Friday, July 8, 2011

The diseases of summer

It's been hot and it has been humid! It was dry for several weeks, and then the weather pattern changed and Durham has been muggy and assaulted by thunder storm after thunder storm. To be honest, I worry less about my plants when it rains than when it is dry, but I suspect that this summer may reverse my thinking on that subject. The tomatoes have started to produce beautifully, but I'm about to lose a substantial portion of the plants to wilt. Some plants were looking a bit wilt ridden when it was dry. Then the muggy came, and things went from and to dead pretty quickly. I blame myself as I made some bad cultivar selections this year; I started tomato seedlings for my mother in law this spring. She lives a couple of hours east of us and they have different wilt than we have here. I planted the seedlings she didn't have room for, and our type of wilt took em right out. I also planted black krims that I got at a seed exchange. I have no idea if they are resistant to anything. The rest of my plants are volunteers from last year. This will teach me to buy appropriate varieties and seed save rather than messing with other stuff. Tough lesson though.
Word is out from Debbie Roos at the Chatham County cooperative extension that downy mildew has struck some NC counties. In a high panic, I have started spraying my curcubits with Serenade. Durham was last hit with this shite disease in 2009 and I lost everything practically overnight. I am on it this time. I hope. I am pulling in beautiful cukes for the first time ever (thank you bees!) and I will be damned if I lose the whole crop.
In happier news, the bean and corn look mostly happy as do the amazing, mobile, reappearing peanuts. I am very excited for the blue coco beans. They are beautiful plants, and the baby beans are going to be a lovely, mottled blue and green! The crowder peas out front are growing like gangbusters, though the rest of the beans are smaller and more bug eaten than I would like. I suspect the lack of water for several weeks may be the culprit (no irrigation out front), but it's possible that the soil is lacking nutrients. I suspect that it is time for a soil test. I HATE soil testing. I have to dig so many holes!
Potato harvest is due to take place tomorrow. I think we lost some plants to the blight, so I will post about the size of the harvest once I have that information.

1 comment:

  1. Do keep the posts coming...I'm interested in the local foods activity in durham and am really enjoying your writing. Would love to see pics of the coco beans!