Heather here.

Back from a two-week vacation in Washington state, where I hail from, I actually had a break from the rain.

I really don’t know what to do with it dumping rain every other hour, clouds, humidity, heat storms, and no sun.

Isn’t the constant overcast sky and dampness supposed to be a Seattle thing? And this is even on an extreme other level–it will be torrential downpour just absolutely soaking everything, with heavy-weighted drops falling at a rate that is quite alarming–and the rain is chilly! Hello? Isn’t this THE SOUTH in AUGUST?

I’m really considering sending a letter.

Fungus spores are having a field day. There is so much blight, powdery mildew, unknown black, yellow, gray spots, melons rotting on the ground, basil leaves turning black, and in some cases leaves turning yellow from too much water.

Huh? When soil is not able to drain root systems can literally drown. Leaves show symptoms by yellowing, just like a plant with too little water would. But in this case the leaves are dying of lack of water because the root system to provide them with water is no longer functioning.

Too much water can also affect fruit flavor negatively. Without sun to aide in the sugar-creating processes, fruit flavor is compromised. The extra water will help fill fruits out, but without flavor. Sometimes fruit will develop too fast, causing thin skins, bursting, and more easily accessible terrain for fungus. And a lot of fruit just plain isn’t ripening but is in some sort of waiting game.  I commend our first-year gardeners for not throwing in the towel as this year has been frustrating.

All my squash leaves are grey and wilted like defeated umbrellas. However, the butternuts appear to be in a good way as far as ripening, so I believe that with the amount of healthy vine-matter left they will be alright, in this race between foliage and fungus.  There are rust issues, and even the bell peppers appear to be affected by a fungus. Several eggplants have just succumbed to root rot, unusual as their death is usually by flea beetle.  And the corn filled out, but sugar content appeared way reduced.

If it’s not one thing it’s your mother!

I can’t even get in the garden without compacting the soil and sliding in the mud.

All these complaints are relevant  as Grow Your Own gardeners have reported all the same issues. Reduced yields, reduced garden time, exploding vegetative growth and weed issues.

Also, deer have found our garden and keep mowing it down. We haven’t yet picked tomatoes other than cherries because they keep eating them! Fence-time….

On a positive note, Mark Walden came out to EFIA to build a high tunnel with us for two days. It is a beauty. Pounding in those posts was a challenge. I love the sliding door, the possibilities this high tunnel will give us, and also the opportunity to work with Mark. He’s a patient man with dry wit and humor. Another positive note, squash blossoms stuffed with brown rice, ricotta, and oyster mushrooms, thrown on the grill, and a caprese salad.


group high tunnel photo high tunnel group funny Jody and Deni building tunnel adjusting plastic  roll down sides squash blossomscaprese salad