July 20, 2006

I take offense

I have reluctantly accepted the fact that my plants have diseases. I might always get them too, simply because I choose to garden organically and I am confined to a tiny plot with "urban" soil issues. It has also been really rainy and really hot here for a while. So, my tomatoes have both Septoria Leaf Spot and also Early Blight. Big whoop! That said, I do someday hope not to have these problems and this year's tomato plants look waaaaaay better than last years. But this morning, I walked out to snip off some of the diseased branches and I saw another gardener who seems to really know what he's doing. He's definitely more of the "farmer gardener" though -- a young guy who knows how to "train" his plants, uses a black plastic sheet as "mulch" and grows enormous brandywine tomatoes and pretty much no flowers.

Knowing that he knows a thing or two I asked him if he was also having trouble with the lower leaves of his tomato plants (knowing that he is because I can SEE it).

My hope was to:
a) commiserate and b) hopefully get some advice because he has LESS of a problem than I do

His response was something along the lines of "maybe.... but I just look at it as one of the joys of organic gardening." Ouch! I know I'm being sensitive but, the comment struck me as a veiled version of "Dude, this is what gardening is all about and if you want a perfect green lawn and no diseases then move to the suburbs, pile on the chemlawn and be done with it, sheesh."
I felt judged.

I'm sure I'll get over it and he really is a nice person but, maybe a little macho and superior about his gardening. He'll probably have better tomatoes than me but, my plot is cooler to look at.


kate said...

Ugh! Well, don't take too much offense...some people are just that way. Some of my lower leaves are starting to go too.

By the way we had terrible problems when we used to garden in a community plot. Not only diseases but people stealing our vegetables and dogs running through and destroying the plots. So it is just a very difficult situation, and after 2 years we totally gave it up. So i am impressed with your commitment!

kate said...

PS i love your california poppy, i never was able to get those to flower well!

snappy said...

Remember if you dont succede at first try and try.My tomato plants last year, every single one wilted with some disease.Thirty plants, not a single tomato!!
True gardeners give advice, and a level of support.I have two experemental tomato plants growing well now, so take heart.keep on growing and blogging.

Carol said...

Keep on gardening! Your tomatoes are better this year than last year, and they will be even better next year, no doubt.

Black Eyed Susan said...

Thanks so much for all the encouragement!! Having visitors (who comment) is the very best thing about blogging for me and I really appreciate it. What a wonderful group of people.

I'll see how everything looks in the light of day tomorrow. It rained pretty hard today so I'm expecting some damage but, I'm hopeful!