My spotty tomato haiku…ahem…

Spotty tomatoes

It’s kind of embarrassing

Damn f’ing fungus

Yup, that’s a decent pile of tomatoes for the first harvest. Look closely at the striped romas. They not lookin’ so hot. The lower half of each plant is just about dead. The spots have spread to the ‘maters as you can see. We’ve made the decision to not grow tomatoes next year. At all. Get rid of the fungus that is buried deep in the soil, possessing it like a demon, coming to the surface on hot, humid days. So, we’re going to jar as many of these as we can (we’ve read up, the spotty tomatoes are fine to eat, but we’re going to cook them anyway. You know, boil off the evil.)

Meanwhile, we’ll deal with the counter (and windowsill and sink…) full of spotty ‘maters. Evil, possessed, spotty ‘maters. Damn it.

My end of tomato season haiku…ahem…

Tomatoes are done

We learned a lot this season

Mostly about blight

It has been a busy weekend at the Patch. I was outside from 7:30A to 5P yesterday (with a few water breaks and a blog break in the middle) to pull the tomato leaves affected by early blight.

For those of you who don’t know about early blight, it is a fungus, Alternaria solani, which germinates in damp, warm weather (which we’ve had!) Anyway, it germinates in 1/2 hour to 2 hours and spreads quickly. The leaves get spots, usually starting at the bottom, then the leaves turn yellow and start to die off. This usually happens right at the time the fruit is setting. With no leaves, the plant can’t usually survive, or the tomatoes get hit by sun and sort of burn, called Sun Scald. (I’ve become quite knowledgeable on this topic in the last 48 hours, not to mention I lived up close and personal with it for 10 hours yesterday.) Anyway, this fungus is NOT GOOD! That is our food for the Winter.

Hopefully this little guy will keep watch over things.

On a good note, the Edamame looks good!

Time to Harvest the Garlic!

The garlic is resting in the shade on the hammock. I plan to let the soil on them dry a little bit, brush off the soil, and wash them if I need to with a gentle spray from the hose. Then, everything I read leads me to understand that I need to treat them super carefully so they can store properly and not rot. We don’t have a root cellar, so once they’re cured, we may have to keep them upstairs in the pantry.

As all of this food starts to come in, we need to catch up with it. We have a gallon bag filled with green beans that I need to blanch and freeze. The last of the lettuce needs to be enjoyed, husk cherries, peas, cherry tomatoes…all need to get ingested or frozen.

Let’s hope I’m saying the same about tomatoes at the end of the month.

My early blight haiku…ahem

What the hell is this?

Early blight hit tomatoes

Hope to save the farm

Early reports from the Patch blog and Twitter updates have been that the blight hit several people last year and they lost the crop. Waaah! Let’s say that again – all together now – WAAH! 

I took a water break. It is 11:30 AM. I’ve been outside tending to the tomatoes since 7:30, pulling off the dead and spotted leaves. We bought some fungicide which I’ll apply early tomorrow morning. I am showing no mercy and so far, have pulled 2 plants from the first bed and about a wheelbarrow full of diseased leaves. I am about to go tackle the second bed now. There are 3 more to go. (Yah, you read that right. 4 garden beds of tomatoes. Get out the calculator, kiddos, here’s the math. 4 hours to handle bed #1. 3 more to go at 4 hours apiece…that’s…carry the one…multiply by pi…now take the square root and round up…YES, that’s 12 hours left to this (insert expletive) project. Here’s your scratch-and-sniff sticker. OOh! Banana!) (Those were big when I was growing up, no gold stars for us!)

Reading up on this blight, if I am able to control it, with all the leaves gone, I need to now worry about sunscald. Now I have to put a shade cloth over 4 garden beds. Goody!

Oh and, yes, the garlic needs to be harvested, like, NOW!  

Yes, I’m pissy.

Thanks for reading and your support.  Pictures in the next post.