Saturday essay: 'Mater massacre
The tomato plants are gone — every last one. No amount of fungicide, leaf-picking or hope against hope could stop the advance of this year's insidious early blight.
They died from the ground up, 14 all told in four raised beds. By Saturday last, the killing spores had marched to the top of each, planted with so much promise in May. The last of their green fruits were picked and placed on the back deck to ripen.
Gone, too, is the second planting of green beans, sown in an indignant, reality-defying huff after the first planting succumbed to the same malady.
A variety of lettuces, spinach and radishes have replaced them. All germinated quickly in this week's heat; a steady crop of salad goodies should be available through late fall, if not through the first of winter.
But the blight problem still must be addressed. Since even a hard freeze likely will not kill any spores that surely have made their way into the soil, they will have to be “solarized.” That is, plastic will be placed over the affected beds and the eradication will be left to the winter sun. Next year, the tomatoes will be rotated to other beds.
The good news is that gardening is a lot like baseball. There's always next year, hope springs eternal, (insert your cliché here) and The Great Tomato Massacre of 2013, though not forgotten, will fade from memory.
— Colin McNickle
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Thursday wrap
- Fresh produce solution
- State of Corruption: Jim Short’s plea
- Thou shalt not parse the First: The Connellsville Ten Commandments decision
- Wilmerding’s gamble
- Kathleen Kane’s woes: A new & troubling twist
- Laurels & Lances
- Trumpeting ObamaCare: The Medicaid factor
- President Carbon: Hypocrisy’s trip
- Greensburg Tuesday takes