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#373743 Jul 23rd, 2013 at 04:52 AM
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I'm attempting my first vegetable garden and am getting very frustrated!

I have two large, plastic raised beds that I put on top of a concrete slab that was already in my backyard when I bought the house eight years ago. I filled them with gardening soil that was purchased from Home Depot which specifically said it was for vegetable gardening.

I planted cabbage, chives, swiss chard, and snow peas from seedlings that I purchased at Osh. I also planted carrots from seeds.

The swiss chard and snow peas thrived, but the rest of the veggies never got any bigger than they were when I planted them! The carrots came up, but three months later, were only about an inch tall.

I went away on vacation and didn't have anyone to water for me, so I gave away my chard plants. When I returned, I bought a different type of carrot seed and some radish seeds and tried again. This time, I was diligent about watering them every, single day, because last time, I would miss a day or two now and then and I was suspicious that that was the reason my garden wasn't growing.

But now it's been two more months, and my carrots and radishes are still only about an inch or two tall.

What do you think is the problem?

Here are some factors in play:

1. We live in a pretty foggy area (but some of my friends who live in my town, but in an even foggier area have been successfully growing the same varieties of the same vegetables. That's how I knew my veggies were behind in their growth, because other people's are so much bigger than mine!)

2. About once a week, some critter comes into my garden and digs some holes. I'm not sure what it is, but I've seen raccoons, opossums, and skunks in my yard. It doesn't usually tear up the whole garden and doesn't seem to eat any of the plants. Just digs holes that tear up a few (but not all) of my sprouts. I plan to rig up a chicken-wire fence around the boxes to try to keep the little stinker out!

3. As I mentioned, the boxes are placed on a concrete pad. I was wondering if the concrete is somehow leaching into the soil and contaminating it or taking away it's nutrients. But my beds are pretty tall and I've read online of other people being successful growing veggies on a concrete pad.

I'm really frustrated and upset, because I've put a lot of money, time and effort into the garden and I don't want to give up yet! But I'm totally at a loss as to why my plants don't grow. I've always had luck with indoor and outdoor plants, so it's not like I have a brown thumb.

Does anyone have any advice? I would be SO grateful if you could help me with this mystery!

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Welcome, Valouria. I am not sure what your problem may be. Did you add anything at all to that store bought vegetable mix? Any type of food? Or did it come with fertilizer in it?
I had skunks coming through often and dig up my young plants. They were looking for worms and other wigglies to eat. That sounds like that is your problem critter.


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Welcome to the garden forum Valouria, wavy

I know the feeling of disappointed when you've tried so very hard to achieve a great garden. So sorry you are having such trouble with it boohoo
Since I have never grown in a raised bed or really even grow veggies, ( I'm a plants and flowers gal).
I probably can't give you sound advice But there are a few here that have and I hope they see this and can give you great advice.
I imagine you'd need a rich soil just like I do for plants and flowers,,
When I read you used soil, did you use amended soil?..i.e. garden soil mixed with compost, cow/sheep manure, bone meal? I know soil makes a great difference for success.

Again I hope you get some good advice from other members here. thumbup


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Can I ask another question to go along with the ones already asked ?? how deep is your raised bed. Since you have it on a concrete base, the depth of your bed would determine how much soil your plants have to grow roots in. I have had raised beds but I put them on top of exsisitng soil, so my plants had more room that the raised depth to grow roots in.

So that too is a consideration.


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Doubt if concrete floor is the issue.
Fertilizer may be ......What zone you live in may help?.

Animals don't help. If it gives you help. I sowed carrots 2 times , none came up.
Onions I planted , first year they failed for me?/ Why I don't know.
So we all get flops........Some time mom nature is the problem.
Oh is it in the sun?
Most plants need sun.


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Thanks for answering me! I feel better already, knowing I have some help.

I'm in zone 10. I would suspect the problem lies in our lack of sun, but as I mentioned, some friends of mine have had great success with the same varieties of plants in even foggier areas near me. I do get some afternoon sun and a lot of bright light filtered through the fog.

I've got about a foot of dirt in the boxes, so they're fairly deep. I can't remember if the soil I bought had fertilizer already in it, so maybe that's the first thing to try. I've got some liquid Miracle Grow on hand. Or do you suggest I try something else?

Do you think I should pull up my little sprouts and start anew, or just fertilize what I have and try to save them?

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Sun is very important to veggies.. They need that an rain.
Cause the grow quickest an heavy yielders.


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I wouldn't pull up the sprouts. Fertilize and see what happens. Next year try putting some gravel on the bottom for drainage. I wonder if the concrete is heating things up a bit. Radishes and carrots are cooler weather crops. Cabbage is a cool weather crop for me too.




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Originally Posted by Bestofour
Next year try putting some gravel on the bottom for drainage. I wonder if the concrete is heating things up a bit.


that was my thought too Sheri,, the concrete absorbing the heat,, but yet at the same time it could be like a heating mat for germinating the seeds?? why and maybe not deep enough? plus not enough drainage. and lack of enough sun?



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Perhaps planted too deep.

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I would say maybe drainage is the issue? I had this same issue last year, and I figured out that I did not have adequate enough drainage for my vegetables. All my vegetables grown in the ground did really well though. Good luck on your garden!


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