Naoto and I are the new poster children for Gardening in the Wild. One look at our plot and you can tell we are a) first time gardeners and b) total procrastinators. We’ve known since we planted our watermelon and Japanese cucumbers that we needed to build something for the vines to grow UP (rather than OUT) and we just haven’t done it yet. We hope it’s not too late to build something this weekend.
To add to the challenge of vining plants everywhere, our Juliet tomato has grown OUT. OF. CONTROL. (That’s its stem pictured up above.) I’m not sure if it’s just a freak-of-nature or if we totally messed up when we were caging it, but the cage is now tilting east and the tomato is reaching all over the garden and spilling into the area beyond our plot. It’s producing loads of tomatoes, so even though it’s taking up more than its “square foot” of real estate, I’m not complaining…I just need it to lay off growing over the limas and into our neighbors’ plots!
In other tomato troubles, yellowing, spotted leaves were starting to spread throughout our plants. After a little bit of research (if you count calling my dad and searching YouTube “research”) we found this video from The Rusted Garden:
Basically, we found that the yellowed leaves are caused by either not enough nitrogen in the soil, over-watering or inconsistent watering (letting things dry out too much and then overcompensating). Most of the gardeners recommend removing all of the diseased leaves and then spraying the leaves with either wettable sulfur or a mix of baking soda and water. On Wednesday night, Naoto and I went through all of our tomato plants and cut off all of the diseased leaves. We didn’t spray anything on the leaves because we were working in full sun (this can burn the leaves). On Saturday, we are going to check things over and spray the leaves at sunset. All of the tomatoes in our community garden are affected by the yellow leaves, so it feels good to know we aren’t alone.
In spite of the leaf issues, all of our plants are bursting with tomatoes! I just can’t wait until one actually changes from green to red! And, our tiny pepper plant finally has some tiny peppers! This poor plant is on the southeast corner of our plot and I’m afraid to admit that it’s getting overshadowed by our overgrown tomatoes. Hang in there, little guy!
So that’s the garden this week. If you have any advice or ideas for taming the crazy, feel free to comment. Just don’t burst my bubble of hope and tell me it’s too late to wrangle up those vining plants!