My name is Jim Barry, I'm 70 years old, am a retired Lieutenant NYC Fire Dept. and a retired Lic. Funeral Director/Embalmer, have been an avid dirt gardener for 40 years. Since I retired 15 years ago, I live in two states: Florida in the winter (November - end of May) and the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania in the summer (June - end of October). I garden in both states, starting my seeds in flats in one state & transporting them in flats, in the car to the next state. To say that dirt gardening in Florida is a challenge would be an understatement. They have no dirt in Florida, the entire state is one big sand bar. add to this mix all of the bugs & pests which we don't have in the north, it's a constant battle.
I just experienced the strangest thing, maybe you might have some ideas ? While in Florida a few years ago, I volunteered on an "Organic Farm" which grew vegetables for the "Street People", of which there are plenty in Florida. The boss of the organic farm gave me a box of about 200 pkgs of various vegetable seeds ( "Ed Hume Seeds" packed for 2009). Realizing that I could never use all of these seeds in my lifetime, I gave away many to my gardener friends. So I've been using these seeds every year since then with success. Knowing that as seeds age, the rate of those seeds which germiniate goes down each year, I have resorted to planting the seeds in a flat rather than directly into the ground. Then I replanted those which do not germinate with new seeds, winding up with a complete flat of germinated seeds. So I brought all of my flats with various seedlings from Florida to Pennsylavania for transplantation. I transpalnted the two flats of "Blue Lake" pole beans along the base of my trellis. After a week they began to grow, eventually climbing almost to the top of my 8' high trellis. 72 plants with lush, beautiful leaves but without one green bean, not one. In fact, I can't remember seeing any flowers either. they usually precede the beans. In all my years of gardening, I have neveer had this happen. Got any I deas ?