War Waged on Two Fronts

Dragon Dust on Tomatoes

Dragon Dust on Tomatoes

I’ve been very vigilant this year trying to prevent an outbreak of late blight. I’ve resorted to using “Dragoon Dust” powder, as well as “Daconil Fungicide” spray. The powder should be applied every seven days according to the label, and the Daconil spray I’m adding to my miracle grow mixture when spraying these plants.

I’ve often tried to use organic methods when growing food, and I’ve paid dearly for my ideals. I’ve seen two tomato patches containing hundreds of plants and dozens of hours of work vanish to late blight. After suffering these loses, I came to a new realization, that I should do what works, not what I believe to be the proper way to grow food. I will still apply manure in the fall, and add bio-char whenever possible, but I’m not going to ignore technology, and progress, to bury my head in a pile of dead tomato plants. I’m going to keep trying new things until I achieve the desired result: Too Many Tomatoes = )

This is my war on blight, and so far this season, I have yet to encounter the darkened brown spots on the stems which consume the entire plant until it’s a lifeless twig.

Endive Munched to the Ground

Endive Munched to the Ground

On the other front of my war things aren’t nearly as cheery. I’m not losing per say, but I’m far from winning. My zucchini seem to be growing in spite of the daily onslaught of the hogs, however the tiny endive and second patch of cucumbers are taking the brunt of the brown rodents feeding. I’ve received the ultimate weapon to combat these furry brown eating machines, and I’ve yet to calibrate the attached scope, but I’ve already placed a few small weights of lead in the garden.  I begin my day before work taking a quick look through the garden, and targeting anything which doesn’t belong. I’ve yet to tag a hog, but I’m sure I will get them in time.  My new priority is to “sight in” the scope, or calibrate it, so that whatever rodent is in my cross-hairs will drop when the time comes.

Noise Makers

Noise Makers

I’m trying another less damaging weapon as a deterrent.  Larger animals require the proper time of year for a lead solution, so these noise makers are the next solution I will be testing out. The aluminum should capture some of the wind which will cause a noise that I’m hoping will scare many rodents and deer alike. I’ve made several different styles, some with spinning wheels, others which have a flat square with a weight attached that should cause a drumming sound.

So the war wages on… all in a half acre plot over simple tasty food.

This entry was posted in Critters, Deer, Endive, Ground Hogs, Late Blight, Tomatoes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to War Waged on Two Fronts

  1. I am also getting awfully close to compromising my organic morals with tomatoes as well. This year I have 6 or 8 varieties of tomatoes and some varieties at this point are laden with green fruit but only have 3 or 4 leaves alive on each plant due to a fungal infection.

    However, I have a redeeming plan that I hope will save me from using poisonous technology next year. I have one variety of tomato (Cabin) that is HIGHLY resistant to the blights, so next year I plan to grow ONLY that variety. Hopefully the fungus will die in the soil without a host plant to spread it’s spores and I can go back to some other favorites in the years to come.

  2. Pingback: A Year of Growth: 2011 « Itfarmer's Blog

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