Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Problem Solving and Bird Butts!

I have hit that inevitable point in my first garden's lifespan where I'm running into pretty obvious problems. I have been seeking help from some more seasoned gardeners regarding these problems. I don't have solid answers on any of them yet, but here are the issues:
Broccoli: My broccoli plants will not form florets - basically, all leaves and no broccoli. These beasts are getting to be about 3 feet high and not a bud in sight. They look otherwise healthy. Removed a few low lying leaves that appeared to be a bit crunchy, water them regularly...and .. just nothing.

All of the research I have been able to find online pertains to broccoli heads forming too quickly when the weather gets warm. This has not been a problem.  EG, over at Our Engineered Garden, suggests they might form heads when the weather cools down again. By that time they will truly be broccoli trees, but I'll tough it out and see if I get anything.

Green Beans: My green bean leaves are looking a little speckly, and have begun to form small translucent spots. My research on the internet says this is most likely a fungal issue, having to do with the frequent rain we've been having, and my hitting the leaves when I water them.

I've switched to watering at the base, trying to avoid the leaves. I also sprayed with an anti fungal plant spray, non organic - just something I picked up at home depot. Keeping a close eye on these guys.

They've given us just under 200 beans so far this season and through parties, and lots of side dishes, we've gone through all of them. Despite the leafy fuzziez, I do see new flowers forming for more beans, so this gives me hope.

Tomatoes: - The most worrisome of my problems. The leaves are getting a little yellow - a little brown around the edges. Top leaves and bottom leaves - across the board. The list of things that could be wrong:

* Poor soil drainage
* Sun scorch (been over 100 degrees all week)
* Some form of root rot because I planted where tomatoes were planted before?
* Nutritional deficiency?
* Under watering?
* Over watering?

These guys have me completely confused. I'm not sure why this is happening. I don't think its fungal, but to be sure I sprayed with the anti fungal spray. The fruit looks happy enough, growing bigger every day and 3 have turned orange. They do tend to drop off pretty easily so I handle the plant as gently as I can. I read to pick them slightly under ripe and let them fully ripen in a paper bag - to avoid pest damage to the fruit itself, so I have been doing that - and its worked out well. I'm going to look into adding tomato food (either in liquid or dry form) to them as soon as possible. I will be so completely bummed if I lose these plants!!!

In other news, there are 2 bird's nests in our grape trellis. I managed to catch the mama bird in her nest, albeit not at a flattering angle. I was out watering the garden this afternoon when I heard little peeps. Apparently, she's got little babies in there. She couldn't have picked a better nesting place. Its like living right next to the grocery store. :)  They're welcome to stay - as long as she doesn't get all aggro mom on me and start pecking my head when I go outside to water the garden.


layne said...

yea for bird's nests....I have no helpful comments, but enjoyed reading the post. it sounds like a lovely garden

Monty Full said...

Aw, thanks Layne. :) Its been a lot of fun. Mostly screw ups this year, but still lots of fun.