Thursday, July 15, 2010
Attention-getters on Hot Humid Days: Mildew, Pollination and Leaf Spot
This is that time of year when the air can hang there damp and still even at dawn, so this is the time to be diligent about early morning watering habits. Mildew and fungus can play culprit in the garden under moist-air conditions. An early watering allows the leaves all day to dry before they have to endure another muggy night. In fact, your best option is to give the garden a soaking right at soil level as opposed to shooting jets of water at the leaves, that is unless you're purposely trying to knock off garden pests like aphids. Further pointers on dealing with humidity-related garden troubles can be found at a number of websites. Here's one for example:
Another thing to keep in mind is that certain types of plants, bush beans for instance, don't pollinate well when humidity and night temperatures (they're night pollinators) run too high. Don't be surprised if your bush bean production drops off during a hot, humid spell. Pole beans fare better. Again, great info can be found at sites that include forums for your questions like:
Besides the rule of morning watering, I also followed the rule of tiptoeing--not through the tulips, but through the tomatoes! Signs of gray leaf spot are showing up on my tomatoes, yet another thing to watch for in hot damp weather. Try to remove affected leaves without making any unnecessary contact with healthy leaves, especially if the they are wet. More valuable information on both gray leaf spot and blight can be found at:
Gray leaf spot or no, I still had plenty of tomatoes come indoors. One day or so in the window should provide me with a modest batch of salsa. Look for a salsa-canning post coming soon!