Monday, September 19, 2011
What I like to see
The first batch of cucumbers in the greenhouse has finished producing and I have removed the plants. The photo above looks like an ugly mess, however, it is something I love to see. The color, and healthy appearance of the roots, tells me that these plants have given all they have to give, and have done their very best. It also tells me that the growing conditions during their productive life were "spot on". Whenever I harvest, or discard a plant, I examine the roots, as they can tell you a lot about your growing conditions and identify possible problems.
Hurricane Irene hammered the area during the last few days of August and caused widespread damage. We were very fortunate, as we are over four hundred feet above sea level, and the river basin, so we did not receive any damage. Some people in the area lost pretty much everything, as homes were completely destroyed in some cases. After the storm, to my amazement, I found that the greenhouse only had about a cup of water on the floor, and that was because one of the vent controls did not bring the vent all the way closed. As the greenhouse was closed completely for a few days, with humidity near 100 per cent, the second planting of cucumbers were beginning to show signs of powdery mildew. I sprayed the plants with sulfur and was fortunate control it quickly. The plants are starting to produce fruit, so I guess Ava and I will still be making pickles for awhile.
The second crop of tomatoes is doing OK, but the fruit will be smaller than the first planting. The photo above shows a plant that was cloned from the top of one of the the first plants sometime in June. The daylight hours are getting shorter, and the plants are receiving less light, and consequently the fruit will be smaller.
I read posts on hydroponic gardening that go on and on about this or that nutrient, when in fact the amount and quality of the light plants receive is just as important, if not more important, for healthy growth.
My Lola tomato plants were a big disappointment and I have discarded the seeds; so much for relying on information from university test grows. Each and every fruit on the Lola plants developed blossom end rot. I know the causes, and how to treat blossom end rot, but this had me stumped. The Lola plants were growing side by side with three other varieties, in the same medium, receiving the same nutrients, from the same reservoir, and all of the other varieties did fine. I decided not to waste precious time, or space, on Lola, so she is gone and forgotten. I will order seeds for Trust for next year, as I have found these to be outstanding in terms of production and taste.