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Archive for August, 2013

We’ve officially lost all but two of our summer squash plants. The zucchini plants are still doing OK, but we’re probably going to lose one of them. The leaves are turning yellow, some are wilting and it seems like there is some powdery mildew on others.

The zucchini has powdery mildew but is recovering after we sprayed it with milk solution.

The zucchini has powdery mildew but is recovering after we sprayed it with milk solution.

Powdery mildew is pretty common and widespread, and it is usually humidity and cool nights that create ideal conditions for it to grow.

To help control it, we’ve been using a mix of baking soda and water. It’s about a teaspoon of baking soda to a quart of water.

I also read that milk and water (1 part milk to nine parts water) can help.

We have tried dousing the leaves with both solutions and it seems to be working.

The milk solution appears to be the better of the two, and we mixed about three parts, so our spray was about three ounces of milk to 32 ounces of water.

There are still some baby zucchini and flowers on the plants, so we might get a few more later.

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Our sauce topped breaded and baked eggplant and zucchini. We cooked the pasta but didn't eat it because the veggies were very filling.

Our sauce topped baked eggplant and zucchini. We cooked the pasta but didn’t eat it because everything else was so filling.

Usually “homemade” tomato sauce for us is adding a can of crushed tomatoes and herbs to sautéed onions and garlic. Recently we tried to make sauce with the bowlful of Roma tomatoes we picked from the garden, and it was one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

It’s a lot of steps but worth it. We served it on top of baked and breaded zucchini and eggplant from our garden.

There are a million different recipes out there – some say to remove the seeds because they turn bitter, but that wasn’t a problem for us.

Here’s what you need*: any kind of tomato, herbs, onions, garlic, red wine, salt & pepper.

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This year we decided to try something new and saved some space in our raised beds for borage and nasturtium. Both these plants can attract beneficial insects like bees but they also repel a whole host of bugs.

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Our tomato plants are amazing this year. We’re thrilled, of course, but recently noticed an issue on one of our cherry tomato plants.

Yellow and brown spots on our cherry tomato plant leaves.

Yellow and brown spots on our cherry tomato plant leaves.

Some of the leaves are yellowing and then turning brown. It’s not on every leaf, but there are quite a few with these spots. I’ve been doing some research and am still not sure what’s wrong.

It could be blight, septoria leaf spot or bugs. Most of the signs point to septoria because the plants are otherwise healthy. There isn’t much we can do, but we’ve removed the affected leaves and will keep monitoring the plant.

It’s still producing lots of tomatoes so that’s a plus.

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This is still the best year we’ve ever had for zucchini but not everything is perfect.

Quite a few of the baby zucchini have formed only to shrivel and die before they grew into a decent squash. While unfortunate, it’s totally normal and just means they didn’t get properly pollinated.

There aren’t always enough bees to pollinate the flowers, so we had to take matters into our own hands. It’s actually a pretty simple process.

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It looks like we might actually get some blackberries. After the rabbits chewed the plant to sticks, there are a bunch of blackberry clusters on the plant. It’s less than what we would normally expect, but still better than what we thought.

Now if only we can keep the birds from eating the berries before we get to them.

Blackberries making a comeback

Blackberries making a comeback

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