Seedlings not growing. Too much Compost?

Asked June 1, 2019, 9:34 PM EDT

I have pepper and squash seedlings I transplanted at the end of April into my "new" raised beds. One month later, they are about the exact same size as when I first transplanted them. Other seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash) that I transplanted on the same day but in my "old" raised beds, have grown considerably and are doing really well. I'm wondering why every single seedling in my "new" raised beds just aren't doing well. The location is sunny. The only thing I could think of was that I had someone add compost and top soil into the "new" raised beds which are 1 ft high and I have a feeling the ratio was off and he might have added way more compost than top soil (maybe 70/30). Now that it's June, is there still hope? Can I just scoop out the seedlings, add some dirt to the hole which was scooped out, and re-plant? I have no more top soil left. Can I just add nearby clay?

Howard County Maryland vegetables compost abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi- don't add clay or additional soil. The soil/compost mix looks like it has a fair bit of wood in it (so maybe no fully composted) and soil clods and pebbles are visible suggesting it is not homogeneous and that the topsoil is possibly not of the highest quality.

We suggest that you fertilize your transplants to get them established and growing and take a soil sample of the soil mix in your new beds.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

A 50-50 or 70-30 topsoil:compost mix is typical with these mixes. A 30:70 mix would be heavy on compost but probably work fine in a raised bed.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-fill-raised-beds
Jon