This is a picture of the garden as it stood this morning:
Here is a side shot:
Apparently, while I was at work in Cedar Rapids yesterday, a thunderstorm swung through Iowa City, dumping more rain down the dripline from the black walnut tree into the garden. By today, the Big Beef plant (which is really two plants, but we planted them together, so they’re sort of our garden’s Siamese twins) also had a case of the droops, and the Jet Star plant looked ready to call it a season.
The peppers still looked alright, as did the eggplants, but we’re not getting much in the way of production from any of those plants, so I suspect the evil juglone is at least stunting their growth, even if it isn’t killing them. The eggplants, however, might have a chance, if only because the mighty zucchini leaves shelter them from the brunt of the dripping poison.
“It figures we’d have our garden under an Agent Orange tree,” Steve said, shaking his head as he looked at the damage.
Now that I know what a black walnut looks like, thanks to the Internet, I now recognize the tree that has become my nemesis. It’s fairly bursting with walnut pods, and its leaves are very distinctive and angular. I pointed out one in our neighbor’s yard, then one a few houses over, then another and another. They’re everywhere in our neighborhood.
If there was a momentary glimmer of joy, it was that Steve showed me a good-sized pepper on one of the Golden Summer plants. I hadn’t noticed it before, hanging so low to the ground, but it’s there and looks healthy.
But if one thing was clear today, it was that we were going to have to take prompt and decisive action if we had any hope of salvaging a large portion of our garden.