Help!! My garden is out of control,

Asked June 30, 2019, 1:00 PM EDT

Greetings, My mother actually directed me towards your organization because of the problems o have been having in my first full garden. My two biggest issues (I think) are space and nutrients. I planted WAAAAAY to much in a small space not realizing just how much squash, cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkin family plants Bush and vine all over the place. I need to expand obviously but o dont even know where to begin doing that. The second even worse issue I have is productivity from my squash like plants. The produce females, then before blooming, they turn yellow, shrivel up and die. My squash will bloom first and even if I hand pollinate, they shrivel up and die. I tried to stay organic but got desperate and used Miracle Grow all purpose vegetable shake and feed. Plus I add crushed egg shells, shredded banana peels, etc etc to help feed the dirt. I've worked so hard and want to fix this with as little loss as possible My mother mentioned that the program where she lives, actually sent someone to the house that tested the dirt, and really helped her when she got started gardening. I wasnt sure if that kind of assistance was available here in Frederick county or not, but if not I was hoping you could point me in the right direction. I really need help. I have stagnant egg plants, Japanese cucumbers, regular cucumbers, onion, potatoes, cherry tomatoes,regular tomatoes, raspberry vine,yellow squash, zucchini, green bell peppers, yellow bell pepper, strawberries, cauliflower and my herbs. The dirt here is mostly red clay and lots of rock, but in that garden I've added several bags of compost and also spend all winter "prepping" the dirt for spring planting. Any or guidance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Frederick County Maryland vegetables plant care vegetables overcrowded

3 Responses

First, remove any plants that are least important or not doing well, in order to give the others more space.

Do a soil test. This is easy to do. This page shows how to do it, what to test for and where to send it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

The first squash flowers are all males and naturally fall off. If the later female flowers are falling off, they might not be pollinated because of low pollinator numbers or some other reason.

Please read through the crop profile for each of your remaining crops. These are in the Vegetable section of Topics (on the homepage).
After you read the profiles, you may need to thin some of the plants (such as the peppers) to space them as you'll read in the profile.

Ellen

Thank you for the soil test advice it's very helpful. And I have things it out some but what's left are things I don't want to part with so I'm trying to expand it. And with the squash/pumpkins, that's the problem, on the yellow squash I hand pollinated them myself when she opened but with the pumpkins, the females don't even get big enough to bloom before they are yellowing, shriveling up and falling off. That's what I'm trying to figure out. Then my tomatoes are progressing or producing any more, my eggplants have been stagnant since a couple weeks after I planted them... I do have leaf cupping on the tomatoes and some of the peppers I recently noticed so I'm assuming I need to calcify the dirt which I have no idea how to do. I watered with milk powder but that doesn't seem to be helping. So that's why I was hoping it was an extension program that sent out and knowledgeable volunteer to help local gardeners like they do where my mom lives. Do you know of any programs like that? I need help in a lot of different areas. I have intermediate knowledge of gardening but I need help fixing some problems and garden resolutions. It's a bit above my capabilities so I was hoping they had a program like that here in Maryland.

You need to fertilize following the recommendations for each plant.

Your soil test will tell you if you need to add lime (calcify) the soil, and how much.

We are not staffed to make house calls, but you can contact the Frederick County office and see if the Master Gardener volunteer do such a service. Their contact information is in the Staff Directory a the bottom of the homepage.

Plants need full sun and we see that you have a fence nearby. If it is casting a lot of shade, that would also be effecting your plants.

Ellen