Go Big or Go Bust: Day 205 (Lessons from the Garden on Disease, Promotional Campaigns and Unfounded Optimism AKA Denial)

After the heavy rain yesterday afternoon, I headed into the garden this morning for one of the great joys of life, a rousing hour of weeding damp earth.  Everything comes up more easily than usual after a good rain, especially if there's been the time to let it sock down to the roots. 

To my horror, I saw with fresh eyes the plants which I've been telling myself were 'dry' or 'tired out from over-production'.   In fact, some kind of disease had not only set in to the garden, but spread through it.

This yellow squash plant has blossoms and even some tiny squashes growing.  But look at the brown leaves in the foreground.  The plant in the picture below looked like this one a couple of weeks ago.  I had pruned off the dead leaves and assumed that all would be well.

This yellow squash plant has blossoms and even some tiny squashes growing.  But look at the brown leaves in the foreground.  The plant in the picture below looked like this one a couple of weeks ago.  I had pruned off the dead leaves and assumed that all would be well.

Instead, I'm afraid that this and another plant like it may have been the Typhoid Mary's of our garden. 

Instead, I'm afraid that this and another plant like it may have been the Typhoid Mary's of our garden. 

These (recently) bountifully productive sugar snap peas had the misfortune to be in the row NEXT TO that zucchini plant pictured just above.  As are the garlic - and the hot peppers.

These (recently) bountifully productive sugar snap peas had the misfortune to be in the row NEXT TO that zucchini plant pictured just above.  As are the garlic - and the hot peppers.

Here are the last of the 2 - 3" long sugar snap peas and yellow squash for this season.  Mr. Green must have heard my telepathic scream and came down to join me in the garden.  He agreed.  We have a problem.  He suggested that we may have to destroy the diseased plants.

Here are the last of the 2 - 3" long sugar snap peas and yellow squash for this season.  Mr. Green must have heard my telepathic scream and came down to join me in the garden.  He agreed.  We have a problem.  He suggested that we may have to destroy the diseased plants.

Following instructions from the first gardening website my panicked fingers came upon, I uprooted every single plant with even one diseased leaf.  This amounted to three full, large, garbage bags -- containing every single zucchini and yellow squash plant in the garden, some with tiny vegetables and multiple blossoms (future vegetables).   

Following instructions from the first gardening website my panicked fingers came upon, I uprooted every single plant with even one diseased leaf.  This amounted to three full, large, garbage bags -- containing every single zucchini and yellow squash plant in the garden, some with tiny vegetables and multiple blossoms (future vegetables).   

With a heavy heart I dragged the bags away and returned to our now one-third empty garden.  It's mid-August, the time of the bountiful harvest.  The garlic looks iffy.  The hot peppers have large black spots on them.  I'll check out their prognosis with a more seasoned gardener before whacking them but don't have the emotional stamina to uproot any more plants today. Thank goodness kale and swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower(and carrots) don't seem to be susceptible. 

The moral to this miserable story?  Beware of unfounded optimism otherwise known as *denial*.  A new gardener needs guidance and advice.  Sometimes delay is deadly.  Sometimes a wait-and-see attitude is just plain stupid. 

I'm suddenly flushed with panic that, novice that I am, I don't create a parallel situation with our perennially delayed 'promotional campaign'.  Especially because the psychics all seemed to agree that July/August was the time for The Louise Log to 'take off'.  #EEK