Thursday, 26 August 2010

Win some, lose the rest

The moment I started telling Doreen on Saturday how well my tomatoes were doing (hers have root rot), I should have known. Fast-forward a couple of days, and mine have blight. I contemplated on posting a couple of pictures of the plants, some of the leaves full of brown ugly spots, some of them already wilted, but it is painful as is. No photos, then. The two tomato plants in the front yard are still going strong, and there are no signs of blight yet. I am afraid to dispose of the dying ones in the back yard, in case I might transport the fungus to the healthy plants while handling the sick ones.

My cucumbers tried hard to fight powdery mildew with the help of baking soda, but since the fruit were bitter anyway, I eventually just yanked them out - hence the empty containers on the deck. It turns out that having a vegetable garden isn't all fun and games.

The veggie garden project has had its winners. I was surprised that the broccoli survived all the major caterpillar attacks, and is now beautiful, crisp and tasty. The peppers have done extremely well. Basil, rosemary, oregano and chives have thrived, as did the sunflowers. Until now, the tomatoes have been producing sweet fruit almost daily for the past two weeks. Considering that I planted the beans in the wrong place (too much shade, too much moisture), they have done reasonably well.

There have been losers, too. The earliest casualties were the leafy greens: the slugs devoured most of them, the rest bolted in the heat - major disappointment. The peas all died. The onions were a disaster. They quite literally drowned in their container after a couple of summer storms in June. The cucumber and zucchini plants looked wonderful, but even before the mildew hit them, the yield was rather disappointing. And now the tomatoes have blight.

For next year, I am going to try my luck with more root veggies. Since carrots seem to be doing okay, I'll try to grow turnips and radishes. I am tempted to try potatoes as well. I'm also going to add more herbs to the mix: dill, coriander, thyme and lavender. Beans will need a different spot, as do the peas and onions. I'll plant the leafy greens earlier on, and I'll be more prepared to fight the slugs.

All in all, having a veggie garden has been a win-some-lose-some deal. It has been fun, and to some extent, rewarding. I am sad that my tomatoes are dying though. I can only hope that the remaining two plants stay healthy for a little longer.

T-shirt: mom's old, from the 1980s, I've had it for at least 5 years
Jacket: second hand, Fida, bought last year
Jeans: Denimbirds, bought 2-3 years ago
Socks: H&M
Shoes: Vagabond, bought maybe 2 years ago
Pearls: Rosie's old, got them this summer
Earrings: Lynn's vintage stash, got them earlier this summer


Charlotte said...

For next summer, plant marigolds with your tomatoes and spray them periodically with Neem oil. Also, be sure that the drainage is good. Here's a link about companion planting that may help:

Eyeliah said...

I am still very impressed, great work and all this food talk is making me “drooooool”.