Home Depot

Tomatoes aren’t the only problem.  Home Depot sold me pickle cucumbers as real cucumbers.  Both Home Depot plants are dead in SE corner.  Normally I don’t bother with Home Depot for seedlings but decided to take a risk this year.  Note to future Mark, don’t buy any seedlings from Home Depot.  That had been my policy but I made an exception this Spring.

Blight Update

The tomato blight is the reason I haven’t updated photo album logs in 2008, 2009, 2010 which is stupid because these photo logs are a great resource to see what worked and what didn’t and to improve upon the future.

Tomatoes are coming in.  It’s better than last year.  Nothing could be worse than 2010 for tomatoes.

Here‘s a panoramic taken a few days ago.

Maybe I’ll get into the mood to take pictures again.  This logbook is for me, so that I can review what I’ve done in the past so I don’t repeat mistakes.

Blight Continues

Containers 2-6

I took these pictures after clearing blighted branches as best as possible.  The blight hit each of the 12 tomato plants.  This is a note to future Mark when he reads this next July, the moment you see what looks like blight pull the entire plant and get it off the roof.

Container 2 is the left most container.  It’s a Celebrity brand tomato and it suffered 1/2 loss.  Container 3 is some heirloom from Gesethemane and it was one of the first to develop symptoms.  It is completely gone.  I should have pulled this plant without mercy a week ago.  Note to future Mark, no heirloom tomatoes.  Container 4 is a Brandywine and doing OK — about 1/4 loss. Containers 5 and 6 are Early Girls.  Tomatoes are small about 1/3 loss to blight so far.  Leaves yellowing and little second growth.  Note to future Mark, don’t plant Early Girls next year.

Containers 8-12

This picture shows containers 8 through 12.  Container 8 is left most container.  It supports an Early Girl that lost 1/2 its branches to blight.  Container 9, a Brandywine, was a complete loss.  Container 10 is a Celbrity, 1/3 loss but good second growth.  Container 11, first container off the rails, is a Celbrity and almost (will be) a complete loss.  This was a weak plant from the beginning.  Note to future Mark, do not let weak plants grow.  Pull them and replace them.

Theory: The risk of blight increases with weaker plants of any variety and the introduction of unknown heirloom varieties.

Container 12 is in a smaller container and I think it’s a Celebrity or Early Girl.  Its prognosis is grim.  Container 7 (not seen) is doing OK.  Container 1 (not seen) is like Container 12 but in better condition.  Both containers 1 and 12 used smaller pots as experiments.

Record rain

This picture of my basement has nothing to do with my Bucktown Garden other than to illustrate how much rain we received Friday night.  Reports are saying we got 7 inches — an all time record.  The water in the basement was a few inches lower than the all time record flood for me living here.  The last time the water  got higher than this was in 1997.  The furnace is tough (Weil Mclein)  and can make it through.  My new hot water heaters have new fangled safety electronic starters that are almost impossible to restart after a flood knocks them out.  Looks like I’m in for a few days of cold showers and fun disassembling and reassembling hot water heaters.

There is no way to stop this kind of flooding since it comes from underneath the building.  The water table has to go where the water table wants to go.   Since the plants on the rooftops are in well drained potting mix, I might have to water tonight — ughhhh!