Monthly Archives: November 2016

Early Blight is Killing My Tomatoes

Does this happen to you?  In the middle of the summer do you think “Early blight is killing my tomatoes?”  Do you know what early blight looks like?  Check out this post on tomatoes and early blight for a picture of beginning early blight on the tomato leaves.  It just gets worse from there on in.  The leaves turn completely brown and die.  I have written a few posts on tomatoes and early blight.  I want to encourage you now: not to give up on your tomatoes when they get early blight in the summer time.  Each year I supplement my tomato plants with lots of compost.  They always get some early blight but most of the time the tomato plant does not die.

Don’t Give Up: Early Blight is Killing My Tomatoes

It has taken me a few years to fully realize this.  If you plant your tomatoes with lots of compost, they will re-grow after they are attacked by early blight.  I have never had a tomato plant fully die from early blight.  There is something about our humid hot summers that encourages early blight.  Then towards the end of the summer the tomato plants start to rejuvenate.  Tomatoes are very hardy plants.  If they lay on the ground they will sprout new roots.  Once they start to re-grow they do very well.  In the early fall you will see all kinds of new growth.  The leaves and stems killed by early blight shrivel away and become inconspicuous amidst all the new growth.  And you can get lots of cherry tomatoes right up until the first frost.

early-blight-is-killing-my-tomatoesIt is really amazing how a tomato plant can come back after early blight.  I used to cut off all the leaves that were damaged.  This year I didn’t do that and still the tomatoes came back.  By the end of fall I had so many cherry tomatoes on lush, green, tall plants.  The ones in particular are the plants that my father gave me which I have no name for and this year I planted Amy Apricot Cherry tomatoes and they were prolific!  They are an heirloom and very delicious. Well worth growing!  Above is a picture of the Amy Apricot tomatoes in the fall.  You can see the new green growth.  You can also see the leaves and stems that were killed by early blight all dried up and brown.  It is quite a contrast so don’t give up on your tomatoes in the summer if they are dying.  It is possible that they will rejuvenate for the fall.

Mindfulness and Appreciation in the Garden

How many of us need to learn mindfulness and appreciation in the garden?  Everyone is in such a rush and our world moves so quickly.  Do we ever take time for mindfulness and appreciation in the garden?  I am writing in memory of my father who recently died.  He taught me a love of gardening. I will always be thankful for this gift of love.  He did some quirky things like using fish as garden fertilizer.  By remembering his behavior I could learn a subtle lesson.  I have not mastered this lesson yet.  He was excellent in this behavior and didn’t need any lessons in mindfulness and appreciation in the garden.

Mindfulness and Appreciation in the Garden Demonstration

After any job or project in the garden my father would sit in his lawn chair and have a beer.  Then he would just look over what he had accomplished.   It didn’t matter whether it was building his sheds, roto-tilling the garden, burying fish, axing out a huge stump, or planting tomato seedlings.  My father would always sit afterwards and look over what he had done.  I realize now that he was modeling lessons in mindfulness and appreciation.  It would be very beneficial to me if I could learn how to do this.

Always Rushing From One Task to the Next…

mindfulness-and-appreciation-in-the-gardenIn my busy life I have lots of goals.  We all do!  I always say let’s celebrate when we accomplish a goal.  One example is after we picked all the tomatoes and peppers from our garden before the first frost.  I want to take the time to acknowledge that we finished and did a good job.  I want to be mindful of our task and appreciate that we have all these great vegetables near the end of November.  Then have some relaxation as a reward for finishing.  But I often don’t really acknowledge the ending.  I just move on to the next task.  I would like to learn from my father how to take the time for mindfulness and appreciation in the garden after tasks finished and well done.  Maybe we could sit in our lawn chairs, look over the bowls filled with our harvest, look over our garden that has produced so much this summer–and be mindful and appreciate.  And maybe have a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy!

This is another great article about mindfulness in the garden–a different approach!