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Stunted vegetable garden

    Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12 - 6:55 pm

    Question

  • My vegetable garden has been stunted in its growth this summer and I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do differently. I think we may have some Red Thread in the yard.
  • Answer

  • I think many local vegetable gardens have experienced some stunting this year. The prolonged cooler weather we had at the beginning of the summer seemed to have a big impact on plants that were put in the ground in late April and May. In addition, we have had several periods with very little rain to help keep gardens watered which has also been having an impact. Before planting next year, its a good idea to do a soil test to see where your soil could use some support. Soil tests are available through the master gardeners at your local library. You can use these results to ensure you are planting in a robust healthy soil that is ready to provide a good home to your plants. Also, if you aren't already doing this, I would suggest fertilizing your garden with an organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizers slowly release nutrients giving a steady supply of food to your plants without disrupting the work of earthworms and other beneficial organisms. Follow the recommendations on the label for frequency of fertilizing. I'm not aware of nor have I been able to find any literature on red thread having an impact on anything other than turf grass. I'm not sure if you mentioned that in correlation with your concerns about your vegetable garden or as a separate concern. However, if you were looking for recommendations to deal with the red thread as well, fungicides are not usually advised for red thread control on residential turf for various reasons. The disease is largely cosmetic. Unless environmental conditions that promote disease development persist for extended periods, the turf will recover — usually with no lasting effects of infection. Good luck and happy gardening!