So, things have been a bit crazy and I’ve been neglecting you guys. Too many things on my plate with the house closing. Anyways, we’re here.
Anyone know what this tree is?
I was pulling the dead leaves out of a rose bush that my wife “rescued” from Lowes, when one of the leaves ran up my arm.
Its a Praying Mantis Nymph. I’ve never seen one quite this small, he was probably 3/4″ long, and quite the jumper.
They’re fantastic bugs to have around the garden, as they eat all sorts of pests, and won’t harm your plants.
Full size adults will even occasionally eat mice (and the odd hummingbird, small snake, scorpion, etc)
Back into the garden it went.
I had a couple of hours, so I popped open Sketchup and started mapping out the property. I’ll eventually use this to plot out where I’m going to plant the fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Probably use it to plan out any further landscaping work. I eventually want to have a Koi pond somewhere, a hutch/coop for the Runner Ducks that Abbey wants to get, and possibly a small barn of some sort for some sheep or goats.
Does this make me a crazy person?
I have a serious problem. I literally cannot handle the clearance/distressed plant racks at Lowes.
Went out for some ant traps, and came home with this guy. He’s a Wonderful pomegranate, and I know the “pomegranate people” aren’t too fond of the cultivar, but $14.99 was too good to pass up. Part of me thinks its just the typical “oh, that’s the common cultivar…meh” … The rest of me knows I can graft something else on if I don’t like it.
Last year I made a big seed order from Baker Creek Seed company, and they always seem to throw in something free. What I got was a package of Ground Cherry seeds. They’re a small plant in the Solanacaea/Nightshade family (Peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes, etc).
Superficially they resemble a small tomatillo, but taste-wise they’re a sweet pineapple-tomato-citrusy taste. I’m not a big fan of cherry tomatoes, but I like these. The plant doesn’t grow all that fast, but its always loaded with berries. The berries are ripe when they fall off the plant.(ignore the leaf burns)
It also seems to grow fantastically in my hydro-gutter system. Which is great.
While I was doing my daily check, I found this guy:
I had never seen one of these before, so I did some googling… guessed “turtle beetle.” Turns out I was pretty close, he’s a Cavate Tortoise Beetle. The tortoise beetles apparently feed on plants in the nightshade family.
This guy is kind of the ugly duckling in the family. Check out these:
Here’s the gutter garden a week or so later.
One of the lettuce breeds- mesclun mix- some sort of radish green looking thing, started bolting, so I yanked it all out and replaced it with some Eversweet Everbearing strawberries that Lowes was clearing out. Also added a couple of pepper plants that were hanging around in small starter pots.
So far, as far as the gutter hydro goes:
Mexican Sour Gherkin
Ground Cherries – all growing like crazy.
Peppers – growing, flowering, but still too small for fruit.
Basil – will probably get better as it gets a bit warmer
Dill – All are growing, but very slowly, and probably haven’t been worth the netpot space.
I have a handful of raspberry plants, all purchase from Home Depot or Lowes in the last year or two, and most of them look basically the same. However, there’s one straggler that I’m not sure about. Anyone have any idea what the mystery plant (B) is? It has about the same growth form as the other raspberries, throws canes, fruits on second year canes (although I lost all the fruit last year, so no idea what the fruit is), and has very similar, but slightly different leaf structure.
The big difference is in the stems: (A on the left, B on the right)
And the flowers (A on the top, B on the bottom):
Plant B is… hairier. Any ideas? What do I have here?
Last summer I bought a pair of citrus trees to add to my collection; a Key Lime, and a Eureka Lemon. When I got them home from the nursery, they were very pot-bound. I barerooted them, and potted them in gritty mix. (1 turface: 1 grit: 1 bark) They slowly wasted away, and I couldn’t figure out why. I pot all my citrus in this mix, and it all seems to do well.
I lost the lemon over the winter, and repotted the lime again, this time into Miracle Grow Cactus and Citrus mix. I’m usually not a fan of peat based mixes because they tend to either be completely waterlogged, or dry and hydrophobic. I figured the gritty mix wasn’t working, so something different might.
The lime lost a couple more branches, but stopped going through the citrus death spiral (constantly throwing and then aborting flowers.) A couple of weeks ago it started flushing with new growth, and a couple of days, a healthy looking flower bud.
I think we might be out of the woods on this one.