Friday, June 12, 2009

Updates and Blights

My garden has been doing quite well lately. We have been harvesting leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, spinach and onions. My cucumbers have sprouted and are growing. I raised the squash from seed, and it is a little behind the other plants in most people's gardens. Also, bad seed does not help matters much. :) The buttercrunch head lettuce is almost ready for harvest. The peas have gotten some blooms, as well as the peppers and jalapenos. The carrots, radishes and cabbage also have been developing.

However, the cherry tomatoes are not exactly healthy. They were doing well until Momma and I noticed yellow and brown spots on the leaves. I researched it and found out that they had early blight. One of the causes of early blight is hot weather with lots of rain which is exactly what has been happening recently with our weather. We have experienced hot and humid weather with thunderstorms almost every night and rain, just the perfect combination for early blight.

Would you believe that another cause for early blight is plainly too little water? All types are treated the same. You DO NOT need to water the infected plants as often, unless they have the blight from too little water.

Here is what I did. I first put cornmeal on the soil around the plant to dry it. Then, I put grass clippings around them as mulch. I read that you should put mulch around the plant to keep the moisture in the roots, but not near the leaves. I trimmed off the bottom leaves so that air could circulate through the plant. I got some Serenade® fungicide spray to apply to the plant to destroy the blight. This spray is supposed to be organic. If you want to try to make your own fungicide spray, here is a good place to look.
The blight on the tomato leaves looks yellow/light green with some brown spots on some of the leaves. Have you ever had early blight? If so, what did you do?


  1. Anna, your lettuce looks so good--very butter-crunchy! Did your Aunt Earlene enjoy it? :)

    I'm not sure whether I've had early blight or not...if I did, I didn't do anything and it didn't hurt the plants that I could tell. I will have to go look closer at our tomatoes now! I have had some blossom end rot on the tomatoes in past years, though--probably resulting from drought conditions.

    This year with all the rain I have noticed a little powdery mildew on the squash plant leaves and other flowers. I will be interested in reading through the site you linked to.

  2. Dear Hannah,

    I am quite glad that you have not had any blight.

    In one of my gardening books, it said that powdery mildew will weaken the plants, and will reduce the yield. It said that you can spray it with neem oil or a baking soda spray. I copied the recipe for you below:

    Baking Soda Spray
    1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda; 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; 1 1/2 gallons + 1 cup warm water
    Mix baking soda and oil in 1 cup of warm water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves. Add the mixture to 1 1/2 gallons of warm water and stir until blended. Pour into sprayer and use immediately.

    Hope that you can destroy the powdery mildew!

  3. Your garden looks great. We are harvesting lettuce too. For anyone who wants to know, one way to do lettuce is to plant a little. Then a few weeks later plant some more, and so on. This is so you have lettuce all summer because we always end up with too much the first planting because I'm excited and over plant ; )

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for commenting. I would have staggered my harvest of buttercrunch lettuce, but it was from the greenhouse. (I have not been able to find seeds for that kind.) We eat salads a lot during the summer. (I have a very lettuce loving family.) However, that is a great idea.

    P.S. It is a pity that you can not can lettuce! :)