Alchemy Garden Journal Entry 15: Extra Pruning


The sun is a tease this week, rearing its bright white head only in the early evenings. By then, my plants only get an hour of sun before my neighbor’s house blocks the light. But with this muggy, wet, sunless week, I’m on high alert for diseases and infestations.

Fortunately, the flying things I saw at the start of the week turned out to be ants. They can stay for now, but I learned that they can pose a problem if they start herding aphids for their honeydew secretions.

My garden bed and pots seem… serene. What do I mean by that? I haven’t seen anything terrifying like slug armies, termite air raids, or caterpie (otherwise known as the tomato horn worm).

Damage on tomato leaves

The tomato leaves on the lower end of the plant were starting to look a bit ill, so I pruned them off as recommended by many vertical gardeners. Afterward, they looked fantastic! The leaves are nearly perfect, tiny little bead sized tomatoes are poking through the flowers, and the stems are growing thick and strong. The Sun Sugars have caught up quite quickly to the Green Zebra. It’s actually amazing to see the difference in their growth now versus when I got the seedlings. If all goes well, I might need a chair or ladder to care for them by the end of June.

Green Zebra Tomatoes

I took this time to also prune back additional leaves from the other basil plants and marigolds. The slugs had chewed up a number of leaves, so I cut them all off as well as the leaves developing a grey color. The marigolds are bunched up on each other, so there isn’t much air flow going through their leaves. I gave them all a massive trim and cut off the dying heads.

I’m getting much more comfortable with just cutting things now. I can see the difference in the health of the plant almost immediately, and most certainly the next day. I just really wish we’d get some sun! It’s been cloudy or overcast for a week and a half now. We will get rain tomorrow and there’s a chance of a thunderstorm the day after. Looks like it’ll be another dull, London sky.

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