The Q&A Archives: purchased new plant soil, new peat and my son got manure

Question: spent a fortune 9on plants, tomatoes, pepper, cucks, have not yielded one veg, white flies cover everything, I did not want manure, how can I clense the soil? will lime and systemic product help?

Answer: I'm going to try to reconstruct the process here - you purchased packaged soil, peat moss and manure, mixed them into your native soil and planted vegetables. The plants did not thrive and to add insult to injury, whiteflies are all over the plants? Does this sound about right? If so... the organic amendments you purchased were perfect for building up your native soil. We suggest spreading a 4-5 inch layer over the top of the soil and digging it in to a depth of 10-12 inches. Soils amended with organic matter drains quickly, holds just the right amount of moisture and releases nutrients to the roots of your plants as the organic matter decomposes. Packaged manure is aged manure so it will not contain weed seeds and it will not be too hot for the roots of your veggies. Failure to thrive has as much to do with the weather and cultural care as it does with soil. In Florida, there are two major growing seasons - February through May and August through December. Planting warm season veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants in February gives them plenty of growing time before the hot weather arrives. Not many veggie plants will thrive during the months of June, July and August in Florida, other than okra and lima beans. Your second window of opportunity for planting is in late August or early September. By then the weather will be more conducive to growing - and your soil will have mellowed out a bit, too. If you are concerned about the soil, you can have it tested and if it is very acidic you can add lime. As for the whiteflies - they are most active in the hot summer months and they are nearly impossible to control once the populations get high. At the first sign of whiteflies, spray your plants with insecticidal soap. Repeat sprays will be required and you'll get better results if you spray in the early morning and at dusk. That's when the pesky whiteflies are resting on the leaves and are most susceptible to the insecticidal soap. Hope you'll give your garden a try again in September!

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