Happy Tuesday Garden Party, friends! Today I thought I’d give you a quick update on our tomato blight. As you can see above, I still have a couple of plants that I need to prune some more (they are the heirlooms, and are more susceptible to diseases, which is why I always grow a combo of hybrids and heirlooms just to make sure I don’t loose everything), but the good news is that most of the plants are looking good, putting out new growth and not adding leaves with signs of blight. Yeah!
AND we’re getting ripe tomatoes, we’ve had 8 so far and there are a few more out there ready to be picked. This is crazy-early for us here – it’s just one of those years – I also just picked enough cucumbers to make my first batch of easy garlic fridge pickles – and I didn’t plant them until the end of May. The gravenstein apples are going to be ready in a week or two – sheesh. Gotta get my canning on a bit earlier this year!
But the other part of my gardening world right now is bugs. Out in the main garden it’s not too bad, just the spotted cucumber beetles I often deal with, but in the backyard herb garden and the nearby trumpet vine growing on our gazebo the bugs are decimating the plants. Literally. I’ve lost one basil completely and two others are struggling back to life after I applied a new non-toxic bug spray I’m trying. I also lost all 4 marigolds I planted from the kids’ graduation party centerpieces – the leaves were completely gone with no growth able to happen.
The thing is, I can find what’s eating them. I’ve seen one cucumber beetle once on the basil, but this damage is different than what they do out in the garden. Typically they eat holes in the leaves and that’s it. As you can see in the photo of the trumpet vine damage above, complete leaves are gone and whatever’s eating it is targeting all the new growth, stunting the plant and causing a pretty rapid death. I don’t have ANY damage like this out in the main garden. And I’ve had this damage the last two years in the herb garden – this year it’s just worse.
Have any ideas what it could be? Something that must overwinter in the soil since it’s pretty site-specific, I’m guessing. In the meantime, I’m documenting the before and afters of this diy bug spray to share with you all – so far I like the outcome, but more time will tell!