Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blight 2010

So, the tomatoes are showing blight. I went out right away before we left to visit family for the 4th of July. We were gone from the 30th-5th. My neighbor kindly kept everything watered through an extremely warm spell.
tpray for organic gardening. I removed all diseased leaves and sprayed everything. I used the whole container, so I needed something more to treat them again this week. I picked up some copper sulfate from the hardware store, but when I read the label, realized I really didn't want to use it. The copper spray, though it doesn't say it kills bees like the powder, really didn't appear much better with regard to its safety around living things. So, after a little more research, I found The Dirt Doctor. There is a 24.95 a year subscription fee, but I've been searching the site, and it appears lots of good info is available for free!

According to his website, horticultural cornmeal is a good soil amendment to fight fungal disease, and it can also be made into a tea and sprayed on the plants. Tonight, feeling the need to get something on them again, I mixed up a baking soda and molasses mix (I had those items on hand) and sprayed the plants with it. I am hopeful. There are other sprays reccomended for --milk (!), compost tea, potassium bicarbonate (I guess this might be preferrable to the baking soda). I'm anxious to do more research and gather ingredients to give these things a try. I'm especially interested in the natural herbicide recipes since some dreaded Roundup has managed to make its way into our household.

What's going on?

Er, yeah, not so good this year with the blogging. The garden is growing well. We're beginning to have a cuke or two and a handful of cherry tomatoes every day. The cukes will likely overwhelm us soon. We've got some baby melons and baby pumpkins and some beautiful peppers growing. It appears that due to a labeling snafu, we largely managed only to get some variety hot peppers into the ground. No jalapenos. We have couple of mini-bells, several Thais, a couple of one plant hasn't bloomed yet, so I have no idea what it actually is. I don't think any of the Big Bertha bells actually came up w. hen we started plants. The peppers in the containers are doing well, the ones in the bed don't look very good. The best-looking ones are planted in a bed (of our own amended soil) up on the hill.

A massive rainstorm (about 7 inches in 24 hours) on Memorial Day washed out a bunch of flower seeds I planted, so some of our beds are pretty bare. I'm trying to do some mid-summer plantings in those spots. May as well put the space to use!

We harvested a lovely crop of carrots, around two pounds, which made me wish I had planted more. We were just getting some purple green beans(not their official name), when what was likely a vole came and ate every one of the plants to the ground over a period of about a week. He's now working his way through my runner beans, which really annoys me. The kale I planted up front has gone untouched by any critters.

Sadly, our tomatoes are showing blight. I am going to try to treat it organically, and will post about that separately.