Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

At PAR Davies we're having troubles.  Our tomatoes are infested with aphids and look pitiful.  Some of the fruit is split:

This problem is really beyond our control.  Tomatoes split due to flucuations in watering.  We have a drip irrigation system that waters on a schedule.  But then we've had very, very hot weather for several weeks, followed by thunderstorms this last week.  So we suspect that the garden maybe didn't get quite enough water for a period, then got too much.  Leave these tomatoes on the vine too long and this is what you get - it's not for the squeamish:

Yuk, right? We decided to harvest what we could and begin pulling up and destroying the plants.  So disappointing.  How did this happen, you ask?  Why didn't we apply some kind of control?  The answer is simple:  the few volunteers who work in this garden are doing good to keep up with basic tasks like planting and harvesting.  The time to inspect and head off problems before they overwhelm a crop is a luxury we don't have.  Add the lack of funds to the lack of time and you see the result above.  If not for the huge generosity of our volunteers, who pay for many items out of pocket, we would not be able to operate.  The MAMG organization contributes significantly, but it's still not enough.

On the bright side, we delivered 77 pounds of produce to the Food Bank yesterday!

We're struggling with the problem.  If you have an idea, let us know.

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