Troubles in Paradise: gardening in fickle climates

Last week it wouldn’t stop raining, this week the wind and sun have been relentless. The poor plants, barely adjusting to being drowned several times a day now have to survive the day until I arrive home and can give them some water. Some times, if the day has been especially sunny and windy and dry, the soil is a dusty charred mess and the plants are starting to wilt from thirst. I can’t win! Last week, here was the typical scene in the tomato pots:

Tomato seedlings, drowning in the endless rains.
Well…endless rain until this week 🙂

Now, sun, sun, and more sun. But with sun comes the October winds and people selling kites at street corners and the formerly saturated soil is parched and cracked. And since that has happened, by tomatoes have become stressed. I have cases of just up and dying. The stems rot in the middle for no apparent reason, or the leaf edges are crispy and curled. Not a single drop of rain has fallen in over a week, and so the plants are now at my mercy ~ I cannot forget for one day to give them water! And I continue to weed and to add compost and pull off dead leaves and dying stems, hoping that if it is a fungus that will stop its spread. With any luck, in another month or so, I will have some garden-fresh tomatoes!

The dreaded “Death in the Middle of the Stem” disease!
Crispy leaf curling epidemic!
Unknown sudden “Death in the Middle of the Stem” disease.