Goodbye Mystery Plant; Hello Fruit and Flowers!

Our thanks go out to everyone who sent in ideas as to the name of our mystery plant.  Unfortunately, it still remains a mystery, despite our best searching efforts. But no matter on that front because we made the decision to get rid of it. Yes, it was simply invading too much in the areas it was growing, so much that it had starting vining on and shading a couple tomato plants, and it was becoming too much of a pest in the barrel with the ground cherries and cowpeas. So we pulled the plant out at the roots (good thing too because they looked like they were spreading themselves), and then cut away all the vines, receiving some nice scratches in the process. Seriously, its bigger vines were bristly to the point of thorny! With the mystery plant gone, things look sooooo much better. Especially in the cowpea barrel — now they can vine all over the place, which they are happily doing.

In other news, things are now starting to look quite pretty with our marigolds blooming at full blast.

These hierloom marigolds are brightening up on bed.
These Jaguar marigolds are brightening up one tomato bed.
Meanwhile, the Jaguar marigolds are holding down the fort in the stone bed.
Meanwhile, the Tiger Eye marigolds are holding down the fort in the stone bed.

Now the idea behind planting marigolds with tomatoes (and around a garden generally) is that they help deter bugs from the tomato plants. Whether are not they are at this point, we can’t say. So far our biggest pest problem has occurred in the arugula/dill/romanesco/kale raised bed in which something, probably mites of some kind, have decimated the leaves of our kale and romanesco plants. We’ve noticed some other eaten leaves here and there, but nothing as bad as the complete destruction that happening there. 😦 Maybe it’ll be a matter of time before we find out if the marigolds actually help any, but for now we’re happy enough with the color they’re providing. As for the tomatoes themselves, they are popping out slowly but surely! Just about all the plants have flowers now, and some have baby fruit.

Just one of many that are starting to show!
Just one of many that are starting to show!

The same is happening with our pepper plants — they are all doing so much better than last year’s attempt.

Most of the peppers only have flowers, but here's an early riser!
Most of the peppers only have flowers, but here’s an early riser!

Elsewhere, we’re about to be racked with a full crop of wax beans.

Just a couple more days and these guys will be ready for dinner!
Just a couple more days and these guys will be ready for dinner!

And believe it or not, it looks like we ARE going to have some ground cherries! (SO EXCITING!)

And we're going to have more than one!
And we’re going to have more than one!

So things definitely on the up and up overall. This weekend we managed to complete the rest of our transplants from the cold frame. Since absolutely none of our melons took off (so, so sad), that bed is now full of half-grown tomato plants. Hopefully at least a few of them will make it. With temperatures rising to the 90s during the week and little hope for rain, we’re keeping a close eye on everything, and providing extra water. Of course, the hot sun will be good for a number of the pants, and it looks like thing will “cool off” to the normal summer range by 4th of July weekend.

We’ll sign off this week with a couple more shots of our little violas. They have quickly become our favorite flowers of the season so far. Sure the marigolds are gorgeous and bright, but the delicate purple and yellow violas lend more than enough staying power to make at least one of our flower beds really shine!

18violas2

18violas1

 

 

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