I’ve read that “moist” is one of the most hated words in the English language. This summer I’m starting to understand why. The moist weather and moist air are a bother for some crops. The trouble I am having with my onions has only gotten worse.

Black Onions

All of the yellow Spanish onions lost so much foliage I finished pulling them all this weekend. The red ones seem to be more resistant but they’re succumbing, too. It was disgusting. Every time I touched them clouds of black spores would billow up. They are curing in trays under the umbrella on the deck and I’m hoping this won’t affect their storing abilities. I have no idea. 2014’s last onion is sitting on the counter waiting to be used.

The garlic was infected with something, too so I’m not exactly sure if it was ready to harvest or not. I knew it was getting close so I dug it all in one session. Last year we had too much and this year there is even more! I need to look back in my records and see how much I grew back when we didn’t have enough and figure out a compromise.

Tomato Stems

The tomatoes aren’t liking it so moist, either. Back when they were just big enough to do so I started plucking off the lower leaves that were showing signs of disease. Fungal spores can splash their way incrementally up a tomato plant from the ground. That’s why I use straw mulch instead of leaves from the community pile. I eventually had them limbed up pretty well—think miniskirt instead of ball gown. They’re still yellowing and spotty.

The last several years August has turned dry. I’m sort of hoping that happens again, although it’s too late for the onions and the tomatoes appear to be robust enough. The other crops don’t seem to have any complaints about the moisture. Some things I grow are absolutely loving it, but that’s a topic I’m working on for a future post.


15 thoughts on “Moist

  1. A Really Small Farm

    I had some sort of bulb rot in my garlic last year and had losses that nearly wiped out some varieties. The leaves became pale yellow and then brown, the bulbs were mushy and slimy and roots completely rotted off. These were planted in a brand new plot, one that had never had any onions or garlic before. This year only a few garlic got the disease and they have been pulled and destroyed.

    What do you use for mulch around your onions? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that disease on mine although sometimes the bulbs will turn mush.

    The tomatoes might have “early blight” or “tomato leaf blight”.

    1. That sucks about your garlic. I hope mine stays confined to the leaves which are going to be cut off eventually. I mulch most things with leaves from the community pile. It’s free and abundant. There shouldn’t be any of last year’s discarded garden debris there, but it can be challenging controlling pests and disease in a community garden regardless.

      1. A Really Small Farm

        There’s a soil bacteria called Streptomyces lydicus that is supposed to kill off some pathogens. I am considering adding it to my seed garlic before planting if it is safe and doesn’t cause a disease on other plants.

        Maybe that debris should be sun-sterilized under clear plastic. It probably is a source of fungus diseases. Several years ago I bought cocoa bean shell mulch. It was a great substrate for some kind of cottony gray mold that infected all my tomatoes. Took a few years to get that out of the garden.

      2. A Really Small Farm

        Sounds like a good idea.

        How’s the humidity where you live? It has dropped a bit here in the last 24 hours and the breezes have picked up.

      3. Saturday was unbearable until it rained. Yesterday was nice and today it crept up again and now, of course, it’s currently raining :p

      4. A Really Small Farm

        We had some light rain and the winds shifted from the southwest. The humidity really went up then. Now the winds are coming from the northwest and the air feels drier. Rain and high temps are in the forecast for later this week.

        I’m in the process of harvesting garlic so the dry air is welcomed. Hope to have everything out of the ground tomorrow.

  2. I don’t think you can ever win 100% with vegetables. You have to accept that there will be winners and loser every year. The frustrating thing is that it is never the same ones! Amelia

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