Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Our poor poor Brussel sprouts were eaten alive by caterpillars. Unfortunately we found the culprits too late (they're pretty good at blending as you can see and they only show up in cooler temperatures). They have been RIPped out to make way for our next planting.

The strawberries (which are delicious and producing fairly well) recently turned white. Well, actually there is some white gunk on them. I don't know what it is, but I just washed it off when I watered and I'll see if that's all that needs to be done. (Maybe it's just bird poop. o_O)

Last, but definitely not least, our earliest tomato plant (who has several fruits that are full-size but still green) is turning yellow at an alarming rate! (Thankfully it's only this one plant! :whew:)

We thought they might just need more fertilization, so we used John's recipe on them a few days back, but alas no change for the better.

In my handy-dandy "The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book," someone else had a similar problem:

My tomato plants looked fine until just before the first batch of fruit was nearly ripe, then they turned yellow and wilted. Should I have fed them more?

... [Y]our plants probably didn't die because of insufficient fertilization. Instead, they probably succumbed to one of the major tomato diseases such as fusarium or verticillium wilt. While plants can become infected early in the season, symptoms often don't show up until fruits begin to ripen, and the plant is under stress.

The author then goes on to explain about early blight and late blight and how to identify them (concentric circles and black or purple spots, respectively). These diseases are supposed to show up on the lower leaves first. But we don't have concentric circles or black or purple spots (they are just sort of brown) and it didn't start on the lower leaves but rather the leaves nearest fruits. Here are what ours look like:

So what to do about our poor plant?

Well after much more internet searching, it seems like it's likely to be early blight (even though I can't see the concentric rings). So the consensus seems to be to trim off all the infected leaves and avoid overhead water (something we're pretty bad about here at the commune).

I plan to do that right away and will keep you updated.

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