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Some of my plants aren't doing so well. Anyone know why? (Photos)

Here are some photos of my plants which aren't doing so well (and some photos at the end of this post of the ones which are doing well)... Can you help me figure out what's wrong?


All plants are in pots of "Brunnings" brand compost (the "r" in Brunnings is not a typo) usually mixed with some commercial compost.


I have never fertilised them. I'm planning on reading about the needs of each one and getting some organic manure bags from Bunnings and doing some seaweed solution as well.




Beefsteak Tomato (seedling from Bunnings, photo of diseased leaves I just cut off):






White garlic

 I think it's the white one, planted from a supermarket clove. They haven't grown any more in the last month or two. The main stem is less thick than a pencil, and the leaves are starting to go brown. I pulled one up a week ago to see the progress and they are still far too small.





Purple garlic

I think it's the purple one, planted from a clove. Smaller plants than the white ones. Same issue as the others - going brown while small.






Seedling from Bunnings, potted out about two weeks ago. Leaves were nice and green, now going a bit curly and yellow.






Purple carrots

Seedling from Bunnings, potted out two weeks ago. Leaves have changed from green to purple and green. Not sure if this is normal. Otherwise looks ok.







Seedlings from Bunnings, potted out about two weeks ago. Were nice and green when potted, but now turning yellow at the bottom.








Seedling from Bunnings, potted out two weeks ago. Was nice and green, starting to go a bit yellow.







From seed (Fothergills, from memory). Going well. :-)







From seed. Going well :-)






African Horned Cucumber

From seed. Going well, although one plant fell over. Might stake it.




Any help is VERY appreciated!! :-)



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Mmm ... general comment is that the plants are short of nutrients and water. OK, specifically: the Tomato leaf has got some kind of disease which every Tom plant I've ever grown has had. The more rich the soil and the more regular the watering, the less of this I see. I think it's something we more or less live with here out of the Toms real comfort zone.


Garlic: well some of mine are thriving in one bed and in another bed are looking a bit dry and unhappy. None of them are growing cloves yet, just the single bulb which should lead to cloves in the not-too-distant future. It's got to do with the water-holding capacity of the soil and it varies from bed to bed here.


Stevia looks like it's short of nitrogen. Carrots look like the pH is too high (too alkaline). Chives and Broccoli look normal: Chives like all the shallot-relatives have the older leaves dying off while the inner ones continue to grow. The Broccoli's yellowing leaves are the seed-leaves (cotyledons) and the juvenile leaves which follow. They die off as normal as indeed do the Tomato leaves with or without that fungus or whatever-it-is.


Broad Beans look OK but it's getting late for them now and they are marginal at best in Briz. Keep them on a high-nitrogen diet, well-watered and pick the leaves to eat, forget the pods. Some people have the knack of getting BBs to pod-up in Briz, I never did. Radish are fine, they can grow almost anywhere. African Horned Cucumber are a warm-weather plant (as are all the cucurbits like Pumpkin etc) so they will get along better later in the season.


In general Daniel, that potting mix is krud. I know it well, it does not hold water well and dries out to become water-repellant. A quick fix would be to 1. buy a bucket of water crystals (about $50, goes a long way). 2. buy some coir bricks ($2 each). Soak up the coir in a seaweed solution - 1 brick makes 9 litres (one bucket). Follow the directions on the crystals and pre-soak them too. Buy some compost/sheep manure or similar. Pot by pot, take out the plants put them aside with roots well-wrapped and in the shade. Tip the existing mix into a barrow, add some soaked crystals with the coir and manure. Mix well and replace the mix then re-plant that pot with the original inhabitants. Add some mulch - even grass clippings are OK or dry or damp coir. Soak the mix using a soft spray or leave the pot in a bucket/bin until all the bubbles are gone and the mix is thoroughly wet. Put the pots back and monitor the water each day, they will still dry out but not as fast. Pot culture means extra work but worth it for the results.

I'd have to agree with Elaine.  I don't bother trying to grow tomatoes any more as they always end up like this. It's a blight so it's fungal - if you're wanting to try to salvage this one, pick off all the affected leaves and make sure you water in the morning rather than at night and at the base of the plant making sure not to wet the leaves.  In the past I've found I can only coax the plant along to get 1 or 2 tomatoes once this problem has appeared. Cherry tomatoes seem to flourish here so maybe try them instead. 


I'd also agree about the soil mix - I've tried it myself and it's horrible stuff.  For my own potting mixes I dig some soil out of a spare patch in the garden and add compost and manure.  The water crystals is a good idea for pots.


The garlic does look dry - one of my books/resources says to never let it dry out so perhaps make an effort to water it every couple of days or more often if needed.  I find they don't mind being in the shade and had my best ever clove grow in full shade.  It might help with the water issue.


You could also try adding a bit of mulch to the pots to help with organic matter and to keep the soil moist.


Good luck!  Keep us posted on how you go.

Daniel they all look short on nitrogen to me - am betting the carrots have coloured foliage cos they're a purple variety (otherwise could be a potassium overdose, but unlikely).

First stop - liquid feed! Buy some charlie carp, dilute as per instructions, and dose everything! Maybe twice a week for a couple of weeks, then weekly or fortnightly. You can add some liquid seaweed too, it can help with the tomato problem. I agree the problem is, as the others say, the horrible potting mix. I reckon always buy the most expensive potting mix, with the most goodies in it - it totally pays you back in the end.

You might be able to keep this lot going with liquid feed and a top dressing of mulch - consider a fine straw (pea straw if you can get it, or sugar cane), or just plain compost - Bunnings used to sell Kriedmann's, which was fine. Then when the current lot of plants are done, I agree with Elaine, you need to buy a new batch of ingredients and mix them together - personally, I'd buy good potting mix and pure compost and maybe some coarse sand (builder's sand) and mix them all together - maybe one part bad potting mix, one part good, two parts compost, and half to one part of sand. Check it drains well (fill pot, add water, it should drain within about 30 seconds through the actual mix - not down the sides).
Consider just buying some new potting mix and transplanting the small plants into it - they're still young enough to get away with this (not the carrots - they'll be all crooked).
It's a real trap, bad potting mix is evil stuff :( 

I do buy the cheap potting mix too (including Brunnings), but I don't use it straight.  For every bag of potting mix, I mix in myself one cocofibre brick soaked with a mixture of seaweed solution, worm wee, fish emulsion, and em (bugs?), a few scoops (garden scoops, probably tiny bit smaller than dog food scoops) of manure or compost depending on what I have on hand, and a couple scoops of coarse river sand.

If I have a good patch of garden soil available, I'd put in a scoop or two, as I noticed when garden soil or homemade compost is included, I tend to find big fat worms in the pot when I repot. 

I've only started growing a few veg in pots, I used to only keep trees in pots and they generally do fine.  I would believe vegetables need more follow up fertilizing and watering compare with being planted in the garden.


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