A few weeks ago the class harvested their first salad that they were able to enjoy. Since that time, the garden has taken a turn for the worse. Some of the plants have bolted, some have been infested by pests and some have just died.
In taking a look at the garden, I think this could be due to a few different things. Firs, some of the plants seem to be infested with little white bugs that look like aphids. They are on the underside of some leaves and going to town chomping through them.
The other problem that seems to be affecting the garden is drainage problems with the self-watering containers. When digging less than 2 inches from the top of the soil, it seems to be pretty damp and the roots of the plants aren’t very deep. My concern is that the bugs have burrowed into the moist soil, laid some eggs and totally ruined everything.
The drainage can be because of the containers themselves that were made using the tiles. They could’ve succomb to the weight of the soil and collapsed the tile causing no separation between the reservoir and the soil. This is the main reason that the way that I make a self-watering container has changed to use two buckets.
It could also possibly be the soil that is poor and not allowing the water to drain properly.
There are only about 6 weeks left in the school year. I think the best way to help fix the problem and let the class get one more salad is to remove the top 2-4 inches of soil and replace it, then replant some greens.
What do you think the problem could be and the best way to remedy it?