Friday, September 14, 2012

Buckeye Rot

It is amazing just how fast the status can change in the garden.  We just posted pictures of our best tomato plants in recent memory.  Now we have numerous infestations.  We know little about garden disease.  The size of the list of possible tomato diseases is enormous.  If we knew about all that could go wrong, we would probably grow only stones.

Grass clippings were placed between the plants and the ground as soon as possible.  Garden soil teems with many forms of live organisms and not all of them are beneficial.  Preventing soil splash on tomato foliage is critical to avoiding many diseases.  The layer of grass clippings has nearly rotted away exposing soil in places.  I have no doubt that this exposed soil is the source of our problems.  Next year replenishing the layer of grass clippings will be a must do task.  For this year, tomatoes are over.  Solid fruit will be moved to the basement floor to ripen or spoil there.  All of the plants will be pulled and placed in large clear plastic bags to cook in the sunlight.

We found no pictures of this situation anywhere.  Tiny yellow dots cover the surface of the tomato skin.  Some are arranged in concentric circles.  Is this a form of Lyme disease on tomatoes?  Just today I picked a bright red cherry tomato from the vine and popped it directly into my mouth.  It was delicious but now I am wondering just what else I ate.

Buckeye rot may be the illness shown in the first photo.  I knew that Ohio State University did athletic battle under the name Buckeye but I knew nothing of the words meaning.  Turns out that buckeye is the name of a nut producing tree.  That is new information for me.  I wonder just how many of the football players know that they have a tree nut pictured on their helmets.  There must be a story about how a nut came to be the nickname for those attending this university.  I wonder if the cheer "Go tree nut!", is ever heard in the stadium.  Probably not since it could be the command a hunter would yell at his goofy dog.

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