Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring Vegetables and Garden Contest Update (I'm Winning!)

So, here's a picture of my raised bed. I've chocked it full of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, pole beans, and okra. I think it's looking pretty good.

Here's my husband's bed. He's only got tomatoes, peppers, corn, and a little okra planted. He was planning on planting more corn and some watermelon seedlings. But, he's run into a little problem.

Here's the problem. See how the new growth on the tomatoes is curling up? We've been watching it for a couple of days and it's just getting worse. He did a couple of things different in his bed than I did in mine. First, he added composted horse manure. I just added new potting soil. He also planted his tomotoes about a week before me. Mine came from the same six pack, but don't seem to be affected.

Last night was our 4-H meeting and we're lucky enough to have several very expert parents in our group. The UF nematologist is one of the dads and he took the first look at them. Definitely not nematodes, maybe herbicide damage. John hasn't sprayed anything since last fall. One of the moms is a doctor of plant medicine (DPM) student, she thought it could be something viral, soil based, or herbicide also. Our speaker last night was our county horticulture agent. She thought it might be tomato curly leaf (or top - I'm not sure which) virus. They all took samples back and we'll see what they say. I have to say, it comes in pretty handy being in a university town sometimes. The DPM student did tell him that if this is happening to his new growth, then that's not a good sign and he would be best to rip them up and start over (just in case it is viral). So, John did the only thing he could do and ripped them up. He also ripped up his peppers since they also were starting to look a little affected. I don't think he'll be planting anything in the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes - just about everything that we put in the spring garden) just to be on the safe side. So, he's going to plant more corn and watermelon.

So this means, I'M WINNING!

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