Ask a Question forum: I need Big League Help

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Apr 25, 2017 9:47 AM CST
This is year 4 in my failed gardening experiments. Thought I would have given up by now but I haven't and I need help so that this year doesn't end up a gigantic failure just like the rest.

I built a large planter along the side of one of my fences, bought bulk soil primed for vegetable growing from a local soil supply store, ensured it was damp as I filled it in, which was no less than backbreaking work to move 2 cubic feet of soil by myself. The soil retains moisture well and all in all, from my limited knowledge, is good soil.

Here is my dilemma. I planted 5 tomato plants and 5 pepper plants in this soil, giving each 18 inches to 24 inches of space to grow.

I ran a drip line and for each plant have a 2GPH emitter that runs for 5 minutes every other day. In between watering the soil is still relatively moist when I dig down, so i don't think moisture is the issue.

The plants get full sun from about 8:30 to 1:00 and that should increase as the season goes on.

My tomato plants seem to be growing and have produced lots of flowers already, which I would assume would turn into tomatoes, but they aren't. All I've got are flowers and out of all the damn plants i've got 1 tomato. What a joke.

Pepper plants are equally disappointing. While the flowers are producing peppers, they were flowered when i got them and my pepper plants are not growing at all as far as i can tell.

What do i do? Is it my black thumb? How do i go about fixing this? I will not stand for another failure.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 25, 2017 9:50 AM CST
I would shake the tomato plants each day so they pollinate themselves.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Apr 25, 2017 10:13 AM CST
Does your soil drain? or is it moist all of the time?
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Apr 25, 2017 10:19 AM CST
Where are you at?
How long have they been in the ground.
18x24 is not big enough for tomatoes unless they are controlled by a cage and trimming.
They need minimum of 8 hours of sunlight each day to do well.
[Last edited by RpR - Apr 25, 2017 10:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Apr 25, 2017 11:25 AM CST
We really need to know where you live. Zone also.
Dig down in soil 3 or 4 inches. Take handfull of soil and squeeze it. If you can squeeze a drop of water out. Dont water yet.
Flick the tomato flowers with finger "EARLY !!!!" in morning. Peppers hand pollinate with small brush.
Tomatoes and peppers and roses love Empson salt.
Pollinazation could be a problem if theres no bugs to do the job.
Tomatoes like to go a little dry when they start to flower.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 25, 2017 1:11 PM CST
Some pictures of your planter will help us to help you further, and we also absolutely need to know where you are. There's a place in your profile page to put in your location so that it appears in the upper right corner of your posts. Just a zone is no help, we need to know more about your climate than that.

May I also add that 5 minutes of drip watering every other day isn't nearly enough for growing tomatoes or peppers. They are hungry, thirsty plants. Especially in warm weather, they need deep watering every day. Your 5 minute watering isn't getting any water down to the roots. At our school garden, all our veggie beds get watered for an hour every day with micro-sprinklers. Since we have well-draining sandy soil, this just barely keeps the soil moist, and our plants growing and producing.

What have you been fertilizing your plants with?


"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill

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