It looks like a Komodo Dragon ready to eat your plants but actually its a.......(drum roll please)....a LADY BUG! There is a weird metamorphosis between a black orange sticky gob like ball and this spiky monster before we see the cute little bug we all love.
Is there such a thing? Many ask, but those that know tomatoes, know "once up, best keep up"! The sucker i am pointing to, and all the others on the base of the plant can cause it to fall over. Great if you dont stake or you are really short. Just pinch or press sideways to break off. I like my larger plants tall so i break off all suckers till the plant is about 2 ft tall. It keeps the foliage away from the ground thus less bugs on plant, less moisture and more air to prevent leaf blight, and less hindrance of water spraying from my low irrigation heads.
Off The Top
And more than just a little......First week of June and one by one all the chards have been picked. All the leaves and seed buds have been shaved off and gone into salads, smoothies, omelettes, pasta, juices, and anywhere else. They have lived for about 14 months and have provided till the end.Now just try to figure out what to do with these 6 ft stalks besides as a blog entry? See comments. Tuns of info.
Hot and Wet!
Is how i like my friends and yoga.....and just in case the oven has finally turned on, its irrigation time!
My main garden motto i say to myself is "weeding and watering is poor time management". Final tuning up of spray heads - replace broken ones, clean plugged ones, set flow on adjustable ones, is all up front time that pays for itself in a big way later. I set my timer for every second day at 80% and like to water around 6 am whilst pressure is strong before everyone starts flushing. Plants grow in the night and roots grow a bit deeper to reach down for moisture. Also a dryer surface in the night inhibits rot, mildew, blight, and the speed that slimy bugs will travel. Ever been hit by a fast moving slug? (actually, sorry to any passing car that may have been hit by me tossing slugs over hedge-i wasn't trying to hit you).
I open my garden door to public sales for one or two days each year. I sell off enough to pay the electrical usage for starting up a thousand babies, barter for baked goods like cookies, but more importantly, get to meet fellow urban gardeners and take pleasure in showing all the weird stuff and how i grow it.
On That BLACK WIDOW!!!!
I have seen larger in the jungles of Arkansas, but not by much!
I like spiders, i really do...i know how there are big ones and smaller ones getting smaller into the microscopic....and that they eat lots of bad bugs.... BUT...almost planting something in this spot in the dark with a spider big enough to take out a mouse freaked me out. Nope, i didnt kill it. Im also not going to put my hands into the blocks around that part of the garden again.