Monday, May 31, 2010


We have been having very wet and soggy weather for weeks. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun. Everything is droopy and waterlogged and growing mould and green scum. The vegetables in the garden are weeks behind where they were last year and I'm getting really, really impatient.

But now I'm afraid. My tomatoes are under attack by some kind of fungal disease - I think early blight, but it could be Septoria leaf spot. Ick.

I discovered the problem yesterday - several of the potted Roma tomato plants were showing signs of a problem, so I immediately moved them out of the greenhouse so whatever it was wouldn't be passed on to the vine tomatoes planted in the greenhouse beds. Then I went Internet searching to find a solution.

The first step is to remove and dispose of all suspicious-looking leaves. Then I should spray with some kind of fungicide. It looks like my organic choices are a copper spray of some kind, or a homemade preparation - either a cornmeal "tea" made with cornmeal and water that sits for a couple of days, or a mixture of water, baking soda, vegetable oil and dish soap. I think I might try all three. I've also moved a fan into the greenhouse to improve air circulation, which can't hurt.

This growing season is turning out to be fraught with problems, and I'm feeling a bit bummed about it. I guess I could be glad, instead, that last year, my first year of vegetable gardening, was such a bountiful and productive one.


jeanives said...

I am feeling just as moldy here in Victoria but with not so much at stake. Dahlias are a write off, as are ornamental sweet potato vines. If we get a single squash I will be astounded. But it is great weather for kale and we had a home-grown kale salad last night. There was some teaser blue sky on the horizon just now, and then another shower.

Paula said...

Miriam- warm to hot water with the cornmeal. The so-called experts aren't sure, but some think the warm water activates enzymes in the corn that eat the fungus.

Warm water and cornmeal was used for rose fungi, but I can tell you from experience that it also works on those nasty fungi that eat away your toenails and make them all gross.

I hope you get whatever it is messing up your 'maters on time!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Isn't it so frustrating to see all your time and effort have a end result such as this? Argh!
We're having the opposite weather - hot and towards the dry side which has made most of my cool weather crops either bolt or stunt their growth.

Isn't gardening fun!!
Good luck with your tomato's.

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