Mulch and leaves use nitrogen to break down. If you didn't add enough nitrogen with them last fall, all the nitrogen in your soil is now being spent on composting and your plants are suffering. It may be too late to til in a load of manure but you don't have to go buy a bag of fertilizer at the garden store either. Replenish the nitrogen in your garden by using one shovel full of chicken manure to five gallons of water. Let the manure seep for 24 hours then, using a watering can, water between the rows and between the plants to within 4 inches of the plant. Donít pour directly on the plant as the nitrogen may be hot enough to burn. Should you have chicken manure that has aged long enough to lose the ammonia smell, you can add half a shovel full of wood ash (for potassium) to your 'tea' which will help to balance your fertilizer. Water as usual. Repeat every couple of weeks as needed.