Katie Smith reporting from Scott County
It started with a long, snowy and cold winter, followed by a rush to till and get the garden in before Mother’s Day. Then it came the sun. And the heat. Temperatures soared into the high 80s to mid-90s for weeks. Generally East Tennessee gets rain at least a few times a week, but during this particular spring, Scott County had what some called a drought. Strangers and friends alike commented on how we should pray for rain. With extra watering, my rain barrel finally ran out, but the plants did slowly break through.
Then came the heavy rainfall for a couple of weeks. The garden was a sloppy mess. Friends commented on waterlogged tomatoes with yellowing leaves. I noticed that my small okra fruit looked like a rotted flower bud. The stems of the kale started to rot and stink where they meet the dirt and I had to pull some of them up. Quick research shows that okra/squash rot may be prevented by removing a few of the bottom leaves: http://msucares.com/newsletters/pests/infobytes/19960813.htm
Has anyone had experience with kale rot? Or waterlogged tomatoes? Is there anything else we can do, other than pray for more sun? Please comment to the left and share your experience.