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stunted growth in my sq ft garden

Planted my first 4 x 4 square this season, as well as my adjoining non-square foot garden. The sq ft garden has 6 cu ft of Mel's Mix and 3 cu ft of a commercial organic soil (Rose Magic by Ladybug brand). The regular garden has very heavy native clay soil, in its second year of being improved with amendments, mainly compost.

Plated most of the things in the sq ft garden on March 22, and seed germination was very good. But growth has been very slow, and many of the leaves are yellowish. The bush beans are only slightly bigger than some of the same type planted in the regular garden on May 6. The vine plants are likewise slow. For example, here is a cucumber (Spacemaster) from the sq ft planting of March 22 (photo taken on May 16), with leaves about the size of quarters:


In contrast, here is the same variety of cucumber from an April 19 planting in the regular garden, with leaves about the size of a peanut butter jar lid:


As another contrast, here is a squash from the regular garden, with a planting date of March 29 and leaves the size of my hand:


I could point out similar contrasts for the other plants, including chard, melon, and several herbs. The plants in the regular garden are generally doing far better in terms of growth.

Both the square foot and regular gardens get the same watering regime. I would have thought that the sq foot garden would be doing better - the demonstration gardens at a local nursery (using Mel's Mix, Rose Magic, and other choices) are doing much better. What could be wrong with mine?


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