right now

right now

May 14, 2009

Catching Up

Yippee!  Sailor/Farmer is back home again (for about a month) !  Even though he wasn't here to orchestrate a stress-free Mother's Day for me, we managed to have a good time anyways.  I took the kids and packed a picnic lunch and we headed to the beach for a couple of hours.  Without the husband to tell them how to act on Mother's Day, I had to improvise a bit.  When they started acting up and getting whiny I explained to them that they HAVE to act good on Mother's Day and when I was asked "why, Mommy?" I pulled out the big guns and told them that Santa watches them very carefully on this particular day!

While Charlie missed alot while he was gone, he managed to get here in time for the first peas being harvested from the garden.  Not a ton, but enough for dinner that night.

No time for rest, though...I am going through my first traumatic gardening event, and it's with my tomatoes!  Yes, the heirloom tomatoes I nurtured from seed for the last half of winter, and then GAVE AWAY the surplus that I didn't use...(note to self!).  I will give you the horrid details and then let you see for yourself.  There are 3 new raised beds this year, filled with delivered compost that hold ALL of my tomatoes.  They were planted about a month ago, and seem to be frozen in time.  They have not grown, but are not wilted, either.  The leaves started becoming a dark green, then yellow mottling that looked alot like sunburn.  I thought this was the case for awhile since the day after I planted them was the start of a week of mid 90's temps that lasted about 6 days that caught everyone around here by surprise.  They never seemed to recover.  The past few days shows mottling, the undersides of the leaves has deep accentuated veining.  I am about ready to pull them and take one to the extension office, but am not hopeful, since I have read a ton of tech manuals and disease id's and know about as much as they do at this point!  I freaked out over tomato mosaic virus, the worst, but know that it is rare and they were not exposed to tobacco contamination unless the virus was in the compost that was delivered (this virus lives in the soil for 10 years, yikes!)  I have also seen some pics that sort of resemble mine that describe a phosphorous or manganese deficiency, but I believe this is unlikely since I have been using seaweed/fish emulsion and top dressing with my own compost and all my other beds are really healthy.  Anyways, any ideas???  I know I should probably just rip them out and start over before whatever it is spreads, but it's so hard to do!  Here's the evidence...

One of the Brandywines:

Close-Up of Brandywine leaf:

The Black Krims and Black Truffles in the next bed are starting to show signs as well:

Pic showing tomato size after being in ground for over a month:
I should mention that the 2 extras I had that I planted in my old beds are doing well and are getting huge, and the ones I gave away to friends are doing great.  Is it possible there was something contaminating the fill for the beds I had delivered???  I hate to think of having to remove all the fill and dispose of it.  I guess if you garden long enough, something is bound to happen.  I may laugh about it one day, BUT NOT TODAY!


  1. Yeah that you've got your guy home for a bit! How exciting is that! I'm so happy for you.
    As for the tomatoes, I've got no idea. It must be something in the soil but I don't know what it would be. How curious- but not in a good way. Good luck with it.

  2. I can't tell you for sure what that is, but where did you get your soil this year? If it was with manure, it might not have been fully rotted and it is stifling the plants. If I were you, I'd probably go ahead and take them out and repot them in something nice and gentle like Moisture max in pots, then do a soil test on the bed and re-mix the bed.

    I got my compost from Southern Branch this year again and it was a nice mushroom compost. My stuff is growing like crazy. Very well rotted and full of nutrition. You may want to grab some.

    And I'm right here. I've given away most of my extra seedlings now, but I still have about 10 or so of my heirlooms, black krim, cherokee purple, goliath, green zebra, mortgage lifter, brandywine and the ever elusive but wonderfully productive...Super Fantastic. If you can fix your beds, some of these have graduated from seedling to HUGE monster plant with tomatoes on them in gallon pots.

    Let me know.

  3. ChristyACB, I too am a little leery of where I got my stuff delivered. I tried a different nursery this year mostly because it was closer but when I tested it yesterday it was showing virtually no nitrogen or phosphorus. It also looks on close inspection as if it might be rotted wood chips due to the large chunks which would explain the lack of nitrogen. I spent this morning digging in organic bagged garden soil (alot!) into the 3 beds and was headed out to do some foliar feeding with seaweed to give them a quick boost but as I write it is pouring outside! No doubt with our weather it will be sunny in a few more minutes again! I did pick up a couple of Black Krim and Brandywine at the nursery yesterday, so worst case I will only be out my True Black Brandywines. But at least after that soil test I am not worrying about pandemic swine-soil virus so much, LOL!

  4. LOL...Let's call it Tomato Piglet Flu! The offer still stands if you want though. I do have those extras and I live right close by. I'd love to find them a good home.

    We get so attached to our babies plants, don't we?

  5. YAY on getting the hubby back and I have to say I totally LOL'd on pulling out the santa card in May. Good move mama! LOLOL. I pulled out the santa card last summer and was proud of myself for using it so early!

    No clue on the tomatoes, because I have no clue what I'm doing so I'm rarely good at giving advice. However, I do think it's a safe bet to always get your soil tested by the extension office. What a shame though! I feel your pain...totally.