Tuesday, June 19, 2012

spring garden update

My soil is sad, grapes love decomposed granite but veggies don't. I have been composting since we moved and for the last few months tilling in the girls droppings as well all in hopes of infusing some much needed nutrients and growing strong healthy plants. For the most part with regular feedings the garden seems to be much more healthy than last summers crops and doing well.

Now that the heat is here though i am battling a gazillion black aphids on my chard and zucchini plants and now all of my tomato plants are experiencing blossom end rot due to week plants.  I have researched and am pretty confidant my calcium levels are low for the tomato plants since the watering is consistent.  I purchased some lime and gypsum but held off due to the toxicity this option offers. 

I am spraying a mixture of dish soap, water and oil onto the leaves to help rid the aphids and have done this before with varied results. Today while at the Vet supply store picking up hoof supplements for Chance i noticed they have bone supplement for horses. This is a mixture of calcium and phosphate and since its edible i figure it's got to be better than the gypsum so i grabbed a bucket, drove home and with much anticipation i sprinkled it around the base of each plant and watered. Fingers crossed this works... i have over a dozen plants growing and am dreaming about canning my sauce later this summer.

Spring garden harvest totals
red potatoes 39
onions 50 plus red's still in the ground
chard no idea. I'll weight it next year as the harvest is long, we've been enjoying it since last fall
cabbage, 1 lost the others to gophers
lettuce, 8 heads, lost most to squirrels
zucchini 5 and just getting started
grapefruit, too many to count we've enjoyed a few dozen

Eggs 98

The music man has fortified the fence around the garden and after several modifications i have a good handle on the rabbits, i haven't seen a new gopher hole and the traps have been empty for a while now. We've also enlarged the girls coop and doubled the size of their yard.  I hope to pick up a squirrel trap soon but in the meantime the pellet gun is working to slow them down.

The summer solstice is just a couple days away and our summer fruit and veggies are off to a great start if i can just get a handle on the aphids.

What have you planted for your summer crops and have you ever had to deal with blossom rot? I would love to hear if and how you got your plants back to health.


  1. sorry to hear about the battle in the garden...
    if the blooms fall off the tomato plants that will occur when it's been over watered...
    not sure this could be the issue but they do tend to like to stay a bit drier than wet.

    Chance is looking quite handsome in his summer shine...sounds like all is well on the farm.

  2. Thanks Kyle, the watering is consistent and the fruit is growing really well but as it matures the bottom of the tomato literally is rotting. I am hoping the calcium sup will correct this.
    Chance is doing so well and i am having such a great time with him. Hope you can meet him soon. xx's

  3. Gardening is always a challenge, isn't it? I'm working on trying to boost my soil fertility too. One thing I've found that is excellent for blossom end rot, are foliar calcium sprays, available in any store's garden section (usually.) They don't cure the tomatoes that already have it, but the next batch is usually just fine. I'm also adding dolomitic limestone to my beds, at the rate recommended on the package. Calcium is so key. I recently read it helps the soil retain moisture during dry spells!

  4. @Leigh, i have been researching but was unsure of the gypsum, glad i didn't go that route. SO toxic. Thank you for the info, it's great to have another opinion. I was naive when we moved here at thought the soil in wine country was going to be awesome... haha it's not but with continued supplimetns i'm getting there and looking forward to healthy plants that can battle nature on their own. thanks again

  5. My friend...you are a determined soul. I love it, (and I envy it as well). After battling so many varmints and other gardening issues over the years, I am so grateful for the produce section of Baron's.

  6. I have something scary on my tomatoes...
    I'm too cowardly to go investigate at night because I'm certain it's horn worms....

    thankgoodness for the downtown farmer's market.
    I'm going tonight to buy bugfree tomatoes:)

  7. Wow!
    What a total!
    So sad about the cabbages, those nasty gophers!

  8. Kyle
    Oh no if you have horn worms you need to get them off right away. They can and will consume an entire plant quickly... I know the market you visit and it IS a good one :) miss the days we used to meet up there for a snack and cold one.

    Thanks Hesper!