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Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 14, 2015 9:53 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
I have a suspicion that alfalfa pellets may lure in deer. Shrug!


No matter what is wrong with any soil just about, compost will fix.

OP-you don't say what is happening to the plants just that they languish and die. Do they look dried or shriveled? Leaves fall off, turn yellow, look wilted or spotted, ect ect. Pots drain really well usually if the plants are growing successfully in them. They need a lot of water. Could it be that you are overwatering now that they are in the ground? The ground holds moisture better than a pot and now that the temps have really warmed up, over watering will certainly lead to rot. The plants you listed do not like a lot of water usually and will not tolerate wet feet.
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Jun 15, 2015 5:56 AM CST
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Region: Florida Foliage Fan Orchids Organic Gardener
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I used the pellets in my garden when I lived on a 400 acre horse farm in rural Virginia...I didn't have any issue with the deer.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
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Jun 16, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Region: Ukraine Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover
@Gadsden HI & welcome to ATP! Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Are you in Gadsden county? I used to live there. Whereabouts are you? Quincy? Juniper? Greensboro? Sycamore? Havana?
You guys get hotter than hell there. Anything you plant in ground is going to need some kind of shade especially with that wall & the sun beating there for that many hours. Also do you have clay under the top layer of sand -- do some digging & find out.
What kind of plants are you wanting? Annuals? Perennials? Shrubs?
Beware the alfalfa pellets --- they NEED to be the ones for horses like these:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/e...
Ones for rabbits & goats & such often contain salt which you do NOT want. Also do not let the pellets directly touch the new roots or stem or it can burn them up. Dig your hole deeper than needed, throw a handful of alfalfa pellets in & then throw dirt on top & THEN plant your plant -- the roots will grow down seeking those pellets never fear.
Ideally if you could put up a pergola over the area to give some shade OR some posts with shade cloth strung then your plants would do much better. I agree with everyone else that you have to wait for fall to plant things in ground where you are. I'm in Lake City & I don't plant anything in ground until fall otherwise they DIE! Planting in fall gives them time to get established before the summer sun & heat punishes them.
When you have plants potted you tend to water them more than when they are in ground & that's why your plants are doing okay in the pots but die when you plant them in ground. At least that's a big part of it.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
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Jun 17, 2015 12:37 PM CST
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Plumerias Orchids Garden Photography Birds Garden Art
Miniature Gardening Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm Bromeliad Region: Florida
Maybe you should make a cactus/succulent garden there with some cool rocks and nifty yard art and call it good?
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Jun 17, 2015 12:52 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Region: Ukraine Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover
Welcome to WTP Patty! Welcome! Welcome!

Not a bad idea.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
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Jun 17, 2015 1:10 PM CST
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Plumerias Orchids Garden Photography Birds Garden Art
Miniature Gardening Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm Bromeliad Region: Florida
Thank you Ann! I have been SO welcomed on this site...what a great place! Smiling
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Jun 17, 2015 4:56 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Region: Ukraine Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover
You are welcome Patty! Now please tell me what that beauty in your avatar is. Is it an orchid? Simply stunning.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
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Jun 18, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Plumerias Orchids Garden Photography Birds Garden Art
Miniature Gardening Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm Bromeliad Region: Florida
Ann, the orchid in my avatar is my dendrobium nobile purple splash last time it was in bloom. It's one of my favorites!
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Jun 18, 2015 10:30 AM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Region: Ukraine Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover
I can certainly see why it's your fav! I'm jealous.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
Avatar for Gadsden
Aug 22, 2015 3:28 PM CST
Jacksonville, FL
Thanks to all of you for your helpful and interesting ideas and questions.
My soil sample came out with flying colors! I'm almost disappointed - it would have been so easy to just amend the soil. Now I'm back to square one.

The current situation is this: The rains have come and though the potted plants are happy the in-ground ones aren't. I transplanted a very small salvia from a full shade site where it wasn't happy and though it seemed to settle in it just sits there looking exhausted and annoyed. A stunted salvia?! The amaryllis are so sickly I plan to transplant them; gauria is struggling to survive; only an African daisy and the little trailing daisy plants are hanging on and blooming, but they're about the same size as they were when planted. The plumbago is also the same size as when planted. But the potted plants on my steps are happy as clams!

Ann, I think you're right about contriving some sort of shade. I found one of those enormous arching patio umbrellas and will put it up ASAP. Amen to whoever said Florida's full sun isn't like full sun anywhere else.
Also, in the fall I'm going to dig out the present soil and replace it. At the same time I'll take out the scrawny, useless ligustrums -pull them out with the roots intact as much as possible. Putting in an in-soil barrier between the plaster wall, nearby ligustrum tree and my flower area is an additional step I might take. Or maybe I'll make the area a raised bed. I'm going to get horse alfalfa pellets too.
Ann, I'm not in anyplace named Gadsden - I chose that name because I was trying to find a user name for another site and couldn't find anything that wasn't taken so I entered the name of the street I lived on at the time - Gadsden. I now use the same name for many sites because it's always not taken. I should change it to Black Thumb! I'm in Jacksonville, FL - not too far away from some of the Gadsdens you mentioned. Two growing zones bisect the town so I'm on the line that separates 9a from 9b.
P.s. Another plant that I can't keep alive - even in a pot - is coneflower. It was fine at my former home a half mile from here so I don't think the problem is me (but I am feeling rather inadequate at this point).
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Aug 24, 2015 2:38 PM CST
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Region: Ukraine Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Dog Lover
I'm just west in Lake City. Howdy neighbor!
It could be that when the place was built they brought in some "toxic" fill dirt. Who knows what might have been in it at some point. Radiator fluid, pool chlorine, transmission fluid, who knows. So digging out the soil there sounds like a good idea. If you can afford it, you could get some larger sized crepe myrtles & plant them in there to provide shade for the shorter plants. Crepes will grow REALLY fast if you water them & fertilize plus we know that crepes can stand up to Florida sun without blinking an eye.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others. ~~ Sharon Brown
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Aug 24, 2015 3:18 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Your description of your plants sounds like my sister in Florida. Her plants would start out so healthy and then just die. She was planting them against a high wood fence for a bit of shade.

She found out the guy on the other side of the fence was spraying along his side with all vegetation killer which of course was leaching into the soil and killing her plants Crying
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION ~ Garden Art ~ Purslane & Portulaca ~ CUBITS ~ Trust in the Lord ~ Heart Strength ~

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Aug 24, 2015 4:12 PM CST
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Bromeliad Vegetable Grower Region: United States of America Tropicals Plumerias Orchids
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That just sucks, Vicki. Thumbs down
drdawg (Dr. Kenneth Ramsey)

The reason it's so hard to lose weight when you get up in age is because your body and your fat have become good friends.
Avatar for tlorents
Jan 12, 2016 8:09 AM CST
Name: Tom
Cape Coral Florida
Hello all,

I live in Cape Coral Florida and have a raised bed garden which is 10x10 and 1 ft high. I've had great success with herbs and vegetables such as eggplant and carrots. But every vining plant ( cucumbers , melons , etc. ) I try gets the same results. The seeds germinate ant the plants thrive for awhile , sometimes even making it to flowering . But all eventually falter and die. Also Lear vegetables such as spinach will germinate get to about one inch tall and then falter. I,ve tried starting at various times of year but always the same result. This area does receive full sun all day long. I haven't had the soil tested but as soon as I can find a place to get it done I will. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated .
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Jan 19, 2016 11:23 AM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
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Hi Tom, and welcome. Sorry for the delay in answering you, it's a busy time of year in Florida for gardeners. This is the height of our growing season here (and covering up plants to protect from the cold takes time, too).

I'm right with you on the cucumbers and melons. Also squash, both summer and winter varieties (which are related to the melons and cukes) suffer the same fate. With me, it's mostly been either powdery mildew (a huge headache in humid weather) or pickerel worms which eat the leaves, and there's another type of caterpillar that burrows into the stems of the plants. I've tried several times to grow cukes, melons and squash, and had them all die before any harvest, so I've given up. Lots of other things work better here.

Bt is the recommended spray for preventing the depradations of the caterpillars, and it is organic approved (not toxic to you). You can buy it as a concentrate at any garden center.

Spraying the leaves with a solution of baking soda about 1/2tsp to a quart of water can prevent the fungal attack but you need to be very diligent, spraying at least every second day to keep it on the leaf surfaces. It changes the pH of the leaf so it is not a welcoming host for the fungal spores. Watering carefully, or with micro-irrigation to keep the leaves dry can help, and it's extremely important to always water in the early morning so the leaves can dry off by nightfall. Leaving moisture on the leaves over night is an invitation to fungal attack. (of course you can't help it if it rains . . )

Another thing you might have going on is nematodes in the soil. If you built your raised bed on top of an area where there was lawn or grasses growing, it's very likely that nematodes are starting to invade your bed. You can tell if you have these nasty little microscopic worms if you have pulled up any plants and seen nodules that look like beads or knots on the roots. Peppers and tomatoes are very susceptible, but a lot of veggies can be affected. To rid your soil of nematodes (which exist naturally in the sandy soil here in Florida, sadly) You will need to solarize your soil for about 6 weeks - during the hottest, driest part of the year is best, late may into June. Here's an article from University of Florida on the how and why.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in85...

You also need to be aware of the seasonal preferences of the various veggies. This is a great time of year for planting your cool-season stuff like the leafy green veg. Spinach, lettuce, and all the cabbage relatives like broccoli (which does GREAT, btw) love this weather. Going forward into spring, you can plant beans, tomatoes and peppers around the end of February when we won't expect too many more cold nights like this week.

Amending the soil is an ongoing process here because the high heat of summer, and heavy rains leach a lot of the good organic materials, and they also break down and are used up by the plants faster here. You can't add enough organic materials, more is always better! Good compost is available for free from most landfills here, but you have to go and get it, load and unload yourself. I love to amend my raised bed with alfalfa pellets - it's horse food, available in a 50lb. bag for about $16 at feed stores and places like Tractor Supply. For your 10 x 10 bed, I'd be adding a whole bag of pellets at least once a year. Water well and dig them in. You'll get a little bit of a stable-y smell for a day or two while they break up. If you get some, be sure it's pure alfalfa, with no additives or vitamins in it. (they may not be harmful but will cost more and not help your plants)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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