Friday, May 14, 2010

Curses and Blessings

Sick Tomato Plants
I've been noticing lately that some of my tomato leaves have been dying off. They develop patches of white, grow limp and then turn brittle. Does anyone know what this is??? I've been hardening off my tomatoes for the past couple of weeks. At first, I thought that is was sun scald or a reaction to recent cooler temperatures, but now I'm not so sure. This isn't blight is it?

slug eaten napa
In other bad news, the slugs are eating my mini Napa cabbages with a ferocity I've never seen before. I SMASHED a big ugly one with a large rock like nobody's business but as I pulled open the older leaves, I found what looked like dozens of baby ones. I ended up sprinkling Sluggo all over my cabbages. For those of you interested this product, it really works. But unlike me, you have to remember to reapply.

Fava and Winter Melon Seeds
On a much brighter note, I came home to find that Winnie (Mac) of High Desert Garden Blog fame had sent me some Winter melon seeds and Fava beans. I'm so excited to be able to grow Winter melon this year! Since I won't be planting any pumpkins or yellow squash (which we don't really eat in our household), it will be nice to have these stored away during the winter months. THANK SO MUCH Winnie! You're too good to me. I couldn't have asked for a better blogging buddy. I'll have to find a way to repay you for all of your kindness.

Before I bid everyone good night, I do have one final question: is it too late to sow these Fava beans? I know the pods don't set well during the hot summer months. I'm just wondering if I've missed my window. I have a few Fava plants flowering at the moment but it would be nice if I could fit these in this year as well.


  1. I am sorry for your tomatoes, I hope they recover.
    I also was getting white discoloration on leaves when I was hardening them off. But it never got this bad. I got it also on my peppers. They are all fine now. I always thought that it was sunburns. As it always appeared on places where drops of water stayed, and then sun hit it. Could that be the scenario?
    I don’t think it is blight. Blight somehow always starts from the bottom of the plant.

  2. I'm not sure about the tomatoes. At least the slugs are leaving most of the leaves. Just wash them well! Good luck with the next batch of seeds!

  3. Sorry about the tomato leaves, I don't know anything about it.
    I would harvest the outer mini napa leaves now while they're still usable.

    BTW the winter melon seeds are slow to germinate, it's best to presprout them first.
    If it's too late start the fava in your area, try late summer or early fall planting and overwinter them, you can eat the tips for greens in the winter, I've tried that 2 years ago, they are pretty cold hardy under cover.

  4. Aren't slugs just too slimey! I have seen some that are over one foot long!
    Slugs by David Greenberg and Victoria Chess was a book my DD loved when she waa little. Perhaps your son would love it as well.
    I love Sluggo and the other iron phosphate slug baits. And so do my plants!

    Your tomatoes do look like sunscald to me. Not a big deal, but you might want to check the leaves for eggs or larvae.


  5. The only white patches I've ever gotten on my tomato leaves is sun scald. I often get it on tomatoes, peppers and basil if I'm not slow enough about getting them outside. If you are getting white patches on the lower leaves that are shaded, then it is probably something else, but if it is always on the parts that get the most sun it is probably your culprit.

  6. It does look like sun scald. Have you had a lot of wind also? It could be a combination of sun, cool and wind. I had some leaves on a couple of coleus plants react like this.

  7. I think it might be the recent cold snap. We're on the south shore in MA and our tomatoes already had blossoms so we covered them with buckets overnight and they came through okay. If you don't have blossoms yet I wouldn't worry if the rest of the plant looks good.

  8. Thanks for the input everyone.

    Mac - I might just try that.

  9. I agree with everyone else Thomas - that the tomato leaf damage appears to be a mechanical injury - most likely sunscald or wind. If you see it continueing to progress up the plant than you know you have another problem but I doubt that will happen. My tomatoes have stressed lower leaves (yellowed mostly) from the cold snap we had a week or so a go. The plants all pulled through fine but the oldest leaves (bottom most) suffered the most stress.

    Never grown favas so no advice to give on the timing of the seed planting.

  10. Slugs dessimated my cabbage last year, and I just hate them! I don't have a clue what's wrong with your tomato plants...

  11. Guess you will never make a good Buddhist. Neither will I. If I find one I dispatch it. But I found you don't have to put the stuff directly on the plant, around it is sufficient.
    About the sun scalded leaves. I had the same on my eggplant starts after I had set them out. Didn't think there had been enough heat/sun to do that and they were well watered.
    This year I just blame everything on this up one day, down the next weather. Warm and lovely last week and another storm coming Monday.

  12. Thomas, I agree with a number of above posts. The white on your tomato leaves looks like maybe sun scald/wind burn. I would snip off the damaged leaves and try to shelter the seedings if the sun is strong or the wind is harsh. Don't worry, it's not early or late blight.

    Sorry about the slugs. Go get them!!

  13. On Vancouver Island, BC, we planted our broad beans at least 2 weeks ago - I think they are fava beans and they are up and growing......I think they are ok with light frosts....
    we're zone 8.....
    We've had a real slug problem here and I've had no successful peas, I'm getting peassed off about it and had to spread some bait. And we got some khaki campbell ducklings. I hate slugs! Slugs begone. Next year eggs and no slugs, sounds like heavan!
    Good luck with yoru tomatoes, mine are in a greenhouse (major blight if we grow outdoors....) and are slow starting this year.....

  14. Not sure about the tomato leaves.. maybe a fungus or mildew? It definitely does not look like a bug.

    Snails- one of the best methods is what we in Louisiana like to call a "beer trap". If you have a bad snail problem, just place a nearly empty beer can down in your yard on its side, (opening close to ground and empty enough so its not spilling out). Snails are naturally attracted to the smell, and pretty much drown themselves in the collected beer. You might have to replace it often.. but it's the best/cheapest tool I know of!!

  15. For slugs we use beer too. Pour a bit in a paper plate and set it out, they flock to it and drown.

    By the way- I'm an amateur gardener (just 2nd season) and I found your blog a few weeks ago. I'm really enjoying it. I feel inspired to try a few new things. I even plan to plant potatoes in buckets today!

  16. Hahaha some of you say sun burns/wind and the others say bugs or molds?? Lol just give us actual Information and ferret references so we can double check if we can't desire what it is. Doesn't that make more sence?