Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Garden Update - Blight, Blight, Stay Away!

Produce pictures from Sunday! OK, I also took a few sailing pictures on Sunday although as the day progressed, it ended up with enough wind that I really needed both hands to sail, so it was take pictures or sail, and I was having so much fun sailing that I decided to stick with that but the 10 OK pictures I did take before things really picked up are over on my Flickr site, but I hadn't shown off my homegrown veggies here lately!

Beatific beets!
bunch of beets

Crunchy cukes!

Baby Butternut!
baby butternut

'Eavenly Heirloom tomatoes!
green tomatoes

Plus the basil's recovered from the scalping, the chard is charding away just fine, and there are a few flowers & herbs too.

I just hope that awful tomato blight spares us. Although they were slow in starting, I'm having the best luck I've ever had with full-sized tomatoes, while the cherry tomatoes, as usual, are doing great. In the past the cherry tomatoes have just won the day somehow. Actually the first year I only planted cherries, because we had a cherry tomato plant that volunteered in our back yard in Hawaii & gave us some good tomatoes without our really having to do anything but go down to the 2nd terrace & pick 'em & for my first year of gardening I was really after a no-brainer like that. Last year I tried starting some heirlooms from seeds the Paddling Chef was handing out - they started out sort of OK, but then I think I had one of those crazy periods at work right when the tomato plants took off & by the time I got to 'em I just got too intimidated by the melee to try to sort things out, and the cherry tomatoes (many of which were scrappy little volunteers from the prior year's leavings in the first place) won that round hands-down. This year, I started the cherries from seeds, in the bed, and got some sturdy little heirloom seedlings from the Ralph Avenue nursery. That gave the heirlooms a better head-start, and I have been much more conscientious about staking & trying to make sure everybody has space. So I'm eating cherry tomatoes now & watching these heirlooms get bigger & bigger - and I'm going to be SO bummed out if I lose them!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed - everything's looking fine so far, we all either started our plants from seed or bought seedlings from local nurseries, I don't think there are any plants from big-box stores and our garden is somewhat isolated - but TQ had emailed earlier this week saying that he'd suddenly had to develop proficiency at green-tomato cookery as all but one of his plants, which he'd also started from seed & wasn't raising particularly close to anybody else's gardens or farms, went down fast. I went out tonight & sprayed with a baking-soda solution that I found online looking for organic measures for a mildew that's been attacking my squash plant leaves. How did people grow things before the Internet, anyways? Anyhow, after I read TQ's sad tomato tale, and he mentioned that it can be prevented but not cured, I went looking for preventive measures & the exact same baking soda mixture I'd found for the mildew popped up all over the place as being somewhat effective against this blight, too.

Hope it doesn't get put to the test, though - everybody's tomatoes are gorgeous right now & it would be SO sad to have 'em go the way so many other people's tomatoes have gone this year!

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