Why can't I grow anything in NC?

I have lived in NC for two yrs. I have planted veggies,flowers, bulbs and shrubs. The only thing that is growing are the shrubs. The veggies don't do much more that peek out of the ground. Flowers grow but never bloom and the bulbs just don't do anything. My soil seems very sandy. I have put all new dirt in with the flowers and veggies. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. In MA I could put anything I wanted in the dirt and it would grow like crazy. Please help me. I would like to get my soil ready so next spring I can plant and harvest something. Thank you, Rose
  6 answers
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Sep 11, 2013
    First thing, contact your local extension office for help with this. Sounds like way different soil conditions than you're use to and that may be part of the problem, since the plants aren't reacting as you would expect. They may recommend a soil test as well, which is not a bad thing. You could also try and reach out to the Master Gardener or local gardening groups, they could certainly help with this situation. Gardeners love to share advice, plants, seedlings etc. :)

  • Kelp4Less Kelp4Less on Sep 11, 2013
    It's true, gardeners are great for giving out advice! Once you find out what's the deal with your soil (you can get a test for pH, which is a pretty big factor), you can use several different products to help regulate it. We sell a pH Up and a pH Down for really inexpensive prices. Honestly though, biggest recommendation? Compost. Get the soil rich, and you'll know you're on the right track once you see worms. Here is the link to our website once you figure out exactly what your soil is lacking. www.kelp4less.com

  • Composted horse manure. Usually free and some of the greatest stuff. My yard was barren and sterile ground 5 years ago and now I am the envy of the neighborhood. I took the time and worked it in (several loads by the way) and use compost for amending the soil. I now have a lawn and extensive flower beds under 60 ft oak trees. Rose you have sandy soil which is really good for veggies (I am from the midwest and some of the best watermelons and sweet corn come from Muscatine Iowa in the sandy soil). I have had to adapt my way of thinking too when I moved south and found that flowers I once loved do not grow the way i would like but I have found new ones to add. I went from black rich top soil to red hard clay which when you dig a hole can hold water for 2 days! That is why I have areas of interest with potted plants and fountains. Drive around and look at what other people grow and where. This may help you in giving you a fresh idea. And seek out other gardeners! A true gardener shares advice and loves to help out a fellow gardener! Happy Gardening.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 12, 2013
    I completely agree that you need to start with a soil test. From April through November North Carolina offers these free to residents: http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/sthome.htm This is the only way to know what your soil needs, and may tell you things you should just give up on. I live close the beach and my soil is alkaline. Azaleas are never going to be happy here no matter what I do.

  • Melissa Gutilla Melissa Gutilla on Sep 12, 2013
    This year it may be all of the rain! We moved in November so this year was our first garden here. The tomatoes and my strawberries grew great everything not so well at all! Cucumbers I got about 4 same with my squash one watermelon and everything else just died!

    • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Sep 13, 2013
      @Melissa Gutilla Soil test kits in VA are $10. Your local extension office can provide you with a free kit that has the directions for proper use. You mail to the state lab at VA Tech, they'll send you back a detailed analysis of your soil. That way you'll know what if any amendments you need to improve your soil health. It's a cheap way to make sure you've got the best soil possible.

  • CynK CynK on Sep 15, 2013
    Amend the soil. Add some peat, vermiculite and topsoil. Create berms for drainage and to add height to the garden area. I only use 10-10-10 and my plants grow like crazy.