Bottom/Blossom end rot. Powdery mildew. Early summer blight. Late summer blight. Bacterial speck.
These diseases strike terror straight into my tomato growing soul. Almost all of my tomato plants have a case of powdery mildew. The days have been so humid and wet, it has been almost impossible to keep my tomato plants well ventilated and dry. When I saw the tell-tale white powdery specks on the leaves I knew I needed to break out the milk. Yes, the milk. Apparently, a solution of 1 part milk to 9 parts water will help in the fight against powdery mildew. Why? Scientists are not sure (says the internet). My friend, an actual Doctor of Plant Genetics (fancy!) had never heard of this before, but thought it would have something to do with pH levels. She also suggested that I grow roses in my tomato gardens next year as an indicator species. The roses will get the powdery mildew first and I will be able to safeguard my tomato plants before they too get sick. Great suggestion, Doctor, great suggestion. In vineyards, at the end of each row you will see a rosebush for this very same reason.
|Small bit of powdery mildew. I trimmed the plants before I could get a photo of really bad mildew.|
Now, the case of bottom end rot. What can I do? This disease is caused by a deficiency of calcium in the soil when the plant was developing. I have been saving my eggshells all summer to add to the soil of my plants and have fortified the soil with a calcium rich green fertilizer. I think I might have to just give up, let those bottoms rot and hope for the best.
|Blossom End Rot. Sigh.|
|Feuerwerk, Lemon Boy & Eva’s Purple Ball Tomatoes|
|Greens, greens, greens.|
|Very trimmed tomato plants.|
|Delicious cherry tomatoes.|
|Tastiest tomato of the garden to date: tiny little coyote yellow tomatoes from matchbox garden and seed co.|
|Broccoli gone to seed, all the pretty yellow flowers.|
|Mixed spicy greens.|
|Mixed italian greens.|
August was a whirlwind of guests, last minute trip planning and vacationing. California was a gastronomic adventure of gluttonous proportions. Yosemite excluded, we ate fantastically.
We arrived in San Francisco, famished from a 5-hour flight with only two things on our minds: get to Yosemite and find the legendary California burger chain, In-N-Out. We found one, and what a burger! So fresh, so simple, so juicy. Yum!
We arrived in Yosemite, stuffed full from our burgers, content to sit on the Wawona Hotel porch, eating local cheeses and wine, listening to the whimsical piano stylings of Tom Bopp.
While Yosemite may have lacked in flavour, it was more than made up by in awe-inspiring landscapes and mountaintop engagements. After three wonderful nights in Yosemite we made our way to San Francisco, through Santa Cruz and alongside the Pacific Ocean on Route 1.
Saturday morning! The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market! Glee!
We bought Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, Acme bread, Saint Benoit Yogurt, heirloom tomatoes, mission figs and peaches for picnicking.
…to be continued…