June 26, 2009: A Fungus Among Us

My zucchini squash looks as though it has a fungus infection, so I mixed up a batch of cornmeal tea and sprayed it today. My neighbor's looks just the same, only much worse. Nothing else in the squash patch is showing any disease......it makes me wonder if seed can be infected. Anybody know? Both mine and the neighbor's came from the same seed packet. The neighbor bought some kind of spray for hers, but I'd rather try an organic method before I resort to chemical sprays. Speaking of squash, I picked my first yellow crookneck today! It will be so good with tonight's "garden dinner".

The yellow crookneck squash has grown up over the top of the ladder. The Waltham Butternut squash (foreground) is spreading rapidly and has female blossoms, but no males detected. The zucchini (right) was sprayed with cornmeal tea this morning to hopefully control fungus (click on photo to enlarge)

My melons and lemon cucumbers were looking a bit puny, so I gave them a good dose of liquid fertilizer. The other (bush) cucumbers are growing like mad now, have quite a few small cucumbers on them, but I can't yet tell if they pollinated. I wonder why they call them "bush". They grow quite large...one of mine is almost to the top of the 6-foot fence, the others are being trained on the wire fence, and had to be tied up again today.

I've counted five pumpkins so far. One is already six inches long, and the vines are really overtaking the north garden.

The "big" pumpkin.

Two more pumpkins.

Pathway through the north garden is blocked by squash and pumpkin vines.

I haven't been pruning the indeterminate tomatoes, and they are getting out of hand. I do have heavy garden twine in there somewhere. In fact, I have it about every 10 inches up the poles! You couldn't tell by the way the tomatoes are growing in every which direction. I really think I'll spring for concrete reinforcement wire cages next year, if I decide to grow the indeterminates again.

Overgrown indeterminates.

Some of the determinate tomatoes in the self watering containers are almost as large.

I wish I could remember what types of potting mix I bought. The two on the left are larger, greener and more lush than the two on the right. I THINK the ones on the left got potting mix from ACE Hardware, and the other two (and all my bucketed tomatoes) got some from Wal-Mart. If so, the Wal-Mart mix was really weedy, the other wasn't.

Another row of eight determinate tomatoes in the east garden.

Lots of tomatoes, none of them ripe.

The two bucket tomatoes that get shade in the afternoon are doing much better than the three that get full sun.

Full sun bucket tomato.

The Yukon Gold potatoes just won't stop growing! They are above the 4' stakes now.

The store bought potatoes that sprouted were planted in an old laundry basket. They are just beginning to peek through their covering of soil and straw.

My cauliflower is heading up. Time to blanch it for a nice, white head.

Here it is, covered with its leaves and tied shut to keep the sun out.

I hope this head of broccoli doesn't bolt on me. I'd like to pick it fresh for Sunday's dinner.

This 4'x4' bed is all ready for planting a second crop. It previously held beets and carrots (and radishes that did nothing), and I guess that's what will go back in there. I can't rotate my crops mid-year, there isn't enough room. And it's beets and carrots we'll be wanting in the fall.

The borage is blooming now. I wish the flowers would hold their pretty heads up.

Nasturtiums in the barrels are tumbling all over.

The beans I picked yesterday have been individually frozen on a couple of large baking sheets lined with towels. The towels absorb the excess moisture, and make it easy to transfer the beans to freezer bags. These nearly filled a gallon bag, and I'll be able to add to it the next time I pick beans. When they are frozen individually like this, it's easy to take out just what I need for a meal and toss the rest back into the freezer. When I was blanching these, I found the purple beans were a perfect timer......as soon as they turned green in the boiling water, it was time to drain and chill them.

Not much of a harvest today. The first crookneck squash of the season, and the peas, will be used in tonight's dinner.

Friday's Garden Dinner

Chicken & Noodles (onions, carrots, peas & parsley)
Yellow Crookneck Squash & Corn (squash)
Fruit Salad of Bananas, Cantaloupe & Raspberries (raspberries)
Cornmeal Muffins & Honey Butter

Later in the evening, we'll snack on.....

Fresh Strawberries on Vanilla Ice Cream (strawberries)


  1. Granny - Does the fungus appear to be powdery mildew? I have alot of it on my crookneck plant leaves. Are you liking the florida weave method for supporting the tomato vines? It looks like it's working fine. I sure am glad you finally got your crookneck squash "fix". ha!

  2. No, EG. It's more like your "too much rain" zucchini leaves, yellow with brown edges. Mine haven't had too much rain (none). It's odd it is only the zucchini, and all the plants from that seed packet look like that. The neighbor's are no where near mine, and hers are even worse.

  3. I'd love to walk through your garden; it looks so lush.

    I've got to get back out there with a hose, I'm afraid. I like your bean "timer."

  4. That is strange about the zucchini, isn't it?

    Everything else looks great. I love the pumpkins! Keep a pictoral growth record of them. I've never grown them and I'd like to see how they progress.

  5. Stefaneener, the purple beans are really good, but not very prolific. I'll probably have to plant them every year though, if only to use them as my timer ;-)

    Ribbit, DUH! Like I don't take pictures of just about everything just about every day! My son was just asking how many thousands of photos I have of my garden!

  6. Your garden is seriously filling in! Next year I really need to pay attention to your planting and fallow along. I wish I had all the carrots, beets and beans you have harvested already. Those pumpkins are really good keepers, I kept one of my pie pumpkins on top of the fridge and made pie with it in Feb.

  7. Dan, I haven't grown pumpkins since my kids were small (the youngest is 35!) I know I should keep all but a couple picked off for bigger pumpkins, but I think I'll try for quantity this year rather than size. It seems like we used to scratch their names in the small pumpkins and it would scab over and become part of the pumpkin. I'd try it, but I'd hate to lose my first one...maybe I'll do it on one of the other four (or more).

  8. Our pumpkins are just starting to set the first of the female fruits and they are tiny compared to yours.

    I hope your zucchini snaps out of it for you. It's frustrating when a crop starts having problems like that.

  9. KitsapFG, it will be a good test of the cornmeal tea spray! I plan to plant more zucchini. It may be too late to get a good crop, but it's worth a try. I'll use different seed!

  10. Yay! You got your yellow summer squash! ::claps::
    The rest as usual is amazingly abundant... I noticed a small bit of yellow/burnt edges on one of my squash plants too - I was thinking it was just a sunburn... think it's fungal? Keep us posted on if the cornmeal tea helps. Maybe I'll make up a batch tonight. Hum...

  11. What does bolt mean in ref to the broccoli?

    I don't like pumpkin but I *love* pumpkin seeds roasted. Can't wait til we have some that I can roast.

  12. Love your laundry basket potatoes. Anxious to see how well that works. Gotta be easier than digging!!

  13. You finally got some squash. Yum. Mine aren't even flowering yet, but I think soon.

    I don't rotate crops during the year either. I have three beds that go through rotations at the end of the year, but I have to grow my next set of lettuce where the last one was growing. When the garden is small you do what you have to.

  14. Your garden sure looks good Granny! Those tomato plants are huge!

    Dinner looks yummy as usual!

  15. Jenn, I do think it's fungal. I'll keep you posted on whether my cornmeal tea or the neighbor's purchased spray help.

  16. Teresa, broccoli has bolted when the green buds turn to yellow flowers. After it flowers, it forms seeds.

    I don't like pumpkin seeds, but I love pumpkin! Pies, bread, cookies or custard....bring 'em on!

  17. Sue, I copied the laundry basket idea from another blogger, and I was out of room, and those potatoes were compost at best....it's worth a try! I wish I had more laundry baskets, 'cause I still have sprouting potatoes, LOL.

  18. Daphne, I find crop rotation difficult with square foot type gardening. I have too many different types of plants per bed, so it's hard not to follow with something similar. If I had just one crop per bed, each one could be moved one bed to the right each year...simpler, huh?

    Dang, that squash was good! It would have been better with fresh picked corn or my green beans, but I really can't give Mr. H green beans EVERY night.

  19. Hi, Toni! Dinner was good, but rather lacking in color. I like to put lots of different colors on the plate, and last night I didn't. Green beans or broccoli would have been a better veggie choice, but I'm using what I pick from the garden each day. I'll try to do better tonight :-)

  20. granny, i'm sending your squash healing wishes. =)

    i think i may lose some gazanias to fungus. i will also try the cornmeal teas and see if that helps.

  21. Lookin' good, Granny. My garden looks absolutely pitiful compared to yours. That's what you get for starting months too late, I guess.

  22. Kelli, here are some healing vibes for your gazanias, too (whatever they are!) Thanks for reminding me, I need to run out and give the squash another spritz!

  23. Oh, SB, I'm sorry your garden is suffering. (Probably because she's been gallivanting off to Colorado or some place....like forever.) ;-)