Cornmeal, Peroxide, Wilting Peppers & Tomatoe Blight!! – AAHH!!

So, about 2 weeks ago now, I hoed my peppers and the next day 2-4 suddenly started to wilt. This was very disturbing, but I figured that I must have just nicked there roots a bit too much, and went on watering like normal. A week later and another dozen or so were wilting. And so I really started googling. Apparently, there aren’t *too* many things that affect peppers (vs most other vegetables), and cause them to wilt. The two big ones being Fusarium and Verticillium wilts, both of which are caused by fungus’s. And both of which can, apparently be controlled (supposedly) by applying cornmeal to soil around the affected plants (and which also apparently helps keeps weeds down…). So, I hoed and mixed a whole bunch of cornmeal into my beds (probably 5-6# in 4 15-20′ long beds).

After continuing to google around about fungus wilts I read about spraying peroxide on affected plants (which apparently is also a fungicide – makes sense when you think about it, huh?), and so I went out and sprayed all my peppers (and most everything else except the tomatoes…) with peroxide yesterday. Now, it could just be my imagination, but I swear to you that today (2-3 days since applying cornmeal and 1-2 days since spraying with peroxide) that my plants which were unaffected look beautiful, and while some are definetly dead, the others look no worse than they did a few days ago, and possibly a bit better…

Of course, then today I hear about how late blight has been confirmed to be in OH (a major disease of potoatoes & tomatoes – apparently its what caused the famous irish potato famine back in the 1840s), and which is also apparently caused by a fungus of some sort. A couple of my tomatoe plants have suddenly started to look sickly in the past couple days, so I think tommorrow I’ll be spraying them & my peppers with peroxide really really well and then on Sunday I’ll have Kevin spray with the other spray we’ve been using for the last couple months.

So… we’ll see. I really hope that my remaing peppers survive and give us lots of peppers & that some of the sickly looking ones come back… and that my tomatoes don’t all succomb to late blight or powdery mildew, or something else!!

Its freezing time!!

Preserving season is in full swing for me now. I’ve been strawberry picking three times and have a total of 16+ bags of cut strawberries in my freezer. I might go pick again tomorrow depending on how much time I have, and then again on Friday so I can make a fresh strawberry pie for Dad’s birthday.ย  I also have 1 bag each of sugar snap & snow peas, and a bag of broccoli already frozen, with probably another bag or so of sugar snap in the freezer on a cookie sheet, plus more snow peas and broccoli to be picked/frozen tomorrow.

The black raspberries are just starting to turn red now, so in a few more days we should be having black raspberries, and then in another week or so the blackberries should come in too – and then I’ll really be picking and freezing like mad!!

The gardens are all looking good though – I tied up my tomatoes yesterday, and they’re all 2.5-3.5′ tall already, some with flowers and one actually had a couple ity bity little green tomatoes even! Unfortuantly though, it looks like the chickens have ‘discoverd’ them, and as such I’m pretty sure are eating most of the buds off… I hope the fencing we orderd comes soon (suppoesdly back orderd till the 30th – AAHH!) and we can get them all fenced in and protected… I was happy to find that I can just barely get all of my other stuff fenced in (so my pumpkins & butternut squash, which were formerly just outside are now inside and thus safe from chickens…).

We also just orderd and planted 3 new Reliance grape plants last week, and Kevin now has rather grand plans for a trellis/abor setup for them. And we also now need to order a replacement male “hardy northern kiwi” as ours is very obviously dead – last year we thought it *might* make it, but its definetly, absolutely, 100% dead this year…

The ducks are getting big – they must be at least 10-12″ tall already, and are getting feathers. The light actually busted a couple nights ago, but its been so nice & warm, we haven’t botherd to replace it. They seem to be doing just peachy fine without it – hopefully our neighbor will come and get his here in the next couple days. Once he gets his, I think we’ll try letting them out of the little fence and see how they do – hopefully they stick around and go back in their house at night.

Another year, another garden!

Well, its been nearly a year since I posted on here, but I think I’m going to give this another try. We’ll see how it goes and if I’m able to keep it up or not.

Quite a lot has gone on since my last post, mostly involving lots of canning (I ended up doing 98 quarts & 18 pints of diced tomatoes; 3 quarts & 8 pints of green beans; 26 pints of pickled jalapenos, 4 half-pints of jalapeno jelly & 31 pints of pickled banana peppers; 34 quarts & 17 pints of apple sauce, 17 pints of apple butter, & 22 half gallons ofย  apple cider, 14 quarts of grape juice) freezing (12 bags of green beans, 3 bags of red & 4 bags of green bell peppers, 12 bags of blackberries, 20 bags of blueberries, 3 bags of peaches & 12 bags of strawberries – all in quart size ziplock bags). Over the winter I made some of the berries into jam & used some of the juice for jelly, both for us and to give away at christmas (cause’ like, who doesn’t like homemade jam/jelly/applebutter/blueberry butter?!?!).

Oh, and I got pregnant again ๐Ÿ˜€ So, I’m due on August 11, 2009 with another baby boy. Andros has gotten very big and active and is just a little ball of energy from the moment he wakes up in the morning till he goes to sleep at night (though he thankfully does still take a 1-2 hour nap around 2ish!!). As a result of the new baby, we’ve transitioned him into his own ‘big boy bed’ in my old room (and we got a nice new queen size bed for us:).

And then, of course theres this years garden. We started a whole bunch of tomatoes, peppers & broccoli this year, and they’ve (mostly) all done really well. My broccoli has been in the ground for probably ~1.5 months now, and its just starting to have little broccoli heads – here in another week or two I expect to have broccoli coming out of my ears – we started 48 broccoli plants, had 46 come up, and all but 3 or 4 have survived being put out. I think the ones that died once they were outside did so because of either a lack of water (its been VERY dry here lately), or due to critters digging tunnels/holes underneath them and through their roots. Around the same time I put the broccoli in I also put in a bed of snow & sugar snap peas, both of which are now 2-3′ tall and looking very good. And about a week later we put potatoes in too – which got frosted a bit but look like they’ll survive thanks to mostly having been under the straw still ๐Ÿ˜€

On a seperate note, our grapes got frosted last weekend, along with some other stuff that has *never* been frosted before – my yuccas, bleeding heart & trumpeter vine, along with the potatoes. Thankfully, I didn’t have anything else in, but its just pretty surprising. We were away, but the neighbor who owns the greenhouse I go to said it got down to 28!! On the 16/17th of MAY! How crazy is that?!? Thankfully though, I think everything will survive, though how many grapes we’re going to get this year I don’t know ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Just over the past couple days I’ve gotten most everything else in. Namely all my peppers (76 total – 6 Purria Chili, 6 Ancho/Pablano Chilis, 6 Corno di Toro Sweet Peppers, 6 Rio Grand Hot, 6 Ring O’ Fire Cayannes, 5 Pimientos, 12 Hungarian Hot Wax, 12 Jalapenos, 3 Habaneros, 8 California Bell Peppers & 6 Sweet Red Beautys…), tomatoes (66 total – 6 Amis Paste, 6 Peacevine, 8 Stupice, 8 Santiam, 7 Bavacchi, 8 Dr Wyech’s, 4 Arkansas Travellers, 4 Poland, 8 Peron Sprayless & 7 other heirloom types from a friend…). I do have space for another 4+ tomatoes and a few more that I could plant but just never got transplanted into peat pots. Oh, and I did 7 tomatillos down by my peppers. I also put in 3 Sugar Baby Watermelon’s, 2 zucchini & 6 Straight 8 Cucumbers today – I want to get another dozen or so cucumbers to fill in the rest of that bed with and hopefully have a bumper crop to pickle a bunch ๐Ÿ˜€

So… basicly my garden is in for the year! I do want/need to plant a couple beds of beans, some more squash (pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash & spaghetti squash), cucumbers & possibly another melon or two of some sort, but BASICLY, the bulk of my garden is in – now its just keep it up!! ๐Ÿ˜€ And this year, we’re prepared to combat the powdery mildew & other blights we had last year, we hope. I plan on spraying my tomatoes for the first time here in a little bit or tommorrow at the absolute latest!! I’ll try and post pictures of everything in the next few days:D