Larkspur was planted three (3) years ago. The seed pods let go of their seeds and new plants come up every year!!! These self sown plants are an absolute joy!
What beautiful tall plants with flowers of white, pink, lavender and purple. The plants look so fragile yet they are very sturdy! I look forward to seeing them every year.
What volunteers do you have in your growing spaces? What an encouragement that will be!!!
The Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was a familiar sight in the Missouri Ozarks. Between mowing and spraying herbicide this beautiful plant has become more scarce.
This particular milkweed can grow very large (up to 6 1/2 feet tall). The profuse flowers vary from pinkish to purplish in color. The coveted Monarch Butterfly caterpillars are the chief consumer of the leaves and stems. The caterpillars prefer the more tender newer smaller leaves.
The Great Spangled Fritillary adores this plant! Today I counted 20 butterflies on one plant!
It is an amazing spectacle to see how the Fritillaries covet this “common” plant!
Do yourself a favor and plant as many of these special plants to perpetuate the threatened Monarch Butterfly and enjoy a truly beautiful perennial plant!
It has been my experience, tomatoes planted late are far superior to early or standard planted. As the temperatures start to cool down, you get better flower set and consequently better fruit.
I prefer to cage my tomatoes for better foliage cover to reduce the chance of sun-scald. Heirloom tomatoes have superior taste and texture. However, the plants can exceed the size of the cage!! Next year I plan to grow the plants on 5 foot centers to allow for easier harvesting and increased air circulation.
BTW, the plant to the left of Papa is a variety called Granny Cantrell. This beloved heirloom has quite a following. The plant to the right is Daniel’s, which produces very large pink red fruit and appears to be well suited for our Missouri Ozarks climate.
The above variety has the unusual name of “1884”. The plant was discovered after a flood in West Virginia in 1884. This beauty weighs in at 1 pound 10 ounces. BLT sandwiches are written all over it!!!!
Kellog’s Breakfast is the name of this bright yellow/orange sweet confection. Boasting a good balance of sweetness and acidity with few seeds make Kellog’s Breakfast a highly desirable choice.
The expanded list of tomatoes grown are:
- 1884 – large pink/red beefsteak
- Black Prince – small purple/red 2-3 oz
- Black from Tula – medium red/purple, meaty/few seeds
- Coyne – red Roma type, large 4-8 oz
- Daniel’s – large pink/red beefsteak, many over a pound
- German Johnson – medium pink/red beefsteak, one of the parents of Branywine
- Granny Cantrell – medium/large pink/red beefsteak, plants are huge!
- Hannah – medium/large, pink/red oxheart, meaty, few seeds
- Hazelfield Farm – pink/red, medium beefsteak, well adapted to hot/humid
- Kellog’s Breakfast – large yellow/orange beefsteak, sweet and meaty
- Mary Robinson German Bicolor – large, red/yellow, beefsteak
- Omar’s Lebanese – large pink/red, may exceed 3 pounds
- Pineapple – large, yellow/red, very sweet and juicy
- Pink Boar – pink with green streaks, small 3-4 oz
- Rutgers – small, orange/red old fashioned for canning, juicing
- San Marzano Lungo #2 – 3-4 0z Roma type for sauce and paste
It never ceases to amaze me, how traditional tomato eaters are about the color of their tomatoes. As one man said to me “If it ain’t red, I ain’t going to eat it”. However, when they try the different colored tomatoes, they often change their mind.
For the Ozarks, start your tomato seeds the second week of May and plant your seedlings the first of July. Your tomatoes will start coming in by late August through October. BTW, for you market gardeners, late tomatoes command a higher price by late September/October due to limited supply.
Plant late, I promise you, you will not be disappointed!
My old nemesis the Tomato Hornworm is back! They certainly are an impressive creature!
When the Five Spotted Hawk (Manduca quinquemaculata) moth finds a tomato plant, it will lay one or several eggs on the tomato plant. When the eggs hatch, the little caterpillar will eat its egg case and starts to eat like crazy! The caterpillar will molt several times until it becomes mature and ready to burrow in the ground and metamorphize into a chrysalis. By late spring the chrysalis will open and a new moth appears in late spring/early summer. Finally the cycle starts all over again.
It is incredible how fast an almost mature caterpillar can strip a tomato plant. I recommend removing the worms by hand. Usually the creatures are found alone hiding amongst the damage. Beware, there color is a great camouflage! Check out the size of this critter!!
BTW, here is another indicator of their escapades. Giant worm poop!!!
You have to admit, they are amazing!!!!!!
Garden peas and sugar snap peas were planted a week ago! They should be up in about a week.
Bachelor Buttons, Shasta Daisy, Pansies, Snap Dragons, Marigolds, Foxglove and other flower seed were planted in cell trays. Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower were started as well.
Tomato and Pepper seed will be planted tomorrow. Full production has started in earnest!
Flowers have started to bloom. The Crocus and jonquils are showing their lovely blooms!
Watch for more gardening goodies!!!
The Fall season is my favorite time of year! Leaves changing color, final summer harvest and cool, delightful weather. The Fall mums are in bloom. Time to enjoy!
I almost forgot, beautiful sunsets!!!!
There’s more to come.
I made three garden raised beds on August 18 and now they are starting to bear fruit! I planted zucchini, green beans and zinnias.
Here are the beds two weeks later.
Finally, the same three beds on September 23!
Truly amazing!! Here are the first fruits!
37 days from seed to fruit from a 45 day variety of zucchini. Again this proves that warm season vegetables grow faster when the soil is warm and there are proper nutrients. The green beans are beginning to flower and the zinnias have large flower buds!
Planting early is not always the best policy. Plus, now there are less chewing and probing insects. Stay tuned!!