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Garden Update – Now with 50% less blight!

July 8, 2010

A few weeks ago, I panicked.  My garden quite frankly looked like hell and I was quite sure it was infected with blight and I would be suffering another bleak home produce season.  As I said, I took action immediately, cutting off infected leaves and fruit and spraying them with an organic disease preventative.  I also did some homework onlineand was reminded that the best way to water my tomatoes is soak the ground and not the leaves and to do so in the morning, not in the evening like I had been doing.  So, I reformed.  And, I am knocking everything I own on wood as I type this, but things are actually looking pretty good right now.

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Here’s one of my Brandywine tomatoes, with one branch visibly hacked off, but the rest looking pretty healthy, actually.  As I learned, there are actually three different kinds of blight.  The one I had last year was probably the most destructive type – late blight.  What I have now might just be early blight, which isn’t quite as hopeless.  There’s another one called septoria leaf spot as well.

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And here is one of the steps I took during my tomato care reform – I set up soaker hoses throughout the garden.  I found these great, relatively inexpensive, lightweight ones at Home Depot and they are doing the trick quite nicely.  All that perspiration is kind of reminding me of my forehead the last two day though, so let’s move on!

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Look, ripe Juliet tomatoes!  Exciting, yes, although I can’t take full credit.  I cheated, you see, and bought this basket at the farmer’s market which already had little green tomatoes all over it in mid-May.

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But despite the tomatoes, it really doesn’t look all that healthy.  There aren’t any more flowers and just a few small green tomatoes that still need to grow.  I’m not sure this little basket actually has enough dirt/water holding volume to support all three vines.  We shall wait and see.

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Moving on to other parts of the garden, we have this.  I am not one of those people who can grow eggplant and have so many eggplants that they dump them by the wheelbarrow full at other people’s houses.  Maybe that’s just Mr. McGregor on Good Eats.  For some reason, I decided to try again this year, reasoning that this different Japanese variety might save me from my eggplant woes.  So far, not so good.  I have two scraggly little plants and each has one sort of sickly looking little fruit on it and no flowers.  My hopes are not high.

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I also don’t have a very good track record with bell peppers.  I have three little plants like this one but they don’t seem like they have grown much and this one cute little pepper you see?  It fell off the day after I took this picture.  Stinker.

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Let’s move on to happier things – cucumbers!  My cucumbers seem to be doing quite well.  Look at this little beauty!  A day after I took this picture, I found another one even bigger, ready to pick.  There are lots of other fruits growing nicely and plenty of flowers so I am hoping they will keep on keepin’ on for the summer.

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"Mother, your garden posts bore me. Let's grill something!"

 So, maybe the summer will be saved after all.  How is your garden doing?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2010 2:25 am

    First it was too cold! Now it’s too hot! Western Mass is not a very hospitable place for plants, is it? The basil plants on my porch couldn’t survive the late-season frosts we kept having, and now they’re struggling against the heat but making it, if weakly. The herb seeds I’ve planted…not so much. Only one of three sprouted, and then…has stayed at sprouts for almost 2 weeks. No more growth. I’m crushed.

  2. July 8, 2010 12:28 pm

    Your cukes are definitely kicking my cukes butts! Can’t figure out why mine are so slow this year. I like the looks of those soaker hoses you’ve got. They look MUCH easier to lay out than my round ones, which I haven’t bothered laying out this year, though I probably should. I’ve been using my sprinkler, but doing it in the morning, as I knew that was the healthier time of day to water to give the leaves the chance to dry out during the day before nighttime dew. I haven’t seen a single bell pepper in my garden, though I’ve seen a few hots. Going to be picking zucchini soon, wondering if I’ll ever pick watermelon or cukes!

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