Since this is my first posting, you have no idea what I’m referring to in regards to recovery. However, for those of you who garden on the east coast, you probably noticed that after hurricane Katrina passed by, your crops didn’t do so well. Some might have struggled, died early or never came to fruition. From what I was able to determine, the hurricane brought some type of 1) weird weeds and 2) destructive fungus along with heavy rains and winds. The weeds weren’t as terrible as I painstakingly ripped them out and sprinkled repellent. However, the year after Katrina was awful. My garden had never looked worse and to be honest I almost cried. Instead, however, I decided that I would get down to the matter of it. At first, I thought it was just me but when I asked other gardeners in the area, they were experiencing the same thing; in some cases, a whole lot worse than me.
My research was focused on the fungus. It devastated my tomatoes and stunted my peppers and egg plants. They started out fine but before the fruit began to ripen the tree began to yellow and spot. Branches died off and there was barely any edible fruit. I purchased bottles of fungicide and that did little. I tried a mixture I found online, which helped more than the fungicide and it slowed the rate of the spread of the fungus. However, the plants died early and yields were poor. Blooming plants also yellowed and their blooms were either not as big or as prolific as before. Then I started to investigate solutions that were not surface based but root based. My research revealed that there were healthy microbes and supplements that could be added to the soil that would ward off the fungus and strengthen my plants’ immunity against it.
The second year after Katrina, I tried some new things that worked a little. I had better results than all my neighbors but they were still lackluster to. The problem was that I did not use enough of the supplements and microbes. I believe that the beneficial nutrients in my soil were depleted, which made it easier for the fungus to take hold. As such, this year I plan to use the same items again but on a larger scale. The items contain the usual NPK mix, but due to my situation, the ratios had to be adjusted to compensate for the nature of soil depletion I was experiencing. Please note that my soil requirements are different from yours considering what I have lost in my soil and what I intend to grow. Also, while I am not promoting any specific brand of anything at this time, as I am not paid to do so any, I will tell you that not all brands are equal so do your research first. If you want, you can contact me and I will tell you the brands that I use.
Some important notes: carbon rich soils aka mineral rich soil produce healthy plants that are not only drought resistant but pest and disease resistant as well. While most fertilizers have equal parts of NPK ratio some do not and are therefore more beneficial to certain plants; more on fertilizers in next blog.