Next Year’s Garden

| 9/10/2009 2:40:29 PM

Jean TellerOh, my poor tomato plant. When I posted “My Garden” at the end of August the tomato plant was doing great. Just a few days later, it was an entirely different matter. The leaves near the base of the plant started turning yellow. So I consulted with our resident expert (GRIT Editor Hank Will), and he thought aphids.

I was still searching for diatomaceous earth when, a few days later, the entire plant was yellow! Another consult resulted in the diagnosis of tomato blight. Ouch!

With a heavy heart, I trimmed all the leaves off the plant, leaving the remaining tomatoes to, hopefully, ripen. No new tomatoes, although there were about 25 or so pieces of fruit in various sizes. I’ve harvested almost all of those, and my kitchen counter contains a pile of red. Unfortunately, a few tomatoes had to be tossed, with strange holes. And since I’m squeamish about that sort of thing, into the trash they went.

My sad tomato plant.This weekend, the rest of the plant will follow, as will the soil. And I plan to rearrange the garage so all my gardening paraphernalia will fit. A problem I never thought I’d have, by the way.

Now armed with a homemade pesticide/fungicide, I have high hopes that this particular problem will not repeat next year.

And yes, I’m already planning for next year. What can I say? I’m hooked.

Jean Teller
9/14/2009 10:11:10 AM

LOL, Cindy. I was just thinking of where to store the oregano. As I'm attempting to rearrange my garage (only in my head, so far), I'm coming up blank as to where to put the rectangle pot that the oregano is in. I'm thinking of placing it under the faucet that's hidden in the garage - I have no idea why, but there it is - and it was with the thought that I could splash water on the oregano every week or two over the winter. Thanks for the advice! Now and back when I started this project - yep, I'm hooked, but I'm not sure if dirt under my fingernails is the wave of the future. :) The tomatoes I harvested have tasted good, but they didn't get as large as early harvests indicated. Sigh - next year!

Cindy Murphy
9/11/2009 7:45:39 PM

Hi, Jean. We had a rotten year for tomatoes here - it was too cool and wet. We tore our tomato plants out about two weeks ago; not many large tomatoes to harvest this year - they never got ripe before the vines wilted. Tons of tiny cherry tomatoes though, and we used them in everything - even on sandwiches, (when you yearn for a garden ripe tomato on a BLT, the cherries, despite their small size, satisfy just fine). So your hooked, eh, Jean? HA! I knew you would be - I could tell from your first couple of gardening posts. Next thing you know, you'll actually be digging in your front garden, and wear that dirt under your finger nails with pride! Ok, maybe not. But you have definitely arrived. Welcome to the world of gardening, with all its ups and downs. Psst - can I make just a small suggestion about the oregano? If you're going to keep it in a pot all winter in your garage, (which should be unheated - oregano needs to go dormant), don't forget to water - yes, even if it's freezing outside. Or stick it in the ground - any old place will do - and dig it out and repot in spring.

Jean Teller
9/11/2009 11:05:11 AM

Vickie and Dave, thanks so much for the encouragement. As a newbie, I enjoy hearing from experienced gardeners. Dave, wow, what a great cherub plant. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to think about one of those! My Brandywine took off at the beginning, too - hopefully, I'll have better luck with the tying/containing part of the process next year. :) Love the quote! Vickie, I'm hoping those peppers do well. They sure are delicious! And I'm still amazed that I seem to have a green (albeit, light green) thumb! Next year!

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