Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Slowly winding things down, and some nature pics

Well that's a gentle way of putting that I'm ripping out some plants, I guess.   Both eggplants are out, victims of insects and unknown diseases, which usually follow insects.  The okra's foliage is thinning out and it won't be long before it's gone.  The lone summer squash has a stressed look in its leaves, the last squash rotted, and I don't see anymore forming.  And the tomatoes finally got what looks like blight, but it could be a number of things.  Whatever it is, it's moving fast. 

The Mountain Magic tomatoes, supposed to be blight resistant, have got something, which looks exactly like what has been killing my tomatoes for years, but only recently appeared this year, instead of in June:

What's getting the Black Plum tomato looks a little different.  Instead of starting from the bottom, it appears anywhere on the plant, with little yellowing.  The leaves and stems quickly turn brown.  It looked beyond saving, and, since it's in the center, I thought removing it might spare the other plants.  Looking at its Better Boy neighbor, I realized it was time for both of them to go.  So now there's a big space in the line of indeterminate tomatoes.

The PInk Girl in the right of the photo is the healthiest, least infected of the indeterminate tomatoes, and in my opinion is an excellent slicing tomato.  Removing the infected plants opens up some space for the ancho peppers and allows some evening sunlight to hit them.  They are loaded with peppers, those little dark triangles you see all over them, and need all the help they can get to give me some ripe anchos before frost.  I've lost 4 ancho peppers so far that rotted before ripening.  I hope this ancho rotting sorts itself out, as I'm more than ready to make a batch of harissa from grilled anchos.

I also removed infected and excess foliage from the determinate sauce tomatoes. It was a big mistake planting 2 per cage, resulting in a dense tangle of leaves that suppress ripening.  While I was trying to trim the Roma plant I managed to collapse the whole thing.  Apparently there wasn't much holding the plants up.  There was no point trying to prop up Humpty Dumpty and besides I wasn't really impressed with the plant's performance, so out it came.  I removed the cage from the hooks on the posts, cut off the stems at the base, and lifted the whole kaboodle out.   Gone, and it won't be missed.

Time for a brief nature walk.  The garden is not far from the pond, and the shoreline is left to go wild, although I do monitor and remove volunteer trees that I don't want.  Here's a look at the far  reaches of the garden empire.  There's some milkweed, and behind it some Joe Pye weed.  The milkweed hasn't shown any Monarchs, but the Joe Pye weed is a Tiger Swallowtail draw.

Behind the Joe Pye weed is another weed that I can't identify.  It's a nice looking plant, and also very attractive to the Tigers.  Anyone know what it is?

And speaking of swallowtails, what's parsley without a Black Swallowtail caterpillar.  I rarely see the adult, but the larva is striking.

Back to the garden.  The squash got off to a rocky start, lots of them died early, from wilt I think, and I replanted several times.  Finally, after a very late start, some Butternut squash have survived and are making squash.

I used up all of the Teksukabotu seeds and none of them made it.  The Buttercup squash have done the best.  Although they are not borer resistant, the ones that made it were planted late enough that they were no longer in danger from this pest, at least that's my theory.  It was touch and go for awhile, but it looks like I'll get some squash.

In most years, any squash that set before the last week of August have a good chance of ripening before frost.  While I'm speaking hopefully, I'm hoping that the sauce tomatoes give me one more picking, enough to can some more marinara.  And I'm hoping that the anchos ripen up, cause I really want to put some hot spicy harissa in the freezer.  Is that asking too much? 


Jane Strong said...

My tomatoes look like picture #1, too. And as you say, have for years, and as much as I look at the tomato disease pages can't figure out what it is and what to do about it. Harissa is good stuff! The unknown plant with the purple flowers looks like an aster of some sort to me, but then, I know nothing about Indiana wildflowers!

Jeannine said...

It's hard to tell from the picture, but I think the wildflower is ironweed. It grows all over in my part of Indiana.

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