I know this is a topic that is beat to death but I would appreciate some insight.
This is my first year trying to grow. I only had three of five sprout and transplanted them to my fenced garden area to keep the deer away, these are White Widow auto-flower. The plants started out looking healthy but have only grown to around 15-16 inches tall with no branches but seem to have several flowers on them.
Autos can be small like that sometimes no matter what you do.
But it could be the soil is not the best.
You might next time try digging out a hole and mixing in something to give better drainage and loosen the dirt so roots can grow easily. I did that for my tomatoes. Mixed in Fox Farms Happy Frog or Ocean Forest. Plus some perlite. That soil looks a bit clay heavy. But its hard to tell in a picture. Does water soak in quickly or does it sit on top a while before it soaks in?
By the way, Welcome to the forum. Its a great place to get answers.
I am in central VA where we have clay and very little dark soil. We burn a wood stove and put the season end ash can on the garden every other year. Other than that we don’t go heavy with fertilizer on the garden area. Water soaks in but not quickly, I have two rain barrels that I use to water the garden unless we hit a dry spell and then I use the water hose. I will till in some of the recommended soil you provided.
If you know anyone with horses try to collect some barn droppings. Better if its a year old and dry. Till that in too. Helps on many levels and is not likely to burn the plants like chicken manure will.
Also you might plant some “Driller” radishes to poke some holes in the soil. Do this after you harvest. You dont have to pull the radishes but simply till the top layers to get ready to plant.
Fox farms makes a soil conditioner for enhancing outdoor soil. A bit more potent than their potting soils which makes it go a little further when mixing with your garden soil. Add perlite as well, the soil companies use as much as 30% perlite in their soil mixtures.
I have used this. It works best if applied in the fall so it can decomp for a few months before it gets a plant.
My 2 cents. I like the product and its pretty good value. Half the price of Ocean Forest. I use it to redo old potting soil too.
I live in NC and if you plant one in this soil…it will look like yours @SCart. Even feeding them nutes. I found it out the hard way. After that happened, I bought Ocean Forest from the store and put 5 gallons of it in each hole. The autos grew right from then on. This clay soil is just too crappy to grow weed without a lot of amending.
@SCart If your gonna turn the soil in your garden get some plant matter down in here to biodegrade over the winter as well. The more you work the same area the better that gardens gonna be in the long term.