It’s been two months since I planted my raised bed garden. It appears that the seeds and transplants love their new home! I’ve harvested radishes and a few peas (very few) and have several yellow and green zucchini to pick SOON. What to do with zucchini? It’s great… at first. Perhaps I will post some zucchini recipes in future posts.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the tomatoes continue to thrive. In past years, I’ve had problems with Verticillium Wilt (a soil-borne fungus that inhibits the plant from taking in water). It can stay in the soil for many years and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate. This is why it is important to rotate your garden crops every year!
I believe that my tomato wilt problem started with heirloom tomatoes that I started from seed many years ago. Heirlooms just don’t have the disease resistance that hybrid tomato plants do. That’s unfortunate, because heirloom tomatoes are so beautiful – tasty too. My hope is that the new soil in the raised bed will not become infected. The thing about this disease is that the tomato plants will look great one day and will suddenly wilt the next. In my experience, this happens right before some of the first tomatoes ripen. Tragic and heartbreaking! There is nothing that can be done to stop the disease once it starts. All you can do is harvest as many tomatoes as possible before the plant bites the dust. If you’re lucky, you’ll get enough for a couple of BLT’s.
I’ve noticed that my raised bed vegetables grow almost twice as tall as the plants grown directly in the earth. The extra height means that I need to get out there and stake the plants before they bend and break from their own weight. So far, that’s the only disadvantage I have discovered about raised bed gardening. I love this weed-free, little-or-no-bend method of gardening!