Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mustard R.I.P.

Today I finished the chores I was supposed to do. I put away the hoop tunnel over the tomatoes and peppers and caged the tomatoes. My tomato cages are dying. They are horribly rusted. Some of the wires have become unwelded and they stick out. I have to be careful to not impale myself on them when picking the tomatoes. I’m not quite ready to replace them yet, but I will have to soon.

Then I put up a hoop tunnel right next door to the tomatoes. It is where the eggplants will go as soon as the weather warms a bit more. Despite their late start, the eggplants are doing quite well. They are outside every day under a tunnel and inside every night. I lost one of the six pack to damping off disease a couple of weeks ago, but the rest seemed to have survived.

The plastic I used for the tunnel is old and was starting to rip along a crease. As I picked it up to put it on it ripped halfway across. Luckily the piece was still large enough to cover the eggplants, but this meant I had a three foot by 7’ wide piece of plastic. Old but not dead yet. I cut it in half and wrapped the two pieces around two of my tomato cages. This will keep the heavy winds we keep having off those two tomatoes and in addition will serve as a wind break for the one in the middle. Our winds have been ferocious this spring. At least one day every week the weatherman tells us we will have gusts up to 50mph. The plants do not like this at all.

All of my warm weather vegetables are up except my basil. I did transplants of Italian basil, but I also wanted to grow lemon and holy basil. I put the seed in a while ago and haven’t seen anything. So last night I put out some more seed. Maybe this will sprout? At least my pumpkins, cucumbers and beans are all up. All three varieties of beans are up now and for the life of me I can’t remember where I planted which variety. I know the yard long beans, because I planted two poles of them in the back. But the front two poles could have either Fortex or Kentucky Wonder. How will I tell them apart? I really need to label things. I tell myself I’ll remember where things go, but I never do.

I have sad news. My poor Giant Red Mustard bit the dust. Actually two of them did and a tatsoi. They have been slowly wilting and seem fairly dead right now. I’m sure it is death by cabbage maggot. The mustard was obviously their favorite. My turnips are also being decimated. I didn’t plant many, just a couple of square feet, but a cutworm has found them and is mowing them down and I can’t find him. I’ll keep looking every morning. Eventually he will be punished for his misdeeds.

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