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While transplanting my seedlings, I noticed below three inches from the surface the bales are hollow. I could put my fist down 5-8 inches. The plants have severely slowed in growth and are looking a bit yellow. It is like a plant is trying to grow over a gopher tunneled. No I don't have gophers. Caliche soil here. Should I gently smash down my bales? After thinning out the pumpkins, I filled the empty holes with soil and straw and the chosen ones is growing great now.
Question, should I fill in with soil and straw or push on the top of the bales until it feels firm again?
History: I started aging the bales in Jan. and sowed the seeds on top of compost/soil in March. I'm in southern Arizona.