Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The first tomato of the season arrived in June! This is incredibly early. Normally, tomatoes take 55-105 days to mature. As usual, I put my seedlings in the ground on Mother’s Day. I didn’t expect anything until at least mid-July.  We also found a single, foot-long cucumber, and a handful of Vernandon green beans. What a perfect lunch! 

We harvested much of the basil, as well. Gardeners in the DC/MD/VA metro area are reporting signs of downy mildew on their Basil. It first appears as faint, yellowing bands on the surface of the leaf. Though non-toxic, downy mildew is unattractive. It’s a fairly new phenomenon in our area, but it’s becoming wide-spread. It travels by spore through the air and can transfer quickly from neighbor to neighbor. Affected leaves can be removed, but even removing a leaf may cause spores to be released. The best thing to do is to harvest as much of the healthy plant as possible. When planting basil, give it plenty of space and mulch it to keep it evenly moist. Cornell University’s Vegetable MD Online offers excellent guidelines on downy mildew, and many other vegetable conundrums. 

So make some pesto tonight! 

1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. pine nuts or chopped walnuts
2 c. packed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic 

Blend until smooth, adding olive oil for consistency. 

1 comment:

  1. I am still waiting for my first ripe tomato, but we have plenty of green beans coming on right now. I've been checking my basil carefully after reading reports of the mildew, but find no sick plants yet.