Right before we left for Vermont, I realized that a fungal infection called powdery mildew had attacked my pumpkin plants. My friend who housesat for us treated the plants while we were gone with neem oil (which I believe is an organic type of pesticide — I did some very hurried research). Of the two plants, which had both sprawled all over the garden, one definitely didn’t make it, and the other is questionable. (I thank my friend for trying!) I really really hope it survives — I’m a lot more excited by the pumpkins than the tomatoes.
The tomato plants seem to have a problem as well, but I haven’t looked it up yet. The lower leaves are turning yellow and spotted, and dying. Maybe they just aren’t getting enough sun? At any rate, they are still producing tomatoes, though I only have one ripe one so far. Squirrels got some of the very first tomatoes.
Ironic that while I was in Vermont, reveling in delicious local fare and toying with notions of selling our house and buying a farm, my poor little attempt at a garden at home was going downhill.
Of my lettuce seeds, one plant was harvested — I left it outside after picking it and forgot about it. A lot of my onions appeared to have been dug up or pulled out by something, but three remain. I’m just not sure how I’ll know when they are ready to be harvested.
The most exciting development is that a rogue tomato plant and a rogue pumpkin plant have sprouted in places where I didn’t plant anything. As my husband noted, it could be that a bird pooped the seeds out in those places. Or it could be from the day I let my son and his friend have some spare seeds to do what they wanted with them. Either way, the rogue plants are doing just fine without any intervention from me, which makes me feel… dumb.
So maybe this will be a “rebuilding” and “learning” year for the garden, not so much a “bumper crop” year. I bought a big book on gardening at a library book sale in Greensboro, so maybe I will be better prepared next year.
My husband made it look so easy last year!
If you have any insight on powdery mildew, I’m all ears.