spotty

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 🙂

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    • 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!

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  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

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