like soil temps too low or too high, poor seed­ing tech­niques (too deep — lack of firm­ing), mag­gots feed­ing on the seeds, birds, lack of mois­ture, too much mois­ture, soil sur­face be­comes crusty, etc.

Low pH, low fer­til­ity, cool weather, lack of sun­light, poor drainage, too lit­tle/ too much mois­ture, poor soil struc­ture.

This is nor­mal for these crops un­der warm tem­per­a­tures and long days. Spring and fall plant­ing and proper va­ri­ety se­lec­tions are reme­dies.

Wrong plant­ing date, non-adapted va­ri­ety, crowd­ing of plants or lack of mois­ture, es­pe­cially early in grow­ing sea­son.

In­ad­e­quate pol­li­na­tion. Plant­ing sweet corn in blocks of sev­eral short rows rather than in long sin­gle rows may help.

Lack of cov­er­ing over de­vel­op­ing pota­toes is a com­mon cause. Hilling soil along row as a plant grows helps to keep tu­bers cov­ered.

A nat­u­ral oc­cur­rence when sum­mer tem­per­a­tures ar­rive. Peas per­form best planted in spring or fall.

Of­ten due to a short­age of soil mois­ture. Cool tem­per­a­tures at time flow­ers are de­vel­op­ing can be a cause. Poor pol­li­na­tion due to lack of bees or low num­ber of male flow­ers is another pos­si­bil­ity.

Didn’t find your prob­lem here? Call the Polk County Ex­ten­sion Of­fice at 770-749-2142 for help,

or email [email protected]

Ricky Ens­ley

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