Saturday, July 24, 2010

Everyone's Got Issues

Seems like everyone has issues these days, including my plants, though I suppose 80% of this blog discusses my plant issues. Something's always going wrong! At least it's still fun and seeing new problems forces me to learn more about gardening in order to try and come up with solutions.

Today, I went up on the roof and the first thing I saw was the shriveled and rotten looking tomatoes on this plant! They look fearsome!
And it's not blossem end rot because it didn't start from the bottoms and in fact, the other tomatoes on the plant are fine.
When I tried picking the branch off the plant, the larger rotten tomato smashed to the ground with a disgusting splat. This came off and upon inspection, a round little hole... Must be some kind of insect! WAH! I bet it's still eating up my tomato from the insides. I guess I'll just hope this doesn't spread. I don't have that many tomatoes!
Another issue I found was that the zucchini and squash I saw last week have shriveled up and died! The yellow squash is a total goner. This zucchini is larger but shriveled. I don't think it will ever look right. My suspicion is inadequate pollination, once again. It was a problem with the watermelons and these related cucurbitae also require large amounts of pollen to grow fruit properly.
After some googling, I have learned that these flowers can be hand-pollinated in the mornings. This yellow squash is probably a goner, as the flower is already dried up and I don't think there are any pollinators around. It's probably not too late for the little one next to it, though. Another issue could be that the plant is stressed from the heat, inadequate nutrients, or other issues and the female flowers are not opening up. I will try to get on the roof early every morning to check the status of the flowers and hand-pollinate if things look right and sexytime. Another alternative I may try later is planting lots of bee-attracting flowers (though that may not help if the bees are too lazy to visit the cucurbits and if the flowers themselves are not opening because they are stressed). I could also start a bee hive, though that seems a little scary!! I wish my neighbor had a bee hive I didn't have to take care of... =) (sorry about the blurry pic. I was standing awkwardly and couldn't see what I was shooting at.)
This blueberry plant is still making tasty berries! The only issue here is not enough berries!

6 comments:

meemsnyc said...

How big are your blueberry plants? We planted blueberry too and it's not growing bigger. Sorry to hear about the tomatos. Hopefully it is just a bug that affected only a few tomatos.

Laura said...

My plants aren't very big. The one that is fruiting now has just a few fruit and just 2 branches sticking out of the pot! It grows pretty slowly. Just a couple branches every year.

The other bushes are more substantial and they actually had lots of flowers in the spring, but I didn't water them so they suffered severely from drought and had no berries. They are small varieties of blueberries that people commonly grow in pots.

Thanks for your concern about the tomatoes!

V said...

Lame! I'm having pretty much the exact same problems too- shriveling squash and struggling tomatoes. Must be the heat! Guess we're all in the same boat coast to coast...

Amy said...

Oh no, your poor little tomatoes! Lovely to see how you're doing up on your roof garden though. I'm trying a similar thing, seeing how much I can grow on my three sunny London windowsills...

Laura said...

V, definitely lame. Have you checked on the pollination situation for your squash? That could be a problem. I also think it might be a problem with certain heirloom varieties of tomatoes which are not as easily self-pollinated. I'll have to figure out what to do about that for myself.

Amy, good luck with your window garden! I have great success with basil and spearmint on my windows, and also thyme these days. Rosemary and oregano do not seem to be growing very quickly though.

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.