June 9, 2014: The State of the Garden

A few garden developments over the weekend:

1. My newest acquisition: a pineapple sage.

pineapplesage

2. The first calendula flower has arrived.

calendula

3. The first zucchini will soon be ready to eat!

zucchini2

4. The new batch of carrots has germinated…

carrot seedlings

5. …as have the scallions.  All my onions, including my scallions, failed last year, but I’m giving these one more go.

scallions

6. I’m a bit worried about one of my poor decisions.  I took some basil inside for the winter, and was very proud that it made it all the way to spring in my kitchen window.  Then in April, I started noticing brown spots on the leaves, and some research suggested that it might, among other things, be downy mildew. Some trimming of the plants seemed to solve the problem, and I was so pleased that they were surviving that I moved them outside, although I kept them far from the other basil plants just in case.

This weekend, I started noticing brown patches on the sorrel in the box next to the basil.  This morning, I discovered some pale spots on the beautiful Swiss chard also in the vicinity.

sorrelspots

sorrelspots2

chardspots2

In a panic, I pulled up and trashed the basil plants (keeping the undamaged leaves for tonight’s pesto.)  Then I calmed down a bit and did some more research.  I’m now inclined to think that the problem here might not be downy mildew, but leaf miners.  A pest, but maybe a bit less serious.  I will spend today removing damaged leaves and will have to monitor closely.  I am NOT PLEASED.  My chard was looking so wonderful!

chard

7. In all, the challenges of planting are mostly over and the challenges of insects and warm weather have begun.  I keep reminding myself that gardening is a hobby and a pleasure, not a chore, and my livelihood doesn’t depend on the whims of leaf miners: if I lose a plant or a whole crop, it’s all part of learning.

In the meantime, today I get chard-and-basil pesto! So it’s all good.

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