Archive for July 13th, 2010


What’s up in My Garden

July 13, 2010

Let’s start a thread of comments about “what’s up in my garden.”

I’ll spin the first thread:

My vegetable garden, as I mentioned before, is a single raised bed built by my husband, Joe. He was going to fill it with soil from the pasture but I didn’t want to rob top soil from the old area for the new bed. I should have listened to him.

The raised bed’s soil came from an outside source. Who knows what was in it. I’ve lost a whole crop of lettuce and now two more problems have attacked my plants. For years, I had a huge vegetable garden growing in the warm earth (not a raised bed). The only problem in the old garden was hornworms.

Problem #1:  My Mortgage Lift heirloom tomato plant has Tobacco Streak. The virus arrives by Thrips through pollination. The leaves curl under and brown streaks run along the stems. I’ve trimmed off much of the infected parts, but the disease remains deep within the plants fiber. The tomatoes may or may not develop necrotic ringspots and lead to flower drop. At this point, all I can do is wait and watch.

Problem #2:  Ants have invaded my zucchini blossoms. Ants love sap; we all know this from their drunken parties with sugar in the pantry, chocolate cake on the counter, a breakfast plate in the sink still holding pancake syrup. In the garden, ants are usually a sign of aphids, but this is not the case with my zucchini plant. The ants are after the nectar, and there’s plenty in the depths of yellow zucchini blossoms. If left untreated, the ants can steal all the pollen and cause the blossoms to drop.

Because I don’t want chemicals around my plants or food, or seeping into the soil, I’m experimenting with corn meal. Supposedly, ants can’t digest the meal and die.

Problem #3:  In the perennial garden, my snapdragons have Downy Mildew. I’ve posted a photo so you’ll know how to identify it in your garden. Mildew is common on snapdragons, and most of mine get it every year. Unless it’s necessary, I’m not one to spend money on products. The snapdragons have finished blooming, and are littering seeds for next spring’s generation. Eventually, as the mildew spreads and turns the plant ugly or threatens to infect neighbors I’ll pull up the plant.

Now, it’s your turn to spin the next thread of “what’s up in my garden.”

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