And so, a few very minor issues showed up today, just in time for Friday 13th. I experienced the very first deer nibbles of the season, which caused me to add the second Water Scarecrow to our driveway garden. A few tips of the small container hot peppers were nibbled - 6 or 7 plants tested, but nothing that will negatively impact the plants.
Looking through the straw bale Dwarfs toward the rear of the side garden, I noticed that a Beauty King growing in a bale has foliage that is not quite right - kind of curled - and two lower foliage stems showed the tell tale yellow color that indicates the beginning of Fusarium. I will get a back up ready just in case, but am hoping that the plant can withstand it..we shall see.
I've been looking closely at the tomato plants growing in containers, particularly at the health of the very lowest foliage (which often sits in the containers themselves, and end up getting wet quite often with the bottom watering). Some early signs of Alternaria (Early Blight) are showing up as brownish areas on the leaves with yellow margins. I've been removing the impacted foliage as the blemishes are noted.
All of the indeterminate varieties growing in large pots have now been pretty severely pruned to two growing stems each. It's been years since I've used this pruning method, and it is keeping the plants quite tidy, with good air flow and sun exposure all around the plants. There are open blossoms everywhere and the beginnings of fruit set on quite a few varieties.
The lettuce is now nearing an end - the few plants remaining are beginning to bolt. We are just loving the greens (collards, mustards, chard). The bush beans have open blossoms and summer squash good sized buds. Eggplant and some peppers have open flowers also.
And so, as we approach mid June, I am feeling pretty optimistic about the garden this year.