Sunday, July 23, 2017

The good, the bad and the ugly! A garden update!

Oh folks, I love my garden, but I wonder whether it loves me. I've been dealing with Blossom End Root or BER. BER is a problem, or so the scientists say, with the plant getting enough calcium. Supposedly adding agriculture lime to the potting soil addresses this, but it didn't fix it for me. 

Picture taken June 18. 


Supposedly first fruits often get BER and the plants fix themselves. 


A respected scientist/gardener wonders if I'm having such a hard time with BER because of fluoride in my city water. Fluoride binds to calcium and the plant can't absorb it. So, next year I've got to get rain barrels up and collecting water each rain. 


I've picked and thrown well over 40 tomatoes with BER. You're not to leave them on the plant. Not because it can spread, but so that the plant doesn't continue to put energy into a fruit that has BER. It's so sad!


I am getting some tomatoes. This is from the 8th of July and is my biggest harvest to date. These are the first cucumbers I picked. The middle one probably needed to grow longer. The green tomato was plucked by mistake. 

So, there's the ugly (BER) and good (still get some tomatoes). The bad is the squash plants. I'm pulling the squash plants, cantaloupe and bell peppers on July 27 if I don't have any fruit set on each. Save my water for the cucumbers and tomatoes. The tomatoes self pollinate with a wind, of which we have here in Kansas. The other plants need pollinators and I don't have many. Also the cucumber beetles are getting the pollen before the bees can do their thing. 

No pollinators mean fruit either don't produce or they do, but quickly wilt and fall off. Here's an example of a pumpkin that wasn't pollinated correctly. 


Here are my zucchini with the same problem. 


I've tried using a kids paint brush to pollinate the squash, but it hasn't worked yet.  The cucumbers look sad. They produce a lot of cukes, but they only grow maybe an inch, turn yellow and shrivel up. Suggestions were to hand pollinate or make my yard more bee friendly. Or my suggestion; next year only plant tomatoes! 

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