on the homefront

Today my hamstrings are killllling me from weeding in the garden, or at least I hope that is why they hurt. It could also be from the motorrad tour that we made yesterday. When I say motorrad, I mean Schwalbe which is little more than a combination of a normal bicycle and a dirt bike. Directly translated it means swallow – as in the bird.  This particular model is from the DDR era.  I would argue that it is not really designed for two adult passengers and have no plans to repeat yesterday’s activities.

Schwalbe
This is a Schwalbe. We rode on one almost identical to this one, but the one we rode on has a garbage bag for a seat.

My mint cuttings have already died. I am not sure if I did not pick sturdy enough sprigs to use for propagation, the weather is too warm, my soil is too wet/dry, or something completely different. I am going to try again using cuttings from the main stems and hope for the best. I may also have to repeat the process with one of the sage cuttings because it is not looking too promising. Ah well, lucky for me herb plants are resilient and tend to actually do better when they are cut back.

Dead cuttings

I have also been having a problem with blossom drop which is incredibly annoying because I have a 6 foot tall tomato plant that is not producing any tomatoes. It is nice to look at, but not what I was aiming for.

Withered-up tomato blossoms

Blossom drop on pepper plant

To deal with this issue, I bought some fertilizer that has high amounts of calcium which is supposed to help the plants to set fruits. I have also applied this to the pepper plants which are struggling with fruit production, too. We will have to see. I used 50 grams of fertilizer in the large container that houses two full-size tomato plants (Cherokee Purple and Russian Krim) and 10 grams in the smaller containers that have peppers (ancho, jalapeno, and California wonder), cocktail tomatoes (Tumbling Tom), and regular red tomatoes (Rutgers).

Whiteflies have also been another problem. Last night I sprayed the tomato plants down with a mixture of baking soda and dish soap. I tried very hard to soak the plants and paid special attention to the underside of the leaves. To avoid burning the leaves, I then liberally sprayed the plants with water. From what I understand this should be repeated every 3-4 days because the young whiteflies and larvae are typically unaffected. I am pleased to report that there already appears to be a decrease in the number of flies present.

Finally, there appears to be a fungus or something like a fungus that is affecting my mint and oregano plants. The leaves are covered in very small white spots that have rusty colored dots on the inside.

Unidentied fungus on oregano plant

Fungus(?) on mint plant

I am unsure of what the problem is, but am hopeful that it can be diagnosed to avoid any unnecessary loss of life.

Other than that, I think that my toe may be broken and it is going to be another hot city day.  Lucky for me, I got most of the outdoor work done this morning, so I can stay in the nice cool apartment.

Until next time…

Sincerely Yours,

the transplanted gardener(in)

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