We would like to keep you informed of all important developments that affect you and your garden. We choose NOT to grow plants that have destructive diseases. Each grower has to make an individual decision whether to offer a plant that is highly likely to be impacted by a destructive disease. It has always been our policy not to sell those types of plants. For example, we no longer grow Rudbeckia Goldsturm (Black Eyed Susan) because of a devastating fungal leaf spot that is impacting the plants. Below is detailed information on two crops we would like you to know about:
IMPATIENS DOWNY MILDEW
Traditional Impatiens are great for giving some color to a shady area that most annuals have a tough time providing, but for years many growers and gardeners struggled with the pain of moist new england conditions giving their crop downy mildew. After years of perfecting the variety we are now happy to announce a new and improved impatiens that is resistant to downy mildew.
Downy Mildew of Basil
We WILL still grow and offer Basil for sale. You will still be able to grow and harvest your basil if you follow the tips below:
This is NOT related to Impatiens Downy Mildew but is similarly destructive to plants.
Last year was the worst year for Basil Downy Mildew in the Northeast since 2007, when the disease was first introduced to the United States. It is spread by the wind and CANNOT overwinter in the soil, meaning even if you had it last year, your soil is NOT contaminated. The disease can only survive on living plants. Unfortunately, southern states grow Basil year-round so it is not possible to eradicate the disease.
What to Look For:
Infected leaves become yellow on the top of leaf with a fuzzy, dark gray growth on the underside of the leaf (it might look like soil or soot on the back of leaf). The yellowing of the leaf might be mistaken for a need for more fertilizer or perhaps sunburn. Customers tend to think they did something wrong. You did not!
What To Do?
We are going to continue to offer basil for sale with the following recommendations:
Consider purchasing Basil varieties that are less susceptible to Downy Mildew such as Lemon, Lime, Thai or our new offering, Eleonora, a Johnny’s Seed cross between Thai and Sweet Basil.
For those planting the more susceptible varieties, such as the sweet basil varieties (including Italian Large Leaf and Genovese), harvest early. The pathogen tends to arrive in MA around mid-July at the height of the heat and humidity.
Consider growing some basil in containers that can be brought inside when humidity outside is high (including overnight and on rainy days).
Plant in the ground in well drained gardens that have good air circulation and try not to get the leaves wet when you water the plants (We know….easier said than done!).