Decision Time

Decisions now have to be made.  One decision needs to be made quickly.  What will I do?  I am not sure.

I received an email yesterday letting me know that Late Blight had been identified in two different locations within two hundred miles.  Two hundred miles may seem like a bid distance, but Late Blight travels with the wind.  The weather conditions have been good for Late Blight.  Late Blight, known for its destructive power, caused the Irish Potato Famine. Now it attacks potatoes and tomatoes almost every year.  Usually later in the growing year.

Reports of Late Blight this early could mean a difficult finish to the growing season.  I have to determine if I will spray or not spray my tomatoes and potatoes.  Copper Fungicide is the typical defense against Late Blight.  I have an organic copper fungicide so I would remain “organic” but I have been no-spray for two years.

Tomato.  Spray or no spray?
Tomato. Spray or no spray?

This week I added stray around my potatoes.  I have hill-ed the potatoes the best that I can, but it has not been enough.  So I put straw around the plants so any potatoes that grow above the soil hills will be good to eat.

Potatoes with straw around them
Potatoes with straw around them

This is a time of transition at the Micro Farm.  Last year’s fall crops are almost ready to be harvested and summer crops are now starting to dominate.  Garlic leaves are starting yellow.  I will wait to harvest them, hopefully the bulbs are nice and plump.

Garlic
Garlic – you can see the yellow leaves on the bottom.

While the garlic is almost done.  The dry beans are starting to create pods.  So far I like growing dry beans.  I will watch them, but I will not harvest them until the pods are dry. Harvested beans will become a nice pot of baked beans.

Dry beans
Dry beans – a few pods and a few flowers

I noticed several very young peppers while walking through the planting beds.  I watch the peppers at this stage to help guide the pepper fruit.  In the past a few pepper fruit grew between stems, and where either difficult to harvest or had a bizarre shape.  Guiding them when they are young helps prevent this.

Very young peppers
Very young peppers

The temperatures have been really great for the cucumbers.  They seem to have exploded in the past several days.  Looking under the leaves are the beginning of cucumbers.  This variety is reported to be prolific especially if picked regularly.

Young cucumbers
Young cucumbers

The pumpkins look to be doing well.  Last year was a tough pumpkin year.  I am hoping this year will be better.

Pumpkin plants
Pumpkin plants

The weather here in the Northeast US has been hot and humid, and will be for several more days.  Watering and keeping the plants from being heat stressed is my priority.   There is not much rain in the forecast so watering will become the daily routine.

What is your daily routine to help the prevent heat stress and loss?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

 

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3 thoughts on “Decision Time

  1. Could you spray half? see if the blight really affects your crops and yet have some useable crop?

    Watering like crazy here, big soak every morning as it’s blazing hot and no cool-down until Friday night. Whew!

  2. I have a nursery and grow about half my own plants, but they are in the ground and do fine through heat and drought. I hope you avoid the blight and don’t know the dynamics but is being able to say no spray worth risking your crop. Or maybe the spray is very expensive and time consuming. Good luck.

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