The garden is so much a part of who I am that at the start of the season I had a lot of emotion which turned the “effort” of resuming the tending of my garden, into a painful struggle.
There were more days I felt like giving up than I care to admit.
I realize unless someone’s garden is as important to them as mine is to me, they’re not going to relate to that particular situation. But all of us have more than likely encountered emotionally similar circumstances in our lifetime. Surviving them and coming out better than going in requires about the same process. We have to change how we look at things.
To change my unhealthy emotional state I had to change how I view the situation.
To re-establish a more positive outlook, I ask myself questions like these:
Since I have no choice but to change things, how can I change them to make things better and easier?
What problems will be solved as a result of these changes?
What problems will I have to learn to live with until I can make changes?
What ways can this situation benefit me in the long run?
How would I help someone else solve this same problem?
These questions helped me change my view of the circumstances from something that seemed to threaten “who I am” into something that was not only going to make me better, but make life more enjoyable after the changes were accomplished.
One of the things that has given me pleasure (since my change of attitude) is watching what’s taking place in the garden this year.
I’ll share a few notes on tomatoes and peppers that you might find helpful/interesting. Every garden is different and every year is different.
Tomato Notes
Early Blight
For the last 7 years or so early blight appeared on my tomatoes once they started producing fruit heavily. I’d still get lots of tomatoes as you can see in this prior post, but the plants looked rather bare at the bottom.
This year there are only a few dead leaves on the bottom stems which is totally normal for most plants this late in the growing season. But most of the foliage is pristine and beautiful.
They Loved Starting Late
I didn’t bother to start tomatoes until May this year. And it was the very end of May by the time I transplanted to the garden.
As we all know, tomatoes love heat and don’t perform well when things go below 50ºF.
(I showed you another picture of the 3 plants in the picture below as they were in early June in this post.)
3 big beef plants after mid August; still with beautiful foliage
Hot Temperatures Prevent Fruit Set
During those extremely hot temperatures in July tomatoes and peppers didn’t set fruit. (That’s normal for a lot of vegetables when temperatures go above 90ºF.)
They’re setting fruit again now, but after all the larger fruit is harvested I’ll soon have a smaller harvest each day until the new fruit matures.
It will be interesting to see if the foliage remains pristine if there is a heavy fruit production.
On 14 plants I’ve seen a total of only 4 or 5 hornworms, all small, and all with the cocoons of the Braconid Wasp which halts their damage almost immediately.
Hornworm paralyzed with white cocoons and young fruit.
I’ve listed 3 posts relating to the hornworm at the end if you want to read more about  this little wasp that helps us in our fight against various pests.
Pepper Notes
Started Late
Started my peppers after my tomatoes. They were only an inch tall when I transplanted to the garden. They doubled to 2 inches relatively quickly. Then they sat there (like they do every year) until almost the end of July and finally started growing. They’re about 3 1/2 feet tall now and look beautiful.
If you haven’t already checked it out, I think you’ll enjoy this post on Peppers – It Ain’t Necessarily So.
Hot Temperatures Prevent Fruit Set
They started to bloom just when that extreme heat arrived and thus, didn’t set fruit.
Now that temperatures are more moderate and they’re setting a lot of fruit.
Final Thoughts
I hope you’ll share what’s going on with your tomatoes and peppers this year. (Or anything else you want to tell about.)
We all learn from each other’s experiences, so please join the conversation in the comments area.  It’ll be fun to hear what’s happening in your garden.
Suggested Reading – Related Posts
Discrepancies in ids – Hornworms- Eggs or Cocoons
3 Tips – Potatoes- Lettuce- Tomato Hornworm and A Personal Note
Hornworms – Why You Might Need a Few in Your Garden
Early Blight on Tomatoes – There’s Hope
Peppers – It Ain’t Necessarily So
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