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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:11 am 
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Location: Monona WI
Hello all! I am growing sugar pumpkins for the first time this year. I am noticing that the leaves on the plants are all slowly turning yellow then dying-faster than the new ones are growing. Now I read in a book that low nitrogin causes this to happen. How do I add more nitrogin to the soil organically? I have a vermicomposting system, would that be enough (worm castings)?

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:54 am 
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Location: zone 5 SE Wisconsin
If the plant's issue is lack of N bloodmeal would be about the fastest way to introduce N to the plant with organic methods.

However, while yellowing can be lack of N, it can also point to other problems like fungal issues.

Your vermicompost will make a terrific addition to the soil, but it isn't going to get N into the soil rapidly and if the plant is suffering from an N deficiency, you need rapid.

Bloodmeal is the most rapid way I know of to introduce N organically.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 12:17 pm 
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Bloodmeal aye? Okay I'll try that this afternoon. Thanks so much!

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:02 pm 
Blood meal is difficult to apply properly. Too much and it will do more harm than good.

Another option would be to apply some fish hydrolysate like Neptune's Harvest fish/seaweed combo liquid fertilizer or Organic Gem liquid fish fertilizer. These products work relatively quickly with the soil biology.

You don't state your watering practices, which could also indicate problems with leafs turning yellow and dying.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:14 pm 
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I water about every other day since the temps are reaching the upper 70's now. They are mulched too. The soil drains really well (raised bed). My cucumbers are keeling over too. Last year the cucumbers did fantastic. Something in the air this year? :(

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:22 pm 
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Location: zone 5 SE Wisconsin
rexie wrote:
I water about every other day since the temps are reaching the upper 70's now. They are mulched too. The soil drains really well (raised bed). My cucumbers are keeling over too. Last year the cucumbers did fantastic. Something in the air this year? :(


Is there any white fuzz/powder looking stuff on the leaves of the vine crops that are having problems?


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Nope, none that I can see. I uploaded some photos of what they look like right now, along with the dead and dying cucumber plants. Even the pumpkins in the greenhouse are yellowing. :cry:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rexenne

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:03 pm 
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Hmmm...

I am not sure what is going on, but the dead plants aren't dead from lack of N, I am pretty confident of that.

Slow growth, some leaf yellowing, sure. That could be lack of N, but not a wilted, dead plant.

Are you seeing cucumber beetles around? They are disease spreaders and can spread fungal pathogens and well as various 'wilts' (bacterial infections). They affect many vine crops, not just cukes.

I don't know what the problem is at this point, but I don't think soil nitrogen levels are the primary issue.

Here is a http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/veg/ef311.htm linky on the beetle with some pics of damage that look a lot like your dead plant.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:05 pm 
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Oh bummer. Yah we have those beetles all over the city but I didn't find any around the plants. Well poop. They did so well last year. :(

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:25 pm 
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Yeah, I had enough of a problem with stink bugs and cuke beetles last year that I am not even growing any vine crops this year other than pole beans and indeterminate tomatos.

Next year I am completely redoing my veggie garden to raised bed vertical growing for the vine crops so I can better police and control those stupid buggers.

Have been testing neem on various things, and will see how it does with the pole beans controlling the Mexican bean leaf beetle. If it goes well I may try that as a preventative against the stink bugs and cuke beetles on the vine crops next year.

Too busy to monitor the vine crops this year though, so I am sitting out on those.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 3:59 pm 
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I'll have to dig up one of the books with organic repellants. Any of you here have a favorite that you use?

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:23 pm 
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Well this just stinks. I went out this evening to look at the rest of the plants and whatever it is is on everything! My tomatos look pitiful, and it is even on the beans! Awww man, is there anything I can do to cure this and save the plants or am I SOL and need to start over? Here in Wisconsin the season is short so I would not get hardly anything if I have to start over. Oh grrr. I didn't have this problem last year. :cry:

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 8:16 pm 
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Location: zone 5 SE Wisconsin
I didn't even notice we are neighbors!

I just set my tomato plants into the ground today, you have time, but you will need to start from plants, no time for seed.

My peppers won't go out until this weekend at the earliest, ground needs to warm more.

This coming weekend is when I would be sowing seed for pumpkin, cukes, squash and mellons.

Maybe your plants have issues due to the cold ground they have had to endure, when did you plant?

As a rule Memorial day is the first I put anything warm season into the ground. I cheated a bit by doing the tomatos today, but the 10 day forecast shows warm weather.

I can't think of any disease or pest that would affect all the plants you mentioned.

I still don't know what the issue is, but now I am leaning toward weather. :D

C'mon now, give up another clue. This is kinda fun. :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 9:18 pm 
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Cool weather and too much moisture maybe? I wouldn't think you'd need to water every other day with mulch around them unless your soil doesn't hold water very long.


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 9:42 pm 
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Hello neighbor! Humm maybe. I did try to start the season early but I thought if I covered them when the temps fell below 40 that they would be fine. Maybe not, well then lesson learned I guess. I planted in early May because the temps were rising and I thought they may stay up in the warm temps because last years Spring was so short (a little cold then boom!-summer). Maybe it is the cold weather. The soil drains very-very quickly and is super loamy after mulching last year. I'm not confident it holds moisture for very long but there sure are a lot of worms in it. Who needs a worm bin when there is a plethera of them in the garden? Any given day I could go out and dig up just a little dirt and have plenty of worms for fishing...LMAO! SO I'll try planting a couple more pumpkins and cucumbers directly from seed...and try to save the tomatoes. :?

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Yikes! Temps below 40 would certainly explain it...

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:52 pm 
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SB_Johnny wrote:
Yikes! Temps below 40 would certainly explain it...


LMAO! Yah, when I get spring fever there is no stopping me. He... :oops:

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 1:45 pm 
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Good cure for that: grow asian greens and peas.

Asian greens are definitely a lot of fun... growing several kinds this spring at the suggestion of a friend, which I'd never even tasted before. All have been pleasant surprises.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:11 am 
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Safer Fungicide is very good because it has a lot of sulfur in it. The sulfur is very powerful against the cause of yellow leaves.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:11 am 
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The symptoms look like that this is happening because of fungal infection. There might be some bacterial issues too.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:02 am 
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There are two routes to go when fixing a nitrogen deficiency in the soil, either organic or non-organic.
Organic

To correct a nitrogen deficiency using organic methods requires time, but will result in a more even distribution of the added nitrogen over time. Some organic methods of adding nitrogen to the soil include:

Adding composted manure to the soil
Planting a green manure crop, such as borage
Planting nitrogen fixing plants like peas or beans
Adding coffee grounds to the soil (be careful as this will also raise the acidity level)

Non-organic

Nitrogen as a plant fertilizer is common when purchasing chemical fertilizers. When looking to specifically add nitrogen to your garden, choose a fertilizer that has a high first number in the NPK ratio. The NPK ration will look something like 10-10-10 and the first number tells you the amount of nitrogen. Using a nitrogen fertilizer to fix a nitrogen deficiency in the soil will give a big, fast boost of nitrogen to the soil, but will fade quickly.

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