Katie's Journal

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Tomato Blight II

by @ 2:07 pm on July 20, 2011.

This year Ern wanted to do a bigger garden. Thankfully Ern’s aunt Suzie has decided Ern is the devil incarnate and no longer comes around. w00t! I rather think Suzie is one of the devil’s best minions but that’s another story. Anyway, we claimed the garden space between our house and the other farm house where it would be easier to keep after the garden. Ern’s plan was to sell the extra from the garden along the road on Friday afternoons. You can make some pretty decent pocket money selling produce and his hope was to save up the money to get his M restored. Sadly, nothing around here ever goes according to plan.

The spring was so wet we were pretty late getting the garden in. And then with me sick and then Ern, well, the garden turned into one big ugly mess. We only ever did plant 3 rows of potatoes and that wasn’t till the end of June. We still haven’t gotten the beans in. The tomatoes weren’t getting tied up and the weeds were taking over. Poor Ern was about ready to just brush hog the whole thing and forget about it.

As much as I’m not really much for gardening, I felt so bad for Ern. So I stepped up for him as best I could. I tied up the first row of tomatoes for him, and on one day he happened to be doing a little better we pushed and got a second row up and the peppers and eggplant weeded and tilled. That left a row and a half of tomatoes still on the ground, getting messier by the day. By the time I got around to trying to attack the garden by myself to get it back under control all the rows we’d already tied up needed retied, suckered, and weeded.

I really haven’t done much in the garden. Ern has always done the initial suckering of the tomatoes. The basic idea is that you want to keep the main stem and the first sucker below the first bloom. Except when… And as Ern launched into all the exceptions we found it easier just to let him sucker while I tied up. By the time I got to trying to go through the ones myself that had not yet been tied up oh my! What a mess. I did my best and felt like I hacked away 3/4 of the plant. But what remained and got tied up is looking good so far.

We had a lot of big plans to try all kinds of techniques to prevent blight this year. Although we didn’t implement many of them so far the blight hasn’t been too bad. We did space the plants farther apart which I think has helped. The plants we mulched and got tied up first look best. I’m having to cut a lot of blighted leaves off the bottoms of the plants we didn’t get tied up right away. But even so on the whole the plants are looking pretty good so far. We have lots of green tomatoes but have only gotten two ripe cherry tomatoes so far. Sami hogged them both.

I took a picture of the row that’s only half done. You can see where the weeds take over the row. Somewhere buried in the weeds are the rest of the tomatoes that need tied up. The half I’ve gotten done looks much better in my opinion. I still have a long way to go but I’m pretty happy with my progress so far.

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