I finally ran the soil tests on samples from the garden boxes, and it isn't pretty. Last year's decision to use our well water to water the garden instead of the chloramine-laced city water has backfired spectacularly. Why? Because this is Florida, and pretty much every shallow well here is loaded with sulfur. A lot of sulfur. Our well water doesn't have that characteristic rotten-egg smell, but sulfur is there all the same, apparently. As a result of last year's watering, our garden boxes are now pools of acid. So much for trying to conserve city water. Add to that a total absence of nitrogen and other nice things due to depleted compost and the excess acid, and we are in big trouble here.
For the boxes that are already planted, I'll try to amend the soil and hope our rain barrel gets filled often enough during this dry season to avoid watering much with city water. The other two and half boxes? Might just dig them out completely and start anew. Not where I hoped we would be in this second year of gardening, but at least we're figuring it out while we still have about six or seven months of gardening time left. If I don't blow it all being an addle-brained lazybones, that is.
And apologies to Fox for image theft, but sometimes only Homer Simpson will do. D'oh, indeed!