Last year my cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelons were humming along, with big lush vines and lots of fruits. Then suddenly the leaves turned spotty and within a week they were all brown and shriveled and useless.

The cukes managed a bumper crop before that happened, but after tending the melons for a couple of months I had nothing to show for it. I’ve generally had putrid success with my vining crops for the past few years. Most likely some soil-borne fungus that hangs on from year to year.

This year the cucumbers were iffy from the get-go, but they’re still hanging on with spotty lower leaves.


I read about an organic product called Serenade, ‘a broad spectrum, preventative biofungicide recommended for the suppression of many plant diseases.’ It’s OMRI listed so I feel comfortable using it. It’s supposed to control some of the potential culprits of my cucurbits, anthracnose, downy mildew and leaf spot.

I treated the vines about a week ago, and so far so good. The leaves are still spotty, but they haven’t yet started to turn brown. I sprayed some on my pepper plants too, because they’ve had some nasty problem since the big rains in June.


Cantaloupe vines…still there

I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

The watermelons got a late start like the cukes and cantaloupe, but so far they don’t show any signs of disease.


It was also time to pull the first planting of corn stalks and turn the chicken tiller lose. What fun for all of us.


And one funny, but no so funny side story; for the second day in a row, user error led to another chicken break. As I was lifting the chicken tractor to move it, I inadvertently lifted too high, and two quick-thinking prisoners made their getaway.

I caught one easily, but the last holdout ended up in a chicken rodeo that lasted a good twenty minutes. They really want to be in that woods. But we finally got her close enough to her caged sisters to leave freedom voluntarily. No harm, no foul.


8 thoughts on “spotty

  1. Love your tractor and escape story! Fortunately my inmates have not *actually* broken free but every time I put them in the tractor there is always a moment where I know they might, generally when I’m adding the second chook. Surely it’s only a matter of time until I have my own rodeo. Probably good to get it out of the way, really. Well done 🙂


    • Well, so far I’ve had three escapes, all due to user error. Hopefully it’ll sink in soon that I can only lift the thing so high. And I hope you keep your spotless record!


  2. Well, I only have two girls whereas you have six to wrangle. You’re working zone defense whereas I’m still man-on-man, or at least one hand-on-chook. Different technique altogether but certainly not impenetrable. I’m telling you it is only a matter of time

    Liked by 1 person

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