Last Rites

Larry and I have come back into the unairconditioned house a dirty sweaty mess from pulling out all the beautiful tomato plants we had so lovingly nurtured the past two months.

Two days before I left for the Cape, the plants developed the blight. I knew when I returned that they would be close to being destroyed, and about half of the plant, and 85% of the tomatoes succumbed to late season blight.

"Be glad you are not a farmer whose livelihood depends upon his/her crops" Karen said.

Still I was pissed and sad. I had not bought my plants at a box store. They had been raised in a greenhouse in school, and had the best soil. In retrospect, I may have planted them too close together, and next season only three or four plants will go into a raised bed, with lettuce or herbs planted around the edges. I had staked them, and mulched them, both of which are supposed to help prevent the blight. Oddly enough, the tomatoes in the other garden, a mere 10' or so away, the cherries and big boys, which sprawl over the soil, and are NOT mulched, have fared much better, and I am at least getting a crop of orange cherries from them.

So I gave them last rites, found a handful of tomatoes that may be OK to ripen on their own, and proceeded to rip up all of the plants and put them in four contractors bags and out on the curb for the garbage.

I was going to photograph them and give you a before and after, but I prefer to remember them as huge, green, and healthy. The only consolation is that most people I know also lost their crop, so I am not without sympathetic friends.

Patti O Tomato Failure

PS still have great herbs, and the Swiss chard is still rocking, and the purple bush beans are about ready to pick. Once I tidy up the old bed, I will reseed with arugula and spinach, and hope they will get big enough for a late season crop!


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