I picked our first Pattypans and Asian Eggplants today. The larger cantaloupe are sitting up on cleaned tuna cans, busy knitting their netting patterns. The onions have swooned. The beets are blushing. The beans are kind of flagging in the heat, but are determined to get up the twine. The garden is hopping, literally. I saw my first frog since we’ve lived here. But, then I saw something green on our coneflowers that would have even Kermit singing the blues, or in this case, the yellows.
Unfortunately, I spotted Aster Yellows on our coneflowers. And looking over the fence, I also saw it on our neighbors coneflowers. Not good. After emailing photos into the U of MN Extension Service to confirm, I sadly removed our affected plants. But, our neighbor has only trimmed back the visibly affected parts of hers. I plan to hand off a little helpful reading material to her when I see her next, for the good of her own remaining plants, ours, and our neighbors. I learned one needs to remove the whole plant or it can still infect other plants via leafhoppers. If you see this in your yard, please have the courtesy to do the same, if not for the good of your own plants, for the good of others. It overwinters in plant tissue also, so there can be accumulative presence of the disease for the next year if no action is taken. Also, there is no cure.
The picture above is of our own diseased coneflower plant. I just hope the leafhopper life-cycle for this growing season won’t affect our garden further as I see the list of potential plants it can infect is about 90% of what we’re growing in perennials and annuals (including our vegetables and herbs). Gardening, never a dull moment.