Poor Mr. Stripey

Cherry tomatoes – check. We have plenty of those things. Cherokee Purple tomatoes – check. We haven’t had many, but they have been delicious. Love the color, too.  My lunch today was a juicy tomato sandwich featuring my latest Cherokee Purple.

Sliced Cherokee Purple

Sliced Cherokee Purple

But then there are my two Mr. Stripey plants. Every tomato so far has been a mess. I posted a picture of one here that was full of holes around the shoulders. Little did I know that would be my best of harvest so far. The others I’ve picked have had some kind of rot – yuk! I’m not sure exactly what kind of disease this is, does anyone else know?  I’m guessing it’s fungal. Here are the clues I can recognize.

2013-07-27 13.54.58 2013-07-27 13.56.07 Mr. Stripey #2 with rotMr. Stripey tomato with rot

The Mr. Stripey area is poorly mulched compared to the other tomato areas.

The Mr. Stripey plants were planted later than the other tomato plants and, I confess, were indifferently staked. The tomatoes have been closer to the soil, and the soil was not mulched well enough to keep splatter off.

Finally, we have had more rain than I can remember in an Alabama summer. It’s pouring right now, in fact, and I have only had to water the garden once since May.

I have the Mr. Stripeys better staked now, and I hope the next ones will be healthier. I must say, the parts that weren’t rotted were gorgeous and yummy!

2013-07-27 14.00.24 Mr. Stripey tomato sliced

In other garden news, the winter squash and the Cherokee Tears beans have sprouted, and the bell peppers look like they might give the hyper-productive cherry tomatoes a run for their money if the rain keeps up. The plants are loaded! I also harvested my little crop of shallots grown from slips. I know May planting is ridiculously late (or early) for the onion family but I enjoyed them. They are drying on the dining room table now.

I also have a community garden plot that I checked this afternoon. The soil is poor and I didn’t amend it nearly enough, so most of my plantings are sad indeed. The exceptions are my zinnias and my carrots. I have the most beautiful carrot tops in the universe!  I planted my seed about May 15. After sixty days I had nice tops but no swelling of the root. Pulled up a plant for a 75-day test today and the roots are starting to swell. Isn’t it cute?

Carrot 75 days after seeding


After snapping this picture I washed it off and ate it. Pardon my city girl thrill, but it tasted just like a carrot!

Soon I need to start picking limas so they aren’t too huge and mealy. Updates to come!

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