This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

garden work

I did a lot of work today to remove fungi damage. Squash leaves at the base of plants, especially zucchini and butternut, were white and fuzzy. I removed and bagged these. The pruning made it easier to find and pick squashes and weed under the plants.

My potatoes ares quickly dying back now. I removed the plants from my red potatoes and bagged these rather than composting just to be safe.

I also removed tomato leaves with leaf spot damage. It's a super year for tomatoes - plants are big and leaf spot damage is not bad. Lots of big tomatoes on the plants though it is early in the season and so far I have only picked 3 or 4 tomatoes. The worry is reports of late blight in the area. I heard today that late blight was found on tomatoes at Waltham Fields, 1 mile as the crow flies (as the spores travel) from my garden. I was afraid i might find late blight on my plants today, but did not. I looked at other plots at our garden and was dissappointed to find one or two at the far south side that have damage that could be late blight. After harvesting, I sprayed my tomatoes thoroughly with copper fungicide.

I also watered a bit, especially the bed where I sowed carrots a couple days ago. We had rain yesterday, but the ground was surprisingly dry. I will have to get a rain gauge as I don't think the garden (1 mile groom my house) gets the same rain as my house.

The weather was dry when I sprayed at midday, but by 6 pm rain moved in. The whole area got at least 1 or 2 inches of drenching rain. Was it better to spray the tomatoes before this rain? Should I spray again after? I am finding this a bit confusing, but my understanding is that a regular schedule is best and so I should spray again in about 5 days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy I just saw a video on using baking soda water on fungus. Have you ever experimented with it?

July 29, 2012 3:38 PM

Blogger kathy said...

No, i haven't. Interesting.

July 29, 2012 11:45 PM

Blogger Debbie said...

I just read about using baking soda in one of my gardening books! 1 tsp. per quart of water.
My potatoes are also dying off. I never saw any flowers on them, so I figured it could be blight and bagged the plants and tossed them in the garbage. I did dig around the soil where I pulled them out. I got beautiful potatoes from them. Would blighted poatoes still form good potatoes?

July 31, 2012 8:14 PM

Blogger kathy said...


Yes, blighted potato plants can form good tubers.

However, in this hot NE weather, everyone's potatoes are dying off. Mine are too. They have a bit of the common and more benign fungal diseases, but no late blight. Yours are probably dying off from the normal timing. Unless you know the specific symptoms of late blight lesions and see these on your plants, it is probably not late blight.

From what I have heard, the strains of late blight around this season are not affecting potatoes - only tomatoes.

I have also read that potatoes do not always flower. So don't take that as a problem.

It is always a safe idea to bag and toss tomato or potato foliage that looks diseased, so its great that you did that.

Late blight can wash from the foliage and seep into the ground and infect the tubers. If it does, you may notice discoloration under the skin and a terrible smell. Seemingly healthy tubers can still rot later during storage. Discard rotting potatoes and do not compost them.

If they aren't rotten, its fine to eat them.

I have found that often the underground tubers are healthy if the stem and leaves are removed as soon as you detect late blight infection. Good soil coverage provides better protection. Remove and discard the foliage (as you did) then wait a couple weeks until the stems are dead to dig the potatoes.

The biggest problem with late blight in potatoes is when it hits very early, before tubers are formed.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your potatoes!

July 31, 2012 9:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished spraying Liqui-Cop on my tomato's with all the off and on rain we've had in MA this past week. Unfortunately my experience is if you get more than .25" of rain you need to re-spray or when drier weather is expected.

August 01, 2012 2:26 PM


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