Originally published in Between the Rows
Continuing to Harvest
The Master Gardener’s Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG) is seeing good yields from the summer favorites, such as peppers, tomatoes, and beans of many varieties, and not too much damage from all the heavy rain. Although slow at first to ripen, the small-fruited tomatoes are now doing really well. We donate almost all of our produce to the Arlington Food Assistance Center or to other food banks through the Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture bagging operation.
Combating Diseases and a Special Pest
With the hot and humid weather, we are seeing more diseases. The tomatoes are showing signs of early blight, which is common wherever tomatoes are grown. To control it in the OVG, we aggressively cut out the affected parts of the plants and follow a four-year rotation plan. We are also seeing rust (Uromyces appendiculatus) on our bush bean plants. Again, we fight this by rotating our crops and either cutting the affected bean plants at the soil line, leaving the roots in place, or pulling the plants and disposing of them. Do not put the diseased plants in compost.
In addition to the usual garden pests, we have found we need to use row covers over hoops to protect our Swiss chard from an unusual threat: goldfinches. They are small enough to land on the plants and peck holes in the leaves, damaging them so much that we can’t donate them.
Visit the Organic Vegetable Garden!
One of the best ways to learn about vegetable gardening is to see long established gardens in action. Make time this year to visit the Organic Vegetable Garden in north Arlington at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, one of the seven demonstration gardens operated by Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.