Monday, July 30, 2012

Icky Sticky

Lots of ick factor in the garden these days. Humidity is over the top, very much like a sauna. Great for the skin not so great for vegetables and annuals. My gloom/doom prediction manifested in my zinnias so today I will be pickin' and pullin' hoping to stop the fungus from spreading immediately to melons and squashes. Powdery mildew is a death sentence for plants. Leaving them in the garden just allows the airborne spores to spread so I do it military style, "The hard, right thing."  Tomatoes show signs of all manner of pestilence: fungus, virus, bacterial infection, bugs, sudden death. Name it, they've got it. Triage is the worst part of gardening, almost. But do it! Do not fight fungus, it is the dementor of the Southern garden. It slowly sucks the life out of plants and the fight out of you. Save your energy for the coming days of Fall when the humidity drops and all living things thrive again.
On a happier note, we had stewed tomatoes and okra with dinner last night. It's something I scorned as a child when my grandmother served it. I'd been offered straight-up, slimy, stewed, grayish, okra before and no way I was going to give it a second chance. Never say, never or you'll end up eating your words and the vegetable too. Rustic, or country style, is this dish. Sauté one clove garlic in oil, pour in prepped tomatoes, chop some okra and throw it in, stir and stew on low temp about 30-45 minutes until the okra is tender.  It is wonderful with white rice, more wonderful with brown rice.

Planting and planning note: Broccoli and all it's cousins (collards, kale, cauliflower, mustard) should be planted now in our coastal NC gardens. Cicadas are calling for Fall planting!

No comments: