Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trouble With Tomatoes : End of July in the Vegetable Garden

Despite the fact that Junior has been able to pick some cherry tomatoes, there seems to be something up with the plants. The fruit is ripening painfully slow, the blossoms are blooming and then shriveling up and turning brown, and two plants look like they already have blight. And the year seemed so promising! 

Here's a look at what is (mostly) growing in the garden.

Lucky boy. He gobbles up the ripe tomatoes faster than you can yell "STOP!"

I reached for the compost bin and pulled out some black gold. I made piles around all of the tomatoes and sort of scratched it in with a cultivator. 

This 'Cherokee Purple' is the most tragic. It looks like it already has late blight. Hopefully the compost, as well as some crushed egg shells, will help add nutrients back into the soil. With all the rain we had a while back I'm afraid a lot has been leeched from the soil.

The problem of the blossoms drying up is hopefully a pollination problem. Tomatoes are self pollinating, but perhaps the wind hasn't shaken them enough and the bees have been drawn to stronger smelling blooms? I don't know. The vines are now getting a good shake every day.
The lettuce and mesclun bolted during the hot spell, so I've cleared the bed and will replant next week. I also hope to replant some beets as well.

The 'Kentucky Wonder' pole beans have grown as tall as they can. Now we just need to wait for the beans to come!

In the meantime the 'French filet' are almost ready. 

We've begun to harvest the wax beans.

And the purple beans have been giving us a steady supply for weeks.

The borage is blooming, and the bees seem to like it.

Such vibrant little flowers.

And the Orienpet lilies are rather marvelous. I just hope their fragrance hasn't pulled all the pollinators to them, rather than simply drawing them to the garden.

Even as it fades, a 'Casablanca' lily is lovely.