July 28, 2008

Not again!!

I was out of town for about a week so I had someone water the garden and agree to harvest anything that looked ready to go ie: orange cherry tomatoes, lettuce, an eggplant.

They did a great job. Nonetheless I came back to an assortment of good and bad things:

The Good:
a) tons of ripe and ENORMOUS food: all 3 types of eggplant, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers and beets.
b) the Blackeyed Susans now blooming
c) Purple Coneflowers going absolutely crazy and bees going crazy for them.
d) The mint really taking over in the sink
e) A mostly healthy looking garden

The Bad (and often ugly):

1) one tomato plant and stake leaning waaaaay over. Sincere thanks to Captain Awesome for hammering the stake back down with a brick!
2) tons of weeds
3) a very ugly and decrepit looking cucumber plant with icky, moldy-looking (but dry!) black shriveled leaves. I don't think I'll be getting anymore cucumbers this summer.
4) Swiss Chard that has not grown at all due to the leafminer!
5) 2 tomato plants with blossom end rot! How!?

The blossom end rot really pisses me off! I had blossom end rot a few years ago when I didn't quite understand how often you needed to water when it rains, but since then I have been so good about watering. I mulch, I track the rainfall and my own watering and I'm really really careful. Plus I don't understand why some plants would have it and others don't...although the two plants that have it are next to each other...have I been neglecting a corner? I really don't think so.

I guess it could also be the soil in that one spot, but that seems so unlikely.

So I'm feeling annoyed about the leafminer and the blossom end rot and my mysterious cucumber ailment and the weeds that are everywhere and the fact that my neat plot layout is no longer visible, but I love how crazy it is, and I love that it was only from weeding that I "found" the huge eggplants and cucumbers hiding under leaves and that it's getting to be the time of year where I bring something I grew to any BBQ, birthday or picnic I get invited to. I also love that my camera managed to take one glorious shot of bees on the purple coneflower.


kate said...

Maybe it is the variety of tomato -- i don't have any 'yellow bell' growing this year but the last 2 years i always started the season with blossom end rot (on that variety only). I do hate it, it is so discouraging.

Beautiful pic of the coneflower & bee!

Bobbi said...

My gardens not complete unless something is leaning over the wrong way!

Anonymous said...

The cheapest way to solve this problem is to buy dry milk (carnation) the ones that come in the envelope and sprinkle it around the plant when its still little. The problem is due to a lack of calcium in your soil...i had it once and was told to do this and it works....and another thing would be change your garden patch around every couple of years. if you plant tomatoes in one spot next year move your spot about 10 feet. With the dry milk i don't think you should have this problem again and the powder milk can be stored in a cool dry place for next year. Good Luck!

Black Eyed Susan said...

WHOA!! I am definitely going to try the dried milk thing.

Eva said...

Would a plant really be able to absorb calcium from milk? I kind of doubt it. Most of what I've read says that you need to pay attention to your soil ph, which should be somewhere between 6 and 6.5, and what kind of fertilizer you use.

Try a Google search for "blossom end rot" and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Sandy said...

Calcium deficiency is the usual cause of blossom end rot. Bone meal and crushed egg shells are a good source of calcium. We have lots of egg shells in our kitchen compost and I always throw in a handful of organic bone meal into the tomato's planting hole.

One of my cuke's croaked too. From what I understand it's nematodes or some fungal disease. I didn't rotate from last year's spot and that seems to increase the chances of this disease. I'm rotating everything next season. Gotta have my cukes!

Happy Gardening!

Karen said...

Hi fellow urban gardener - love your photos, and it's cool to see a lot of familiar plants even though we garden in different parts of the country. I just put up a blog about parking strip gardening - stop by if you have a second sometime, I'd love to hear any commments!

Happy gardening,

Karen (Seattle)

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