Jul 18, 2011
The Blight-Resistant Verdict...
For having as many problems with blight and heat as I have this year, I really can't complain about the tomato harvest, can I? I can't explain it other than I did start with about 30 plants, double what I normally grow. I have been getting a big harvest every 3 days but now that temps are consistently in the high 90's, the fruit is not setting well, so I think this will be the last harvest this size for awhile. I'll start doing salsas instead of canning sauce once they start to trickle down. So far this year though, I have harvested 100 lbs of tomatoes, of which 70 lbs have been Brandywines - and from only 6 plants! Considering that blight took out the Amish Paste completely within 2 weeks, and we had to rip out the Hillbillies last night, I'm going out on a limb and saying that my Brandywines, although suffering blight, are the most resistant ones out there, and are still going well in spite of it. Specifically, the Brandywine seed from Baker Creek, so I will be doing that seed again next year.
Now that we have the "nice" photo out of the way, this is what was going on last night in the heat and humidity - we couldn't put it off any longer.
These are the Hillbilly tomatoes, badly suffering blight. 3 of the 4 plants were tossed, and the last is only there long enough for the large green ones to ripen a bit in the sun, then it goes out too.
This Hillbilly still had lots of green leaves, so "Blight Boy" trimmed out the bad stuff, and we'll see how long it will continue.
Below is the Brandywine bed - although affected considerably with Early Blight, it continues to pump out 1.5-2 lb fruit weather and heat permitting. I haven't sprayed them with fungicide for almost a month, so these were sprayed vigorously after trimming last night.
Oh, yes, Blight Boy! (or my Blight Bitch, as I affectionately call him) - some people have a pool boy, I have this...
he's just as hot as any pool boy I think, and he's cheaper!
This morning brings the first day of the return of "humidity-geddon". I know lots of you were dealing with this all weekend, luckily we had a little reprieve from those temps for about 4 days. It was just long enough for me to really start to improve my mood - but here it comes again, daily 100º temps. Can you believe at 6 p.m. last night it was 1 degree HOTTER at Mama Pea's house than it was here? How's that for a strange weather pattern? I think her average annual temp is about 38 º (no, I'm not kidding), but yet she was hotter the past couple of days than us. The 4 day party is sadly over for me, however, 100 degrees right through the week's forecast.
I took this last morning before it hits to get outside and finish up some more chores, trimming a few miles of unruly grapevines, tying up tomatoes & peppers, pulling a few weeds (I'm giving up on that battle), and pulling some SVB attacked/dead winter squash vines. 8 am to 9:30 was all I could manage before the sweat and bugs started to get to me!
Finally, just a wee bit more harvest ...
Quadrato diAsti bell peppers, Jimmy Nardello frying pepper, jalapeno, cukes, bush beans, the first Chinese Red Noodle beans, and some little onions. Those are actually "Scallions Gone Wild" as I refer to them - I can't grow onions well here at all, but I find if I leave my scallions out all year and pull them late I have enough little onions to be able to call my salsa truly my own, LOL
I think I have enough to keep me busy inside during the heat. I'm planning on canning either tomato sauce or salsa, have even started some knitting, and am dreaming of sewing something for my little niece. Not sure if I'll get the time, but it's nice to have dreams, isn't it? :)