1) I started with seedlings, which seemed to be doing very well. Unfortunately, I failed to "harden off" the seedlings before planting them outdoors (who knew?! Now I know.)
2) Using all organic soil. I don't know why this would be an issue exactly, but the year previous I used conventional soil, and all was well.
4) Using organic compost. Again, not sure if/why this would be an issue, but the year prior I didn't use compost at all and had a better turn out, though, admittedly, also a smaller variety of "crops" (if you can call container gardening "crops").
5) The ratio of compost to soil. Pretty sure there is an ideal ratio of compost to soil, and pre-tay sure I ignored it. My 'throw caution to the wind' gardening approach may have been my downfall.
5) The monsoon we experienced for 10 days immediately after I planted said seedlings. That one weekend of heat was deceptive, and enticed me to move the seedlings outside prematurely. I thought summer had arrived, but I was sorely mistaken. The rains ensued for 10 days straight, like I have never seen before in Cow town. I covered the seedlings with garbage bags to protect them from drowning (though, they were exposed for a while before I covered them). Come to think of it - poor things also went without light for days too! I'm starting to think this garden was DEA summer (dead on arrival of summer).
So which one (or combination) of these items doomed my produce, I ask you expert gardeners? Could there be something I missed, or (better yet) some mysterious virus that caused fatality to my plants that resulted from no fault of my own? I know, unlikely.