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Old 09-25-2019, 04:17 PM   #16
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Irrigation systems can be uneven in flow, also.
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Old 09-25-2019, 04:18 PM   #17
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


No I just used a meter that checks for pH. I'll have to get a kit to see more then, huh?

Can these other things cause the soil to retain more moisture?

Also, I did put new potting soil in each hole around the new plants. And about the sun, yes most are in the shade from a large tree. There are a few on the end that get more sun and they didn't do any better.

Last edited by RVC1; 09-25-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:11 PM   #18
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Yes, Nitrogen, Potash & Potassium levels make a big
difference. It's an inexpensive soil kit at a hardware store. Or you can send away for a fancier result.

I'd really like to recommend the Sunset Western Garden book, again.

I had poor luck with the moisture control potting soils. Too much moisture.

Start from the beginning with gardening, checking off all the variables possible. If you find you don't enjoy it, hire someone. I like nothing better than shaking up dirt & water, adding a chemical & measuring the resultant color with dirty hands.

Sunset also has photos of beautiful gardens in the area. Count how many hours the front has shade. You may need a plant for shade.

When plants wilt past a certain point, they can't come back.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Sorry, I was distracted.
You find the result of the soil test then add the appropriate "amendment" that you ordered or bought from the nursery and enjoy a healthier plant.

It does take work & there may be several variables rather than one magic bullet. That's why you should enjoy it. It's a combination of yard work, science, art & nuturing.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:16 AM   #20
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


True, it may be more than one variable. But it shouldn't be super difficult either. I'm going to get a more comprehensive tester. Then when I start over, I'm going to water very little and do very little. I'll also swap as much of the soil as possible. Maybe the soil is retaining too much water. I'll look into a soil without the moisture control, maybe?

I think I do enjoy it. I enjoy the planning, execution, then the troubleshooting (to a degree) and of course, seeing the success. I've been rewarded in this area with woodworking and upgrades, repairs, etc. The landscaping has been challenging. I have no experience. I'll get there. But I paid for the back to be done. I wanted to be able to do the rest myself. I can post some pics of the back if interested. I did some things as well.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:34 PM   #21
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


So I have some soil results. What I did was take some soil from near the root, trying to get some of the new soil that was used when planting (which would include some fo the fertilizer, I'd imagine) and some fo the main soil that was in the bed/ground already.

Ph: 7.0 Neutral
P: P1 Deficient (may have been borderline P2 Adequate)
N: N1 Deficient
K: K1 Adequate

So Does it seem like these numbers would cause such poor plant health? Or maybe this combined with the moisture levels? And can any of this add to the soil retaining the moisture?

From what I can read, seems like I need some compost and nutrients to correct the P and N? How do I go about this? And does this rule out too much fertilizer as a problem, or just the wrong type?

Thanks all.
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #22
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Yes! Good job. Does it say how deficient?
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:49 PM   #23
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Different people here like different fertilizers. Some even use sewer sludge with beautiful results. See TwoKnot's garden, & DoomsDave's palms.

I prefer Osmocote for potted plants & even some flower beds. I was introduced to it by a gardener in Hawaii. Most nurseries & even Walmarts have it. It has a variety of levels of fertilizer chemicals. You can find the one that matches the deficiencies in your garden. So whereas normally you might pick the 14-14-14, for now pick the higher Nitrogen, higher Phosphorous and lower Potassium.

Do read up on what they each do. Low Nitrogen is like a human never getting protein to grow and function.

That's certainly a good start. There are other chemicals like iron you can deal with later, as well as organic matter (compost).

You mentioned your work in the back. Can you post photos.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:54 PM   #24
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


@SeniorSitizen - would you put up your soil in water in Mason jar photo? Thx.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:04 AM   #25
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Thanks for the feedback Nik333

As for how deficient, the ranges are:

4/Surplus - 3/Sufficient - 2/Adequate - 1/Deficient - 0/Depleted

So it was P-1 and N-1.

I'll look into the different fertilizers as you suggested. I'm starting a compost however that won't be useful for a while. I'll see if I can purchase some compost to add as well.

As for the back, here are some photos of what is currently looks like.



















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Old 10-08-2019, 01:08 AM   #26
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Speaking of the backyard, there are actually three lavender plants that are having an issue. They were doing great like the others (as you'll see from the previous photos), however they've recently developed a problem. There was some yellowing as well as drying and dying branches and leaves closer tot he root. See photos:







Any idea what's happening here? I do have a gopher issue, not sure of they've been feasting on the roots of these three plants, idk.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #27
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
@SeniorSitizen - would you put up your soil in water in Mason jar photo? Thx.
Dirt test sample from SandburRanch.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:12 PM   #28
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
Different people here like different fertilizers. Some even use sewer sludge with beautiful results. See TwoKnot's garden, & DoomsDave's palms.

I prefer Osmocote for potted plants & even some flower beds. I was introduced to it by a gardener in Hawaii. Most nurseries & even Walmarts have it. It has a variety of levels of fertilizer chemicals. You can find the one that matches the deficiencies in your garden. So whereas normally you might pick the 14-14-14, for now pick the higher Nitrogen, higher Phosphorous and lower Potassium.

Do read up on what they each do. Low Nitrogen is like a human never getting protein to grow and function.

That's certainly a good start. There are other chemicals like iron you can deal with later, as well as organic matter (compost).

You mentioned your work in the back. Can you post photos.
Sewer sludge?

I haven't lately . . .
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:19 PM   #29
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Quote:
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Sewer sludge?

I haven't lately . . .
No, that was TwoKnots. That was an awkward sentence. It has a name. . . Milgonite or something. Gives me the creeps but then her garden is beautiful.

Do you have any suggestions?
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:23 PM   #30
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Re: HELP, my black thumb is killing all my new plants!


Quote:
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No, that was TwoKnots. It has a name. . . Milgonite or something. Gives me the creeps but then her garden is beautiful.

Do you have any suggestions?
Yes her garden certainly is.

My suggestion is lots and lots of digging and adding organics.

Stock advice over decades . . . .

BUT, Milorginite has been recommended. I'm just too cheap to buy fert any more, since I've got tons of plant waste that I have to throw away, some of which I'm able to compost.
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Last edited by DoomsDave; 10-08-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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