Saturday, July 11, 2009

Year of the Brown Thumb

Let me enjoy the earth no less
Because the all-enacting Might
Which fashioned forth its loveliness
Had other aims than my delight.
~Thomas Hardy, Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses, 1909

While working in the garden, now that the rains have taken a break, I noticed the cabbages and broccoli looked wilted during the day. Then the lower leaves started to turn yellow. I went on the computer to investigate and thought it was root maggot. I walked back out into the garden to pull a plant to confirm the diagnoses and found the roots look like this...
I came back in to look up more information and found it is most likely clubroot. Remember I planted 76 cabbage and 34 broccoli and later snuck in 11 more cabbage. Well, I have read that I should dig up the plants so there is less chance of the spores staying in the soil.
It stays in the soil so it said I should lime it to bring the pH up to 7.2, which will have an effect on the beans by it so I can't do that yet. In the spring I can plant winter rye and till it under. But right now all I can do is solarize the soil with heavy plastic.
It rained Saturday night so when I walked into the garden on Sunday they looked better which made it even harder to dig up and dispose of all of them. But we did.
I read that it is not seed born but can readily spread in surface runoff water, contaminated equipment, and to some extent by roving animals. As I gave some plants to a friend and she is experiencing the same problems, I will assume it is not runoff, contaminated equipment or roving animals. So it must have been the soil I used to start the plants in. I scrub all my pots with a bleach solution but I purchase materials and mix up my own potting mix. And here I thought I was doing everything right to keep things like this from happening. Another one of those live and learn things.
It is all very depressing so we will move on to happy things...lots of monarda blooming...and yellow flowers that I can't remember the name of right nowfuture black walnut brittlefuture elderberry jelly if the birds leave me any. If they don't that's okay as I know where I can get more for freefuture snack. Unknown best grape ever. Usually I only get enough to eat which makes them a special treat. I was going to try to propogate more plants this year but time did not allowfuture sauce, salsa and tomato soupah potatoes-so many ways to make themand blue podded soup peas, which were something new for this year

The farmer's market opens up this Friday and I have plans to go next Monday so I am not worried yet. If I get to the market and everyone else has a garden year like I have had then I will be in freak mode, until then.....happy flowers.....We had a family reunion on Saturday and my brother always brings a lot of fresh corn. He had some left over which I grabbed and processed that night so atleast something is getting put away for winter. I have been freezing berries and I intend to start making jam/jelly tomorrow.

Today I took one friends two grandkids over to another friends house. The grandkids played with the other friends kids while we went up into her attic and started cleaning. Five hours later we small corner done, five 55 gallon bags of garbage and a huge pile of boxes to be burnt. Tomorrow after jelly making we go back up in hoping to free another small section.

And I finished a baby sweater of which I have to get pics still and now I am trying to finish the smock coat. I did receive some free alpaca and llama fleeces tonight so while the weather is nice I should also find time to wash it. Can't say it evened out with losing all the broccoli and cabbages but it does help soothe the bruises!!!!


Sandie Knapp said...

That is a real shame the problem you are having with the cabbage and brocoli. It seems this is not only the year without a Summer, but also the year without a garden as well. The only think growing in mine are a few small tomatoes that are about to break the stems of their plant since the plant isn't growing at all, but the little tomatoes are.....LOL

I planted 4 rows of sunflower seed and lucked out with 10 plants. Whoopee!! I can't even say the word "garden" this year without getting literally sick to my stomach, I am that upset over it.

I certainly wish you the best of good fortune with the rest of your plants. Someone needs to be lucky even in a small way, it may as well be you. :)

finnsheep said...

Strange year. It was 45 overnite at our place. The late frost got all our grapes. There are very few pears and no apples at all, not even crab apples. The beans look great tho!

cyndy said...


The dreaded club root....gah!

I had some of that trouble about 12 years ago...never plant any brassicas in that area anymore...

I'm still picking and freezing broccoli (side shoots now...) I will have to share some with you!
(...that is if I ever see you!)

Good luck with cleaning the attic..and woot woot for the freebies!