Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Tomato Crop Failed This Year

This is the first year in over 20 that the tomato crop failed.

In my area, I planted a hybrid variety, Grandeur, whose seeds I purchased from Twilley seed.  This variety was listed as ‘high resistance’ to fusarium wilt, root know nematode, gray leaf spot, tomato mosiac virus and verticilium wilt.  Well, they quickly turned yellow and died.  (See previous posts also).

This main tomato patch consisted of tomato plants purchased from a locally owned nursery, so I don’t really know what type of tomatoes we were dealing with, but they died just like my supposedly resistant hybrids did.

The disease – whatever struck this year – started quickly with a yellowing of some of the leaves, like this:

tomato leaves starting to yellow

This is a broader view, with some yellowed branches already turned brown and shriveled up:

yellowing tomato branches

A closeup of the previous picture:

closeup of yellowing and browning branches

The tomato patch is almost gone – to the left, where you see emptiness, was and should be crowded green tomato plants and branches filled with tomatoes. Not this year – unknown disease spread faster than the plants could produce tomatoes.

overview of the destruction

This is the first year that I haven’t canned tomatoes in 2 decades!  I was only able to freeze a half-dozen or so quart bags.  (I freeze tomatoes that aren’t good enough to can).

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Butternut Squash Is Coming In

It is time to start harvesting the butternut squash.  This is a basket of them, along with a couple of the less than stellar Pinata squash.

butternut squash harvest

Most of the butternut squash that I grew was the open pollinated variety Waltham Butternut. It is a faithful, productive variety. This year I also tried several hybrid varieties from Twilley Seed. Indian Brave produced fairly well and I plan to plant it again next year. Early Butternut hybrid produced miniature fruit and I don’t plan to plant it anymore. I am going to try other varieties next year. Overall, the squash that I planted on my 3 raised cattle panels in the back did not grow well. This is solely due to a problem tree that hung over the garden – it was loaded with insects that dripped a black substance all over my plants and fruits – more on that in future posts. That tree will have to be cut out soon.

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