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.

Early Spring

You already know it and you’ve heard it a dozen times by now, but this weather is insane. The extended stretch of unseasonably warm weather is wreaking havoc with all manner of botanical timetables. Case in point: our Sargent cherry (Prunus sargentii) that we enjoy so much every year is blooming a full month ahead of schedule. Whatever “schedule” means anymore.  Still, it’s welcome beauty.


Cherry 2012