July 1, 2014

karly gardens: july 1, 2014




Bell pepper


Lemon boy tomato

Ripening cherry tomatoes

Cherokee purple tomato

Corn, inexplicably leaning?

Royal burgundy bean

Pumpkin vines



Lemon cucumber

Sunflower garden

It's already July.
I can't believe it.  In many ways, my garden is further along than it was last year at this time, but in others, it feels like things are running behind.  Tomatoes have set, with more fruit on each plant than I think I saw all of last year (we really didn't get much fruit at all), and along with the fruit, the plants are beginning to look a bit pathetic.  On the first of July!  Peppers are beginning to fruit happily, but the plants are still small which makes me think my yields will not be very high at all.  Our first real cucumber has appeared, but squash and zucchini are still woefully behind (I think we were harvesting armfuls at this time last year…not started from seed, but still).  This I know is because I set all of the large and vining plants in a new area behind the house rather than in the raised beds out front, where the plants thrived last year (and I planted another zucchini seed and two cucumber seeds in those front beds when some space opened up, a few weeks to a month later than the ones planted out back, and the  newer plants have caught up to the older ones).
This seventh blog post of the year brings a real image of my garden.  I have chosen not to omit the less-beautiful parts, including the diseased leaves of my tomatoes and the brassica leaves full of holes and caked with powder.  It's important to remember what was happening when, though it's not so nice to look at.  For the past few weeks I have been battling cabbage worms, who found my cauliflower, romanesco, and kale plants and began to make themselves at home.  Shredding the leaves, infesting the baby cauliflower heads, laying eggs or waste or whatever it was and generally bumming me out.  I purchased a bag of diatomaceous earth and sprinkled the plants heavily, then fertilized with fish emulsion in hopes of making stronger plants to withstand the pests (recommended by the guy at Lowe's when I went in looking for BT).  The bugs left, but the plants still bear the scars.  One of the romanesco heads out front looked like it suffered more than the others once the bugs finally left, so I yanked it out and found the roots crawling with grubs.  Disgusted, I built a fire and burned the plant.
The tomatoes are another story.  Fruit appeared a month and a half earlier than it did last year, which means that fungus began to show itself earlier as well.  The lower leaves are spotting, yellowing and eventually curling up to die, making the plants look haggard.  I think I have diagnosed the problem as septoria leaf spot, but maybe someone can correct me.  It seems the fungus grows happily on wet leaves, which would make sense since I have to water my garden from the top of the hill (short hose) and the leaves get sprayed.  I also think I have overwatered the tomatoes so far.  Many leaves have already fallen off, decreasing the plants' ability to gather sunlight and produce fruit.  Maybe my hopes for a high yield of tomatoes this year have died with the leaves…
This is organic gardening.
and a few from the iPhone...

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