There have been some battles waging recently in the garden. Of all the casualies thus far the tomatoes have been hit by far the worst. All that rain I was so excited about back in the month of August has brought about some nasty consequences. Namely a serious case of tomato blight.
Apprently there is not always just one factor that causes tomato blight, but constantly wet weather is a major piece of the puzzle. This nasty looking rot started in just one plant and has worked it's way quickly down the row, plant to plant, like a bad case of the flu. I've tried to stay on top of it by pruning the infected fruits out (and I have been able to salvage a few here and there) but for the most part this has thrown a serious wrench into my tomato-growing machinery.
Likewise I've had some problems with my winter squash (pumpkin and butternut). The vines grow, the flowers bloom... and then before the squash sets in- the flowers just fall off. At first I thought the blossoms were being nibbled by the local rabbit population, so I put my portable rabbit-proof fencing around the beds. No dice though. The flowers kept disappearing.
Turns out the problem was not bunnies, but bugs. There are tiny bugs that bore their way into squash vines (appropriately named Squash Vine Borers) where they lay eggs and wreak general havoc. Plants can still look relatively healthy but, as I've found, the flowers do not fully develop. The solution (say the books) is to bury the stem farther up from the affected area where the ought to put out new roots, causing much rejoicing all around.
I'm not fully convinced, but I tried it anyway. We'll see.
After all that depressing disease and pestilence talk I'll end this post with some cheery Sunflower pictures. Because really, whats cheerier than a sunflower?