Garden Questions

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Taking a break from my usual "listen to me blog about poop and post cute pictures of my kids" nutshell to ask you knowledgeable folks some garden questions!

First, what are these plants?

1.  Random bush in our front yard

Close-up of bud?

2.  Totally weird bulb of a plant I dug up today that has been nothing but a random leafy stalk...

See?  Leaves and stalk - no buds anywhere and I wanted the space for a new tomato plant.

3.  Andrew dug up a SERIOUSLY invasive weed that had roots over 2 feet long.  It was trying to take over the azaleas and looks kind of evil....  Any ideas?

Also, because I know my mom will want to see how her babies are growing, look at these lovely tomato plants!!!

My mom came over and planted the seedlings a few weeks ago and they are doing AWESOME.  Some of the leaves are looking a little yellow - is that bad?  I bought a fourth plant at a farm market today because it's supposed to give me huge heirloom tomatoes (pineapple tomatoes, whatever that means) and all the plants she gave me are for smaller tomatoes.  

Here's another tomato question - at what point am I supposed to stake them or cage them?  And do I need to put a net over them so birds and squirrels don't eat them all?

And WHAT is this growing all over all my azaleas?  It looks like a creepy white fungus but I can't find anything about it on the internet.  Help!

Life is finally slowing down enough that we've been getting a lot of yard work done and planted some seeds today that proooobably won't come up because it's too late in the season - basil, carrots, and zinnias.  But a friend offered me some of her basil seedlings, so maybe that will work out since John Paul would eat nothing but basil all day if he could and I'd like to have more than our one farmer's market plant can offer!  Next year we'll get a little more ambitious in the gardening department - this year is still all about survival!


  1. I already killed all the little budding herbs in my herb garden soooo...I'm just gonna sit back and let someone else answer :)

  2. The first bush is a of my favorites :) Not sure of the type. Don't know the others but that bulb looks familiar. You don't need to cage the tomatoes until they start getting big enough to start drooping and breaking their stems...but it is helpful to do it when the plants are smaller so you don't risk breaking the branches putting them through the wires. You have a little while to go but it certainly wouldn't hurt to put them on now. We've never had problems with birds or squirrels eating tomatoes. I don't think they do?

    1. Oh I LOVE hydrangeas!!! Our neighbors have a ton that are already blooming, so I thought it must not be one but it must just be a different type. Thanks for the advice!

    2. The tomatoes look great! Yay!!! I don't see any yellowed leaves. Just make sure they aren't permanently sitting in water. Maybe your recent rainstorm is what's bothering them. In that case, their jaundiced foliage could be temporary.

      Once the tomato plants are tall enough, you can just tie their branches gently onto the railings that are not visible in the above pictures. Old runny stockings are perfect for this. Cut them into horizontal strips about an inch or two wide. It doesn't even matter if your stockings are so runny that the strips aren't cylindrical; you might even want to make the strips flat anyway. If you don't have old runny stockings, use something very soft and yielding, because you don't want to hurt the tomato branches. You also don't want children standing or walking on this garden patch, as I have told Cecilia. ;-)

      The foliage of the bulb makes it look like a lily. Maybe it will bloom later in the summer if you put it back in the ground now; maybe it doesn't have enough sun to bloom anyway and needs to be transplanted. I dunno. We have some bulbs that shoot up foliage in the spring; they then die down and the whole thing is invisible above ground until August, when a single stem per bulb shoots up and produces several lovely purple trumpets. So you never know.

      And I really wish you would dump some boiling water (preferably salty) on the poison ivy that is near your compost pile. It's true that Grandmother's father and Meg had or have no problem with poison ivy, but others on your side of the family are not so lucky. I can just imagine Cecilia picking the shiny new poison ivy leaves for some project of hers. ::shudder:: Boiling water will kill the poison ivy and everything around it for at least a week. Salted boiling water will kill everything for longer, but it'll come back eventually. Neither will destroy the environment.

      Another idea about the poison ivy is to talk to your neighbors, because they're the ones on whose land the poison ivy is growing, at least for now. If you don't want to do that, then "accidentally" spilling some boiling water four inches into their property isn't going to be a problem, right? You are allowed to pick anything on your side of the property line, but it'd be better just to kill those horrible opportunistic things outright. They are a health hazard.

  3. Yep, as Mary said the first bush is a hydrangea...yours looks like it is doing really well!
    Second bulb is most likely an asiatic-type lily. I'm not sure where you are but it wouldn't be surprising if it hadn't gotten to the point of budding yet. I have one that looks a lot like this that is a stargazer lily and it is nowhere close to budding yet.
    No clue what number 3 is! I'm glad we don't have it here, sounds like a monster weed! Not sure about the azalea fungus either...I don't have any azaleas.
    Fun fun! I love to garden. :)

    1. Ohhhh I bet you're right, it does look like a lily bulb - now I feel kind of bad for digging it up! Maybe I'll plant it somewhere else...

  4. I've been growing veggies for only 3 years now, but I know yellow leaves can mean the plant is slightly stressed. If it's been raining a lot, then the plant may be reacting to too much water or too little sun. If it's not that, you may need a little nitrogen fertilizer. :)
    I love garden fresh tomatoes! Since it's hotter than hot here, the plants are already as tall as me and producing red and golden cherry tomatoes. Yum!

    1. It's been raining a TON, that must be what's doing it - the plants are growing insanely fast, but it's pretty much monsoon season here. Thankfully they're doing well despite the crazy rain!

  5. I concur- hydrangea! In the winter it will die back to those dead looking sticks but don't cut them.


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