Okay, let's start with the good news, shall we? 'Cause if I start with the bad news, I might not be able to see the keyboard and/or monitor through all of the tears..........
So, looks good from a distance, right?
Let's get up close. By the way - the tops of the lasagna beds have remained virtually weed free. What I've pulled from near the plants would barely fill a 1/2 cup measuring cup. LOVING that part!
The cucumbers, zucchini and cantaloupe are just kind of one big mass of vines. I'm sure I planted them a bit too close together, but I figured it might work out okay......we'll see.
One thing I will definitely do differently with the vine-like plants is that even if I plant them close to each other again, I will NOT plant them close to other non-vine plants like my bush beans. I had to prune back some of the zucchini plant to keep it from encroaching.
Lots of tiny cucumbers like this one.......
And one larger cucumber.
And 3 zucchini. Make that two.....the one on the right (with the browned out end) appears to be a goner......
The bean plants look fine so far.
The sage looks great.
The basil is still chugging along. Not the best basil I've ever grown - the leaves still have some yellowing to them (I wonder if the soil is missing a key nutrient? Will have to read more on that.) and the flea beetles are still munching, but it's starting to get bushier and hopefully will really take off soon.
The peppers...still not sure about these. I keep seeing buds, but only a couple of flowers and no fruit set yet.
Here comes the bad part. The really depressing part. I planted 11 tomato plants and at this point, I don't know that I'll get a single tomato from any of them. How can that possibly be?? They were looking so lovely for a while there and then something happened. Whether it's fungal or bacterial, I'm not sure, but every stinkin' plant has this creeping crud.
Not only that, but every blossom so far has dropped. The black crud is covering the blossoms and then they just break right off. Here's one that's just about to drop........
Well, okay, I did manage to find maybe 4-5 teeny tiny tomatoes on one of the 3 cherry tomato plants........but even one of those fruits has some black crud on it..........
The crud is all over the place.......
$%@#%^! I keep reading about how it's SO EASY to grow tomatoes. I feel like I'm being taunted!! I've seen people get so overrun with them that they start giving them away. I've never, ever had good luck with tomatoes. I've tried probably more than 10 different kinds and I've gardened in two different states and even in pots. No luck. Although, come to think of it, I think I got a decent yield the first year I tried tomatoes - before the plants succumbed to whatever disease they had that time.
This time, however, I hope to learn about what's going on rather than just piss and moan about it. I've taken a sample of some leaves to the local extension office and am waiting for a call back to find out what's wrong. I've been looking online at lots of tomato disease pictures, but they all start to look the same after a while and I can't figure it out. So far it looks most like the Alternaria Canker which can be found on leaves, stems and fruit. But if anyone out there reading this has any diagnoses or advice, I'd be happy to listen!
I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's fungal. We've been having a lot of warm, wet, humid weather lately and I've noticed lots of fungal critters growing around other areas of the yard.
I'll be shoving my nose into a lot of books and websites this winter to read more about disease-resistant varieties (depending on what the extension office says) and anything I can learn about growing tomatoes. And at least this time I'll have room to rotate the crops so that I'm not planting in that same bed again next year. I am determined to have a bountiful harvest some day!
I'm considering starting my own from seed......but I'm afraid that that will only make me even more vested in my plants and then even more heart broken if they fail. Note the use of the word 'if" in that last sentence, not "when". I remain optimistic. Or is it just plain stubborn? Eh, either way works.