Monday, July 13, 2009

A Bunch of "Firsts"

The weather for most of last week returned to the same as we experienced in June, cool and rainy. However, the weekend was mostly sunny and warm and this upcoming week is the first that looks to be more normal for this time of year. We may even see the sun every day! I hope so as I am on vacation from work.

I took advantage of the cooler morning temperatures yesterday to putter around the garden a bit. I weed wacked the grass between the beds, pulled a few weeds growing in the SFG, and topped off the water levels in the SWCs.

I also added some all purpose granular fertilizer to all the plants in the SFG and traditional garden. They can use the extra boost right now.

According to Mel Bartholomew, author of All New Square Foot Gardening, "Mel's Mix" for the SFGs is composed of 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost from five different sources. The reason for using compost from five different sources is to provide a more complete nutrition for your plants eliminating the need for additional fertilizers.

When I build the SFG, I was only able to find compost from three different sources; so I added a granular fertilizer to the planting holes when I first planted. With all the rain we have experienced, the fertilizer I used when planting is probably long gone so I added more according to the package directions, scratched it in the soil, and I watered in.

Here are some pictures taken over the weekend:

Some of the Lettuce looks like it is about to bolt, so we will have to eat this up soon:

The first Pole Bean has reached the trellis:

The first Fast Break Melon is growing! It was the only female blossom among all three plants. It was raining and I didn't see a bee anywhere. So I took matters into my own hands. I self-pollinated this one and am thrilled that it is growing:

The first Jalapeno Pepper:

The first Eggplant blossom that succeeded to bloom. A few others have tried, but the cold wet weather we had usually caused them to fall off before could completely open:

I'm not sure if you can see the Aphids in the picture above on a leaf just to the right of the flower? They are doing a number on the eggplants. I was just about ready to give them a spray of soapy water when I spotted this beautiful Lady Beetle:

She is the first that I have seen with this coloration. I left her alone to take care of business.

I've been trying to research the problems that appeared on my Roma Tomato leaves in the SWC (original post). Nothing I have seen so far seems to exactly match the leaf discoloration and slight curling. There are many causes of yellowing leaves from overwatering, underwatering, nutrition deficiency, and disease.

I have posted the pictures in several GardenWeb forums, but have not received any responses yet. I know I should be patient, but if there is something I can do to improve the situation, I want to do it as soon as possible. Also, if it is some sort of disease, I want to remove these plants before it spreads to my others.

So for now I am still without an answer, but leaning on overwatering leading to a nutrition deficiency because of all the rain we have expereinced. I drilled another hole in the SWC on the opposite side of the original. Water did drain out since the container is not level. Then for quick results, I used a 15-30-15 liquid fertilizer mixed per the package directions as both a foliar spray and a bit to drink at the roots.

Incidentally, the Roma sucker that I have rooted came from these two plants. It is not showing the same symptoms. I am both concerned and frustrated that I can't figure it out. I am going to watch these Romas carefully.


  1. Very nice picture of a lady beetle "in action!" It looks like it might be an orange-spotted lady beetle...

  2. Yes, it does look like the pics of the link you provided. She was smaller than the normal lady beetles we have around here and slightly thinner too. Thanks :)

  3. I'm so jealous of your little melon! I have tons of flowers, but not a melon in sight. I'm afraid it's getting to late for mine to mature if they ever do show up.