Monday, May 13, 2013


Is that even possible?  I suppose it is when you have low spots. 

First the good news, the fruit trees all seem to be doing well, still putting on tiny fruit, new leaves, getting taller, and now the figs are starting to do their thing.

And the raised herb bed is doing wonderfully as well:

Raised bed with Herbs
They are growing and thriving.  In fact, we harvested some to bring back into town to use.  I think the herbs are happy.

What doesn't seem to be happy however are some of the veggies!

Lost a tomato plant.  This is one of the Homestead 24's.  Now in all fairness, this is one that had broken off from the mother plant and I had rooted it.  It grew a fruit so it was doing well, until I put it in the ground.

Then one of my Asian Eggplants is this happening to it's leaves.  It's grown over the last week but not sure if this is a sign of something.  The leeks and other plants in the bed are doing ok I suppose and I have to remind myself that they've only been in the ground a week.

But over this last week, we had almost 4" of rain at the farm.  To add to that, the sprinkler still goes off automatically three times a day.

So all of that combined has created some standing water spots around the raised beds as you can see above.  I'm not sure if that's creating a problem or not, but it worries me.  Of course, in a couple of weeks, it might be bone dry and could be for weeks at a time, but until then, I'm not sure what is going on.

So a) any suggestions on those plant problems?  And b) what is the best way to stop that standing water?  I thought about poking deep holes in the ground around them?  Should I add sand around the beds that have low spots?  Or is regular dirt better?

The soil out there has a lot of clay and in the low spots, it collects.

Fingers crossed.  I guess this is how I learn, trial and error. 

Thanks in advance!


Dani said...

1st Man - have you done any companion planting investigation? My info says eggplants and:

beans, garlic, marigold, pea, spinach, thyme and tarragon are good, and ;

eggplant and apricots are not.

Leeks - companion to them is carrots :)

Kirk Dale said...

I love the look of the raised beds. As the plants grow they begin to fill out, and fill in the space around them!

Regarding Dani's idea of companion planting, I was taught that Tomatoes do very well when grown with Basil.

Bye for now


Shannan Deshazer said...

Good morning!
I live in Portland OR so I am quite familiar with the problem of too much water at planting time.
I don't think there is a whole lot you can do other than put cloches in the plants (I use old milk jugs) to dry off the leaves or put a plastic cover over the bed. Turn off the sprinklers for the next week.
You may have a problem with fungus on some leaves and I usually just prune the affected leaves off. Once summer heats up the plants usually figure things out and grow past the initial waterlogged beginning. But like I said, I usually have to trim off the affected fruit and leaves.
Here in Oregon, we are having a hot dry spring whereas in the past two years the spring has been cold and very wet. I didn't even have to put the plastic over my beds this year!! You got our wet weather! Good luck. Love reading about your farm life

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i would turn the sprinkler off until things dry out. you really won't know what is going to happen until you get some hotter, sunny weather and see how they respond. my figs are just starting to leaf out. two of them did not make it over the winter.

kymber said...

1st Man - yep, turn off the sprinkler for a week. the beds have been thoroughly watered and the plants will not suffer for a week. we have thick, clay soil that collects water all around our raised beds and tires. the only thing that we could do was to dig trenches all around the beds to a run-off area - maybe you could make a pond? and once all of the trenches are dug, fill them with gravel-sized rocks (sand will hold the water) in order for the standing water to be able to continue draining to the run-off area. as for companion planting, all of the suggestions made so far are correct. however back in the city where i planted my tomatoes there was naturally-occuring borage that i didn't think twice about. then all of my neighbours and coworkers were complaining about tomatoe horn worms and i had never seen a single one. for 2 yrs my neighbours tomatoes were all attacked by hornworms and they had no fruit at the end of the season. and i had 2 bumper years with big, delicious fruit. it turns out after some research that tomatoes love growing with borage and that hornworms hate borage. so now i always plant basil and borage with my tomatoes. oh one more thing - the blue borage flowers are delicious and edible - nifty eh? if you keep picking them from the bush they will keep flowering all season!

your friend,

Jenny said...

Don't worry about the tomato plant - it will drop bottom leaves as it focuses on growing roots on the stalk that is covered in soil and then will rebound in growth on top. you can help it by trimming bottom leaves yourself but it should be fine. Eggplants usually struggle after replanting so you might see that on yours. Give it couple of weeks and see how it grows. Good luck!

Joani said...

I agree with turning off the sprinklers. You are drowning them. I have always taken a banana and put it in the hole before I plant my tomatoes. I learned that a long time ago and I always have a great tomato crop. I also agree with the companion planting. Have a great week.

Linda said...

What kind of contraption do you have on the corners of the raised beds? It looks like it is easy to make those beds with the metal pieces. Thanks.

The bottom leaves of all plants should be pinched off. Getting on the ground and dampness causes some sort of problem--not sure what. Plus, water should not splash on leaves--another problem and forgot

Kris said...

That's about what all mine look like here in Ga. I had to replant a lot of tomato plants. I'll have to replant beans, okra, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beans and peas and well, just about everything. We've had SO much rain here. Then dry and hot. Then cold and wet. Crazy crazy weather. Have you had your soil tested? Most veggies require certain things that others may not. And check to see what you can plant together. Like don't plant beans and tomatoes together. Beans are givers and tomatoes are takers. But do rotate each of them next year. Gardening is a risk for sure. You just never know what's going to happen. But don't get discouraged. There's plenty of time to do it over.

AnywhereEden said...

Like Shannan I'm also from Western Oregon, and yeah, if anyone knows about too much water it's the gardeners in the Pacific Northwest! The standing water around your beds are likely not a problem, that's one of the great reasons for using raised beds, they tend to drain well. More than likely that water you can see is from inside the raised beds and is draining outward. Stick a finger into the soil in the bed itself, if it doesn't feel completely soaked then water isn't the issue. More likely, since the other plants are doing well and only the fruiting hot weather plants are having trouble, they are either suffering a little transplant shock, it got too cold for them, or they aren't getting adequate nutrition. Tomatoes and eggplants both require higher temps, and more nutrition than non-fruiting plants like root and leaf veggies. I would give them a little compost tea foliar feed to give them a boost, then cover them with row cover/cloches/etc. to protect them from the overnight cold temps for a few more weeks. Give them time and I'm sure they'll perk back up. And, you're right, trial-and-error is the only way to garden. ;)

1st Man said...

Thank you for those suggestions. You know I think I have a book on companion planting. I totally forgot about it. I will check those out. I plan on some marigolds for general pest prevention so that's good. And the leeks, coincidentally, are planted next to some carrots! Fingers crossed!!

1st Man said...

Thank you! It really was our only choice, since the ground has a lot of clay. Yeah, maybe they just look too lonely now, ha. Tomatoes and basil sure taste great together, I have no problem adding some basil to the tomato beds too. Can't hurt! Thank you!!

1st Man said...

Oh yes, Portland, lots of rain, huh? I am going out tomorrow to turn off the sprinkler until the weekend. I was hoping that maybe the plants would bounce back. Hey, I just need to be patient (isn't that a farm virtue? LOL). We've been wet, I want to officially send the overly wet part to the drought stricken parts of the country, ha. Thanks for your nice words!!

1st Man said...

thanks for the suggestion, definitely think I'm going to do that tomorrow after work.

1st Man said...

Thanks, yep, gonna do that (and now I see on the weather tonight, rain in the forecast!). I thought about digging trenches, thanks for the heads up about sand. I guess that's true, it will hold water. I might dig some deeper holes and pour some gravel in. BORAGE? Cool, I will totally do that. Had some hornworms a few years back on a tomato plant in a pot, those nasty things ate up all my tomatoes. I will buy some borage along with some marigolds and basil. Edible flowers? Awesome side benefit!!

1st Man said...

Thanks for the reassurance. It's all new to me. I need to see how it "grows", ha. Thank you very much!!!

1st Man said...

Thank you for that tip. Banana? A whole banana or jus the peel? Maybe I could stick it in the ground nearby. Thanks!

1st Man said...

Hey hey! Yes, those corners are awesome. I blogged about them here:

It was so easy. I bought them a couple years ago (on sale) in preparation for the garden. I will pinch off the bottom leaves, thank you for that tip!

1st Man said...

Glad to know we're not alone, ha. I will plan on the possibility of replanting. I have some okra sprouting in trays now. Our weather has been just like yours....rain, then hot, then cold and then more rain....Thanks for the info. I won't get discouraged, no worries! :-)

1st Man said...

Thank you for such a detailed post. Much appreciated...I know what y'all must go through up there. I never thought about the fact that the water I see is probably also the water running out of the beds. The soil wasn't soggy and not dry either so I guess that's all good. We have had some freaky cool weather, no freezes, and no 30's but it did get down into the 40's and 50's a few times. Let the trial and error begin, ha. Thanks again!

Tanja said...

Thinking that you probably realised by now, as we are a whole year ahead, that you planted your warm weather crops too early? That is why they pouted and the foliage turned purple. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes love the heat. The night time air temps should be consistently around the plus 10C mark and the soil should be even warmer . Good luck with this years heat lovers!