As I mentioned in my garden update from Monday, my zucchini and squash plant were stricken with something nasty and fierce. I know that both had a severe case of powdery mildew. I am loathing myself, admitting that I was much too slow reaching to treating the poor gourd factories. I did treat them with a mixture of baking soda, water, and a few drops of dish soap. The powdery mildew actually appears to have cleared up after a couple days.
However, as time would have it, the plants continued to wither and dry up. They never stopped producing male blossoms, however. Unfortunately, neither produced a female flower, during their short time on this mortal coil. I fear the plant had a bacterial infection, or, perhaps, something lingered in the soil from last year.
Regardless, the plants and their soilless mix became the main filler in my attempts to remove a put from my backyard, over the weekend. I will honor them well by walking on them continuously. I could not chance ever using that soil again. The planter was immediately treated with bleach, cut with ample amounts of water.
Where there is death in the garden, there will always be life. In my attempts to use up the rest of my Jiffy seedling starters, I decided to test the viability of some of the older seeds that I had and the new marigolds that I purchased.
With 35 Jiffy pods left, I planted 12 Bloomsdale Longstanding spinach. I am incredibly unhappy with its germination rate: 3/12 in this batch, and 3/23 in the previous. And the latter three haven’t even formed true leaves. The three in the jiffy pods right now don’t even appear to want to keep living. I think my next track is just to plant them all, in late summer, in some seed starting soil and see how many more of these will sprout, just to get them out of my catalog.
In 9 of the pods, I started Burpee’s Mixed Colors (early 2 1/2″ blooms). In the last 8 come Queen Sophia (All-America Winner) marigolds. Literally, I went to bed one night, and none of the marigolds had come up yet. When I woke up, the next morning, 13 had sprouted! I was amazed!
The marigolds will fill two planters on my front stoop and be intermingled among the flowers in my sub-irrigated planters. I think they’ll make good company for my herbs and jalapenos.
In 6 of the pods, from the Burpee Fordhook Collection, I planted bush beans. I know that it’s a bit late in the season for beans, maybe, but I haven’t tried to grow any in the three years that I’ve gardened; I’ve always done mostly peas. I decided it was time to put this pack of beans to good use.
Three of the beans grew up extremely quickly, almost to a foot within a few days. They weren’t scraggily either; they were solid stems. One of the beans decided it wanted to grow in the wrong direction: roots up. One of the seedlings got tangled in the mesh of the jiffy pods; I cut tiny slits in the meshing, and within two days, the seedling was upright, but a little deformed. One had yet to sprout. These 6 have since moved outdoors to their dangling trellis home. Here are some progressive shots of the growth (the twelfth is my favorite).