OK, so before last week, I didn’t even know blight was a thing. Did I do something wrong to cause the blight? Probably. Do I know what it is I did to cause it? Not even a little. I mean, I can guess it might have to do with overwatering. I should’ve stopped the daily watering a week or so before I did. Maybe that’s it. I dunno. And how do I know it’s blight? Well, I’m not entirely sure. This is what my some of my plants look like: That’s the tomato plant, but my pepper plants have the same spots. I took some of the leaves down to this very cool place called the UW Extension here in La Crosse. I had no idea such a thing existed. These guys are there to help gardeners and farmers. Actually HELP people! And it’s free! Folks have been telling me since I started that I should “go down to the Extension office” and I thought it just sounded so horribly bureaucratic and awful, I never went. It’s SO the opposite.
I walked in with my sick looking leaves, showed them to a nice guy named Steve, he sorta shook his head and said “Well, I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like early blight.” And then he started to point at all the things that made him think it was blight, and bunch of other things that may or may not be blight related. He told me what to do and then he told me that if becomes late blight, that I should come back and tell them because they’re tracking it in the state of Wisconsin. I guess it’s a thing here, especially in the Sand region, which I think is in the middle of the state. Anyway, he was very nice, gave me 20 minutes of his time, answered all my stupid questions and now, it’s like my favorite thing because it’s something that is provided to the public that actually helps the public and restores some of my faith in humanity. Just some.
Apparently, blight is spread from plant to plant by water. The rain (or overhead water) hits the leaves or the dirt (it’s probably in the soil) and the spores bounce up and infect the leaves. His solution was to lay down hay or wood chips to cover the dirt and pray it doesn’t bounce onto my eggplants. The spores that bother peppers and tomatoes also bother eggplants. Also, I had to cut off the sickest leaves. OK, so, I did all that and now my fingers are crossed.
The rest of the garden is looking pretty ok though:
So, that’s the update. Some good, some bad. And it’s only June. Lord knows what I’ll be dealing with in August. As far as La Crosse in the summer, it’s pretty nice. Though, it’s gnat season here. There are like black swarmy clouds of them. I overheard some girl telling her friend that her grandma said to put vanilla behind her ears to keep them away from her face. Hey, I’m willing to try it. Anything to try to keep the little buggers out of my mouth. (Hint: DO NOT talk on your cell, laugh at something and walk through a gnat swarm at the same time. Just don’t do it.)
I’ve been told it’ll be Mayfly season here any day now. These are mayflies: Charming, right? Well, it seems the little buggers, in their larval stage, live in the Mississippi mud and come out once a year in the bug’s world version of speed dating. They only live for a day or two so quickly making that hook up is very important. And where’s their “scene?” Where do they go to hook up? Anywhere there’s light. My cousin said that when it’s at its peak, you can’t even see out windows at night because they’ll be covered with these things. They don’t eat gardens, they don’t come inside. They just hang out and have sex on windows.
Huppy is still galavanting around the Caribbean. You can read his reports about it at his blog (Also on this blog. I cross post everything.) He seems to be enjoying himself. Traveling is his happy place. And not staying in one spot for too long is also his happy place. This trip is combining those two happy places into one big giant spot of joy. He’s very chuffed with himself.
Oh, and he got some good news: His book is going to have a second printing and is coming out in paperback in the Fall! I guess some folks read it!