2018 Spring Garden Has Been a Bust

The spring garden for 2018 has fallen flat on its face, and it is my fault.  To fully understand what happened we need to back up a few years.

Several years ago I held a New Years bonfire.  The bonfire was made from pieces of timber left over from cutting trees from the property.  There was a large section of Sweet Gum, pine tree limbs… etc. piled up maybe eight feet tall.  After the bonfire was lit, it burned for several days.

Cajun Spicy Bell Peppers

Once the New Years bonfire had finally died out, there was a pile of ash almost three feet tall and eight – ten feet across. The pile was so tall a tractor was used to level the pile out.  Once the pile was leveled out, a tractor disk was used to mix the ash into the soil.

Fast forward a few years.  I figured the ash had time to dissolve into the soil, but I may have been wrong.

What Does Potash Do?

In the right portions potash helps pods form, such as beans and peas.

If there is too much potash (potassium) in the soil, the potash will prevent the uptake of nitrogen to the plant. To counter this, use a high nitrogen fertilizer, which makes the soil more acidic. Since this was an organic garden project, there was not enough nitrogen for the plants.

Just about everything I planted in this patch of soil has not grown.

  • Potatoes: Rotted in the ground
  • Purple hull peas: Did not come up.
  • Snap beans: Did not come up.
  • Pepper plants: Most died and others are not growing.

What Now?

The spring 2018 garden has to be moved over and replanted outside the affected soil.  Also, I have to deal with the affected soil in some way or manner.  I simply can not leave a section of my garden unable to produce food.

In the fall of 2018 I may plant some corn using high nitrogen fertilizer.

Why high nitrogen fertilizer?

High nitrogen fertilizer makes the soil acidic, while potash makes it alkaline.  So if I use high enough nitrogen fertilizer, maybe the pH level of the soil will balance out?

Plans For The 2018 Fall Garden

Maybe I should plant some corn or okra using high nitrogen fertilizer in the fall months?  If too much nitrogen is used on okra the plant will not produce.

Planting anything in the summer months here in Southeast Texas is a gamble.  During the summer, Texas usually has a ridge of high pressure sitting on top of it.  This typically means June, July and August are dry months.  However, sometimes we have heat induced thermal showers.

Waiting until the fall is better than planting mid-summer.

Here are the plans:

  • Move garden over to soil not affected by the bonfire.
  • Wait until the fall months and plant something that requires high nitrogen, such as corn.


Let’s just say I am very disappointed in the 2018 spring garden.  I put a lot of time, effort and money into this project, and it has fell flat on its face.

I was really looking forward to canning some peppers, and snap beans.  I planted purple hull peas and snap beans in the garden, and so far nothing has grown.

It was probably 20 years ago mom, dad, my kids and I harvest so many purple hull peas they filled the bed of  short wheel base Chevy truck.  In a single day we probably harvest 20 or 30 bushels of purple hull peas.

Not that I was going to get 20 bushels of peas from the 2018 garden, but it would have been nice to get “something”.

Stay tuned for more updates as 2018 still has plenty of growing season left.