Friday, April 3, 2009

A Death in the Garden

I've had a death in the garden yesterday. It is so sad. I went to look at my seedlings outside. They have been penned up for two days in their plastic tunnel because of the rain. Chardla and Peppy were bent over and and breathing no longer. They couldn't take the cold wet air and succumbed to the vapors... err damping off.

I'll spare you the ugly photos of their dying bodies, but suffice it to say, I quickly removed their soil blocks so the rest of the seedlings wouldn't be frightened to death.

It is my fault. They died through neglect. My indoor seedlings get sprayed with chamomile tea to prevent such disasters. The outside ones were left to their own devices. Usually this is fine. The heavy winds gentle breezes we get here in the spring usually prevent such ugliness from happening outside. But they were placed in the tunnel without any opening for two days straight. I knew the pepper was a hot house plant, yet I made her live in the cold outdoors. I'm not surprised she succumbed. But the chard. I can only blame myself. Sob!

To try to rectify my mistake I immediately opened up the tunnel ends permanently. I brought the flat out of the tunnel and will leave the plants out over night since it will be warm. I'll only close them if we are going to get below freezing weather at night, which isn't predicted for a while. Then I sprinkled the rest with cinnamon and sprayed them with chamomile tea. I hope that is enough to strengthen their constitution and let them fight off this insidious disease.

This morning as I went out with trepidation, I saw two of my cabbages starting to bend over. Gack! Will they be my next victims of neglect?


  1. Gack! My sympathies, Daphne! Though "neglect" is hardly a word I'd associate with you and your plants!

  2. Hi Daphne, please accept my condolences on your loss. We have solved the damping off problem with a sprinkling of vermiculite when sowing. I don't know if vermiculite is considered a bad thing, organicwise, but it completely eliminated damping off in my cool wet greenhouse since we started using it a few years ago. A bag will last several years, it doesn't take much.

  3. Daphne, that is too bad.
    I did not know about using cinnamon or chamomile tea> This is another good reason for being part of the Blotanical family. I am learning by leaps and bounds. Thank you Daphne.

  4. Our Friend Ben, Well they certainly weren't pampered like the indoor seedlings. I'll start doing that however.

    Frances, Vermiculite is fine for organic gardens. I need to get some anyway for my tomato pots this year. I should get it now before I start my tomatoes.

    Jennifer, Yes they are the old time remedies for such things. I love old time garden lore.

  5. Sorry about the demise of your little plants, Daphne. I have to admit I was guilty of just the opposite...I left an entire tray outside in the cold wind with no protection. Just plain forgot that I hadn't put it back under its plastic protection. By the time I noticed it sitting forlornly in the corner of the garden, it was too late. The poor babies had completely dehydrated.

  6. When that happens to my plants, so lovingly raised from seed, I feel like a plant serial killer! LOL, I really do feel bad for them.

    How that jives with the fact that I plan on devouring everything they produce, I'm not quite sure yet. :)

  7. Peppers out already, now that's extreme gardening. To bad about the damping off. I remember the first time I experienced damping off, so devastating. I have used cinnamon in the past, it works pretty well. I always keep 'no damp' on hand in case of a medical emergency.

  8. That's a bummer, Daphne. I messed up some of my tomato seedlings by giving them too much exposure to the elements the first time. I know exactly how ya feel.


  9. Oh, the drama!! Who said gardening is a gentle art or science.

  10. I'm so sorry for your losses! The same thing happened with my indoor sown Angelonia this spring. Next year I will have to try your tip about the Chamomile tea spray.

  11. Annie's Granny, ah poor things. If you'd put them in a corner of the garden here they would have been over watered by nature. We have had a lot of rain and fog this last week.

    ChristyACB, yup we really do want our plants to die, but only at the right time. Like just before eating them.

    Dan, I kept most of them inside. There was just one that didn't fit in with the rest of the peppers. I didn't think I was going to plant it anyway, so thought I'd see if it could stand up to being outside where there was lots of space.

    engineeredgarden, we all make mistakes. I'm just going to have to be more careful. I should let them breath occasionally. I still might lose some, but probably less often.

    Barbee, yes gardening does have its dramas. At least this one was a small one that I could laugh at.

    perennialgardener, oh no the dreaded damping off strikes again. Hopefully I won't get anymore. But you never know. I'm afraid now to go out to the garden and check on the cabbage seedlings. I did start a couple of more blocks just in case.

  12. You have a wonderful blog - I am thankful that I followed another gardener site over to yours. I am very sorry to hear about your lose!

    The blooms will be coming soon.

  13. Bren, Thanks for the condolences.

    Antigonum Cajan, I think they are now worm food. I hope that is peace to a plant.

  14. Oh, that's always so sad. Oh well, that's the price we pay for starting our own seeds. We have to let a few of them go.