Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Gardener's Heartbreak=Blight

The disappointment that comes in having to take out all my potato plants and half of my tomatoes, can be summed up in a poem I love by William Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

There is no doubt that home gardeners take pride and joy in growing a fabulous tomato, there is nothing else like it. I think everyone at the garden, all 167 gardeners are growing tomatoes.  There is pride that comes in spending the time to put in the starts, pruning the plants, weeding, watering then waiting until the fruit ripens.  So much depends on that glorious, sweet, better than the supermarket tomato, that tomato is a confirmation that we can grow with our own hands what money cannot buy. 

This is a sad photo of all my potato plants as well as half of my tomato plants.  I wanted to pull the plants before all the fruit and spuds got affected.  I did not get many spuds but I got some.  No tomatoes to speak of though.

 The telltale sign of blight, purple and/or black stems on tomato plants. 

Same thing with potatoes, they get purple or black stems, their leaves and stems get brown spots on them and then they turn yellow and wilt.

Same purple and black stems on potato plants.

To read up about blight, see this link from WSU: