There is a plant-killer on the loose. She is I.
Fortunately, the devastation has not been total. There has been plant death, yes. There has been plant maiming, true. But the victims, many of them, will live to testify. This is their story.
Exhibit A: the Weeping Peach Tree.
You see before you a tree laden with peaches, one tree that I hadn't had the heart to prune (so to speak). As a result, this tree was sagging under its own weight.
Exhibit B: Tomato Death and Destruction.
I transplanted my canning-jar-grown tomatoes into the ground about two weeks ago. They have struggled mightily since then. The theories for the struggling abound.
Theory #1: I started them in windows, not under grow lights. This is the theory promoted by Northwest Edible, and it probably has some merit. But if I believe the lack of grow lights is responsible, then I have to spend money on grow lights, which I don't want to do. Plus, I used the same windows this year that I did last year, and last year my tomatoes were thriving.What do the worst of my tomatoes look like? Well, some 11 of my 24 tomato plants are dead and gone. This bare vine, leafless and destitute, shows the last stages of tomato death of one of my plants.
Theory #2: I did not bring my tomatoes outdoors to play before I transplanted them, so therefore, moving outdoors was too much of a shock. This is my favorite theory. Why? Because I can fix it easily (with no money) next year. My second-favorite theory is below:
Theory #3: I did not plant the tomatoes deep enough. Not only the root, but some of the stem should go underground. This is the theory of my wise neighbor, June.
Theory #4: Too much mulch. Another possibility offered by my neighbor, June.
Theory #5: Not enough mulch. Who knows?
Exhibit C: The Walnut Tree that Could.
Because the truth is, plants grow. Even when we (meaning, *I*) nearly kill them, they often come back. My little English Walnut tree is an example of this. I planted it early last summer and someone else (this time, not me) ran over it with a moving van. I tried expensive things to keep that 5' tall tree alive, but nothing worked. I sadly chopped it down. But, to my wonder and amazement, from that set of roots, only a few months in the soil, a new shoot emerged.
Or, perhaps, the enduring qualities of being nuts.