Gloomy and gray weather today. The same kind of weather that has killed half of my tomatoes!
If this were a cooking blog, I’d be writing about how I burned the sauce. But it’s a gardening blog, so I’m going to write about how I lost my crops. Curse you humidity! Curse you heavy rains! Curse you freakishly tall and heavy tomatoes! Curse you vacation!
No. No curse on vacation.
While I was away, the blight did indeed set in. Hard. Before I left I could see that it was coming, but I was hoping that we’d get a magical break of hot, dry weather. We didn’t.
In fact, what we got was more humid. And we got lots of rain. My tomatoes were so tall that even while the blight was working away at their lower halves, gravity was tugging their upper halves down, down, and more down.
Collapsing plants are one thing. But blight? Yikes.
The thing with early blight is that you can treat it with copper. It even says that it’s organic. But good lord! The warning label pretty much reads like:
Do not breathe the mixture. Do not look at the mixture. Do not apply while you are within 75 feet of the mixture. The fact that you are holding the bottle and reading this warning label means that you have less than three hours to live. Kiss your family goodbye and let them know that you have successfully applied the mixture and that the blight will be gone. Probably. But actually, probably not. Anyway, thanks for buying!
Given that there is fruit setting on my plants now, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to put that stuff on. Hard decisions followed. After propping many of the plants up (you can re-stake a branch that has bent… tomatoes are tough and can survive that) I had to take a step back and decide to sacrifice the few for the many.
Or actually, sacrifice the half for the other half! Of my roughly 16 tomatoes, 8 are gone. Here’s the mass grave. (For the faint of heart.. look away!)
I am most distressed that the Mother Russia plants, both of them, are gone. I was truly looking forward to them. I still have two very good looking brandywines. I’ve got one solid Roma and one that is likely to die. I’ve got Purple Cherokee and Old German and Pink Caspian. I will still have a fair amount.
But it’s just not what I was hoping for!
Ah well… next year I’m afraid I’m going to have to let the garden soil rest without any tomatoes. This is the second year in a row of blight and it’s probably not going away.
For now, I will enjoy my beans, peppers, the idea of potatoes, and my few remaining, healthy, happy tomatoes.