Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Houston, all hell has broken loose.

The universe must get a big kick out of me. I mean, anyone should. I make beginner's mistakes, and reap beginner's rewards. Which, let me tell you...are pretty slim pickins.

Not having weeded my garden in a couple of weeks, I failed to notice some major problems developing. I knew one of my tomato plants had blight, and I have a sneaking suspicion this has to do with having my garden backed by a chainlink fence backed by my neighbor's garden, where their tomato plants have a serious case of blight going on. (The blight first showed up on a plant where our foliage touched their diseased foliage, but I think it may also have to do with the soil). However, they are now all showing symptoms of blight.

Wait, it gets worse. My cucumbers? Oh, right. Those have powdery mildew.

My bean plants have yellowed leaves on the bottom. I don't even KNOW what that's a symptom of.

I wish I had known about my neighbor's experience with blight last year. I wish I had, you know...maybe studied what I was doing before I decided to dig up a big patch of lawn to plant vegetables. This would've told me half the plants I was planting do better in cooler temperatures, and that the 90+ degree weather with 80% humidity for the past month might be a reason why some of them would not grow at all. Speaking of, since we've cooled off in the last week, I've had three plants decide to grow. ...I don't even know what they ARE. I didn't label them.

The icing on the cake? One of my backyard herd of cats decided to use one of my big ol unripe tomatoes as a scratching post. I bet it was Bummer, and I bet he thought it was a toy. The Corporal Cuddling treatment will not work on him, as he is feral, and I can't get near enough to him, and it would probably result in a removal of my eyeballs and a large patch of skin.

Rookie mistakes. Wes is cheerfully optimistic. This is usually reserved for me. He says, hey, at least we learned a lot this year, and we'll do better next year. This includes planting before and just after last projected frost instead of the beginning of July (don't even ask what the rationale for that was, I don't even want to go there). Replanting grass along the fence and doing a big above ground patch near Andrew's swing set. Picking disease resistant varieties, perhaps.

At this point, I don't even know what to do. I hear fungicides work for mildew, but I don't know that I'm willing to do that.

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