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Topic: Question?

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Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Question?
Date Posted: 6/7/2009 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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we are in a new house this year and put in a new vegetable garden. We have had a lot of rain in the past two weeks. Yesterday was our first nice day in about a week. This morning, my tomato and pepper plants looked dead. All their leaves were dead. I plucked them off and the vines themselves seem ok.  I am wondering if it was all the rain or something else.

a friend of mine suggested using dish detergent deluted in water as a bug repelent. I sprayed it on them earlier this week. My hubby thinks that the dish detergent killed the leaves on my plants now I am hesitant to use it again.  If I shouldnt use it, can anyone suggest something natural, that I wouldnt have to spend a fortune buying, that I can use. I planted dill, marigolds and an edible flower (begins with an N, sorry cant think of the name right now)  around the garden that will detere the bugs once they grow, but till then, I need something to keep the bugs off without killing my plants.

Date Posted: 6/8/2009 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2006
Posts: 553
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I'm by far no expert, but I'd be suprised if 2 weeks of rain killed them, unless you have lots of clay in your ground holding all the water in.

Did you grow them from seeds or buy the plants?  Reason I ask is because if you're completely new to gardening, like I was, and planted your plants from a nusery/greenhouse, you can kill the plants by leaving any air pockets at the root.  I've killed my share of plants that way untill I figured out I was doing it the wrong way.

Never heard of the dish detergent thing.  Supposedly Dawn is eco-friendly, that's what they use to clean up the birds and animals after an oil tanker spill.  My brother sprays beer and chewing tobacco on his lawn to kill slugs.  He claims it works.  He pours the beer into a bowl, adds the tobacco, and leaves it to soak all night.  He then puts the liquid in a sprayer and hoses his yard with it. I don't know if it works for vegetable gardens though.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 6/8/2009 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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The plants that had the dead leaves I bought from the nursery. I had a garden at my old house, but this house never had a garden so it is "virgin" soil. I use to use store bought sprays for the bugs, but wanted to go natural this year. I took all the dead leaves off and the stems look fine. Just not sure what killed all the leaves. We dont have a lot of clay, but we do have a lot of slate. when we tilled the garden , all we turned up was rocks.

 

Date Posted: 6/9/2009 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/11/2009
Posts: 677
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Dish detergent diluted in water usually won't hurt the plants.  It is a great insect repelent for plants.  I have used it on sunflowers, pecan trees, cabbages, etc.  Your plants may need a fertilize treatment.  You can use manure if you are wanting to go "green". 

I can't imagine what may have caused the dead leaves though. 

Date Posted: 6/10/2009 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,387
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If you spray the detergent while the plant is in the sun, it can be burnt.  And it isn't safe to eat.  So do not use on things you harvest, like lettuce.

Sounds like you might not have enough minerals in the soil.  Maybe egg shells or seaweed.  Have to know more about your soil to really answer.   Do you have a local master gardeners group?  They would know the area.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 6/11/2009 12:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I put coffee grounds in the soil, but i can try egg shells. I will have to look for a local gardening group.  The peppers are growing, even though three of the plants now have no leaves, and I saw flowers on the tomato plants today, so apparently whatever killed the leaves didnot kill the whole plant. Thanks for the advice.