San Francisco

Container Garden: First harvest, challenges

August 10, 2010

So. My organic container vegetable garden. I started thinning the lettuce yesterday to keep it producing and ensure tender leaves, so above you’re seeing little gem leaves, green leaf, and arugula.

There have been some challenges, which I’ve included in photos below, and I hope others find it helpful when growing in the future as I had a very difficult time diagnosing and treating the problems.

– The red leaf lettuce is almost completely destroyed by either bottom rot or aphids or both; The red leaf lettuce appeared wet but rotting, limp, and grey. What was left of it when it got treated is getting stronger, but I lost a couple of the plants. You can see what was destroyed in the background. This is about 2 weeks after first treatment.

– The lemon cucumbers, which were damaged when I bought them, are struggling but appear to be making do with the way they are; there are flowers that have developed over the past few days and I think I even see the first little cukes. I think they had powdery mildew; I’ve been treating them with serenade disease control and more recently with a neem oil mixture aimed at 3 different plant problems, which is organic appropriate.

– The beets and chard had many leaves rotting at the edges and in blotches, going grey, limp, and just all bad. I picked off the bad ones and have been treating it, but the problem is not 100% gone. They seem to be growing nonetheless, though, and I think it’s because they were simply better established when the affliction started. Here is an upclose shot of the affliction:

– The basil is not growing and has lost its shiny leaves, turning more dull and grey. We’ll see if it survives. It may just need to be warmer; it also had some brown spots on the edges and I’ve noticed aphids under the leaves–I treated it and will continue to, and can hopefully nurse it back to health.

I think part of the problems are aggravated by the heavy fog San Francisco experiences at this time of year; the plants aren’t getting as much sun as they’d like and aren’t fully drying off.

On the other hand, the thyme, tomato plant (first little tomatoes are developing, more flowers are out too!), little gem lettuce and green leaf lettuce seem to be doing well!

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