Nice surprises

Well, I promised to post on everything I was growing this year, even those I'm growing unintentionally:

These guys showed up after a day of rain last week, but they haven't gone away. I wanted to try sauteeing them in butter, but Rob said that was too dangerous a gamble.

Surprise Number Two: Remember that vine?

We now have 8 or 10 fist-sized fruits and another dozen or two blossoms. Now I'm going to have to find out how to dry gourds. Everyone's getting bird feeders for Christmas!

The last small miracle was found under the canopy of our vociferous irises and expansive hydrangea:

Yes, our pennyroyal is alive, despite all evidence to the contrary. It looks like I'll have to move it again. It spreads alarmingly fast when it has light and lots of sun, and the leaves smell heavenly - a mix of lemon and mint.

My tomatoes are producing well, and shockingly, the squirrels have left them alone, except for the rotting ones that we pick and leave in the yard for them as a sort of peace offering/distraction. the I have come to realize that I really should have staked them earlier and more sturdily, but at least we're getting fruit, and lots of it.

I'm curious about the dry, black spots that have formed at the bottom of most of the paste-variety tomatoes (most clearly seen on the orange one). Anyone know how or why this happens?

We had a couple of loads of yellow wax beans, but they appear to have stopped producing. And my lettuces are officially flowering. I'm trying to save seeds, plus keep the soil healthy. We'll see how successful that is!

I really am happy with this experiment. So what if everything doesn't work out? The surprises more than make up for it.


Joshua McNichols said...

Paste/sauce tomatoes are especially susceptible to blossom end rot. I had it two years ago, and similarly it only hit my sauce tomatoes. It has numerous causes. But in my case, the experts seemed to think it was inconsistent watering. I've typically done well by watering my tomatoes very infrequently, causing the toms to send their roots way down, so they can build up their drought tolerance. But many saucers don't seem up to the challenge.

Phyllis Sommer said...

i have that blossom-end-rot thing on some of my tomatoes too. i found, via the internet, that j's comment above is right - inconsistent or over-watering. i have found that they are still perfectly edible once i cut off that weird black spot. i'm new at the tomato-growing thing, so these spots freaked me out too.

DaleA said...

I had issues with this a number of years ago, until I figured out that tomatoes require a lot less water than I was giving them.

In some instances, however, you may need to take other action if it's particularly wet or humid. A simple and effective solution is to use a calcium chloride spray on the foilage (spraying it on the fruits is ineffective by most accounts). In general, too much nitrogen is part of the problem, coupled with too little calcium. Try a little lime in your soil next year, and cut back on any nitrogen sources, and you should see improvement.

Joshua McNichols said...

Yes, now that you mention it Dale, calcium deficiency was another factor. I've started adding my eggshells to the garden mulch to help with this.