Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heartbreak in the Garden

Last February, I started a dozen heirloom Russian Black tomatoes ("Black from Tula") from seed. I tended to them daily, gently watering and making sure they had enough light from the special lamp and reflective walls I created for them. They grew wonderfully, and I handed out mature plants to friends with great pride.

I was so excited to find a fruit on my biggest plant in late June!! I began to worry, however, when that fruit was not ripening, and when the newest blossoms dropped off. It's now late July, and the fruit looks exactly the same as it did a month ago.

I then noticed my tomatoes in the garden bed, including a volunteer yellow pear plant, were losing blossoms and whole branches were turning yellow and dying. Good god, what was happening?!?!

This, as it turns out, is the dreaded Blight. A nasty fungal disease. Not much hope is given, and the plant won't put out any more flowers. Burning of the plant is suggested. My best guess is that our extremely rainy June/July weather gave the blight fungus a perfect breeding ground. Had I known earlier, I may have been able to do something about it, but not without massive amounts of chemicals. Which I won't use, as my veggies are all 100% organic. I will most likely pick the dozen green tomatoes that are trying to ripen, and dispose of my lovingly raised Black from Tula plants.

Sigh. This is heartbreaking.
In more uplifting news, my hydrangia is gorgeous!! And my tomatillos that I also grew from seed seem to be doing great! There are tiny fruits on several branches, just waiting to grow into delicious citrus-y goodness!


Anney E.J. Ryan said...

Wow. I had no idea organic farming was so difficult. I have a whole new respect for them, and have whole new reasons to buy organic, 24/7. Thanks Linds!

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