Saturday, July 25, 2009

Issues edition

Some less serious updates on flickr.

Blossom end rot on tomatoes. There is much information on this around the internet, but of interest to urban gardeners is that on the EarthBox forum there have been comments about this being somewhat prevalent in first-year EBs. While precise explanations weren't offered, it seems that it has something to do with needing a year for the box to shake itself in terms of calcium distribution from the added lime. We'll see what happens next year; while many of the fruits on the tomato have succumbed, we do have a number remaining and waiting for warm weather to boost ripening.

Not entirely positive on what this is, but it affected many of the tomato plant's branches. Tomato spotted wilt virus? I pruned the most affected branches and am now playing the waiting game.

Powdery mildew. I had noticed this on a few leaves early on in the growth of the two ronde de nice plants and ignored it. After a few days, it had spread to the entire plant. There has been new leaf growth on the plant and even these young leaves have been affected. Next year I will be more vigilant about treating with natural fungicide in the early stages. Also noted that the adjacent vegetable marrow squash is not affected, so perhaps the ronde de nice is a susceptible variety.

Healthy and since-harvested ronde de nice on the left, starved, failed squash on the right. Happened on all three squash plants. Not sure what causes this, but since the squash fruited so heavily, and I've read that squash are heavy feeders, I imagine that the EarthBox, which is supporting three squash plants and a cucumber, simply couldn't support all that fruit at once. We had our initial harvest of squash and I was concerned that was it, as there was no apparent additional fruit. In the past week though, the squash has advanced, and a second fruit set is well into development.

Delicious set of aphids. Again, I was a little too enamored with all the jalapeno peppers on these plants and I slacked on my aphid vigilance. They received a dose of neem oil-based spray and will be dust in a few days.

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