Tuesday, August 18, 2009

blueberries and blight

I have yet to resort to making a castor bean stew to end all my travails!
this 'thing' is a melon, that, if it reaches maturity before first frost, will stun me!
antique blueberry/cranberry rake...don't use it on my bushes but am sometimes tempted to speed up the process.
one day picking
blighty refuse to be bagged

Yes, we've been hit with the plague and it's not pretty. I hold at least some scant hope of a bit of a harvest but the longer I wait to pull entire plants and bag them the more the spores spread, especially with the humidity we are experiencing. The tomatoes themselves are secondary to my fears of what may lurk in my soil for ever after so I research and hope the cold of winter and a less seasonally insane summer next year will take care of the problem.
How did the funk get here? Clearly my bad. I grew 90+% of my tomatoes from seed here but did buy a few heirloom varieties from small, local nurseries where I was assured the plants were grown on site. But I work in a nursery and we, along with all the others buy in ornamental plants from other states and I know that some of trucks that delivered to us also delivered to box stores so the epidemic spread like wildfire. Of course I, along with all other growers, would have loved to have known earlier but Pandora's box cannot now be closed. Argggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
I do have some tomato plants that haven't been hit because they are some distance from the main growing area. My left overs, default plants...Snort!
(Randi takes a cleansing breath).

However crappily most of my efforts have been this year there is one thing that remains carefree and abundant. The highbush blueberries here are over 30 years old and produce happily for us as well as the birds! I've been living on them for a couple weeks now and I begin to take on a slightly bluish tinge. I'll be freezing most and making some sort of jammy jelly stuff as well.


Anna M said...

We lost both potato crop and tomato crop. We grew ALL our tomatoes from seed and still got hit hard. Every day a new dalmation plant. sigh... I did harvest all the green tomatoes I could and made green tomato ginger jam and pickled some as well. Potatoes turned mushy within days. Oh well, next year's another year and I've got beans and Zukes. I'll roll with it.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

We just started getting some spots of blight on our tomatoes (all from homegrown starts), here in NB. Amazingly, no blight in the potatoes, and I think it has to do with the layer of hay mulch we put down in the early spring, after hilling the potatoes. The blight spores must have come in on the wind and rain, from neigboring blighted potato farms, but only on the tomatoes, where the leaves touch the soil.

So perhaps one of your precautions against blight next year could be mulching around the plants in the spring, and keeping leaves out of contact with the soil. My sprawling tomato plants will probably produce a crop still, I mean there's only a few weeks left in the season after all, but I should have trellised and mulched them, darn it!

randi said...

Anna! I am so sorry about your potatoes. The few
I grew this year seem,so far, to have made it unscathed though I've not dug any for a couple weeks. I will pick the remaining tomatoes over the next few days but now that we FINALLY HAVE HAD 3 OR 4 days of hot weather to do some ripening it's so hard to not give them a day or two more of sunshine. I really hope we have a great year next year, we deserve it but truly, how many battles on how many fronts do we have to wage? sheesh! Oh, and I don't even have any zukes yet!

randi said...

Actually all my tomato plants were staked, tied and mulched with hay mulch and I do think the mulch may have saved the potatoes early on. However I have been reading about how best to make sure it does not linger in the soil so I'll be leaving the contaminated areas free of any protection this winter to hopefully kill off the offending spores. Gotta admit this has really gotten to me. I find myself thinking, "What next?"

Mr. H. said...

Those are some nice blueberries, ours never do well...I'm not sure why our soil is very acidic...hmm. I had know idea that bluberries could live that long...wow

Next year will be better for you ...right. It just has to be.