Blighted

Four days ago, when I checked in on my garden, my tomatoes looked fine. I went down yesterday evening to find blight.

tomato blight leaves

The late blight was everywhere, and it was bad.

tomato blight tomatoes

It probably started on the understory leaves so maybe it was there 4 days ago and i just didn’t see it. But they were brown and wilting right to the tips last night, every one of my 24 plants.

I pulled them all in the spreading dusk. I went in when it was fully dark, smelling of blight, with darkened hands

hands

and a bag full of green tomatoes. I salvaged the fruit that wasn’t yet spotted.

green tomatoes

Maybe 1/4 of what was on the plants, maybe less. I will have to buy all my tomatoes for sauce this year, and I’m sure it’s my own fault. The ground never froze solid last winter because of all the snow, we had such a wet, rainy spring. I didn’t prune the plants to allow enough air to circulate – because they’re determinate plants and I didn’t want to prune off buds and loose some of my harvest.

Live and learn, except I’ve had blight before, and it was never this bad, so I never did learn. I might skip tomatoes next year too, because the spores must be thick in the soil now from all those plants.

However, the mama hen who came out of the woods trailing chicks on wednesday – so far she’s only put in appearances for Neil.* Well this morning I finally caught a glimpse:

baby chickens

Just a little glimpse though, because she’s super-skittish

see the tiny feet

and she doesn’t trust that lady with the camera

what you lookin at

If you look at those last two you can see tiny feet sticking out at funny places. We can’t get close enough to do a head count, but I’d guess she has at least 12 chicks, and wouldn’t be surprised if there were 18. Although I am surprised she managed to hatch that many, she’s not a very big hen! The babies are 2 days old and she can barely fit them all under her. In a week when they’ve all started growing she’s gonna be in trouble!

*She’s a good mama takes her babies to bed every evening before 6. Of course this means I never see her because bed is back into the woods…

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5 responses to “Blighted

  1. UCK! Blight sucks!! Two years ago we got it from tomato plants our neighbor “gifted” us (we plant all ours from seeds). And it got our potatoes too. Blech. I feel your pain – it’s demoralizing how fast great-looking plants get icky.

    But, yay mama hen! I hope her babies grow big and strong!

    • Thanks, the blight is demoralizing, but I’m trying to focus on the baby chicks! Our current flock is getting older, so I’m excited to keep some of these new hens!

  2. So sad about your tomatoes!! But happy about your chicks . . .

  3. Hooray for babies! Boo for blight! The pictures were very helpful though – I’ve never seen it in person (thankfully).

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