Diagnostics

scientific diagnosis
scientific diagnosis

Well, the lovely Minnesota Midget seems to have come down with a little something.

If a variety of online diagnostic tools can be trusted, it looks like Minnie may have contracted a case of ulocladium leaf spot. Which may be even more fun to say than Walla Walla, Washington. Certainly more fun alternaria leaf spot, which is another candidate.

At any rate, there’s not a whole lot than can be done at this point except treat the affected plants with a fungicide (copper sprays are recommended by some but POD’s trying out organicide) and snipping off affected leaves.

To avoid spotty leaves, gardeners should NOT:

  • water the leaves of cucumber and melon plants.
  • dash outside and run their fingers through the rain-dampened leaves.

To avoid spotty leaves, gardeners should:

  • water in the morning, before the hours of high heat.
  • water the soil directly.
  • fertilize regularly.
  • use organic fungicides regularly.
  • use clean, unaffected soil for future plants.
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Move It and Use It

With limited space for plants on deck, it was time to sacrifice the lovely chard and give the delightful Minnesota Midgets a little more breathing room. Midgets are an excellent choice for container gardens — the soft-ball sized fruits are sweet and juicy and can handle the limited space. Three vines are currently creeping their way up a hand-trussed bamboo trellis.

Minnesota Midget
Minnesota Midget

While it may seem nothing short of insane¬† to grow muskmelons (cantaloupes) in a five-gallon bucket on a roof deck garden, they worked pretty well last year — despite misfires at the transplanting stage. Melon Growing Tip: if your climate is warm enough,¬† don’t transplant your melons. They germinate quickly if you wait until the weather has thoroughly warmed.

Thus far, blossoms abound and the deeply-rooted space-hogging chard has been replaced by a shallow-rooted summer lettuce.

Goodbye chard.

the end of chard
the end of chard