Our fall garden is off to a great start! We’ve had good yields from our cucumber plants. We have already made one large batch of pickles and have gathered enough to make another batch. Our pole beans have really taken off and are starting to produce beans. The peas and beets are also looking nice so far. The lettuce, spinach, and carrots have not sprouted as much as we hoped so we have replanted seeds. If you find that your seeds are not sprouting according to the date on the package, don’t be afraid to replant. We believe the unusually warm weather this year is the culprit. Last year, we had no problems with our leafy greens sprouting and had great yields.
The corn has also had some problems. When most of the plants were young, they were infested with corn earworms (see our article on these pests here). We sprayed with Pyganic to kill any worms we could find. The stalks have since grown and produced corn, but overall, they were much shorter than expected, around 3-4 feet tall. Several of our corn ears also developed “smut“. It is a fungal disease that causes the kernels to swell and turn gray. Although the appearance is rather unsettling (not to mention unappetizing), it is considered a delicacy in Mexico. Since this batch of corn did not turn out as planned, we planted another row hoping it will turn out. Currently, the new row is about 6 inches tall and the earworms have not found it yet.
Our pumpkins and cantaloupe have grown very well despite being attacked by white flies and aphids early on. Each plant has several fruit on them, many of which are nearly ready to harvest. In the last couple weeks, however, their leaves have become noticeably yellow. We believe it is caused by cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV) a virus transmitted by white flies. This virus is characterized by the entire leaf turning yellow, but the veins remaining green. Green spots on the leaves can also occur. There is no cure once infected.