The Toppling Tree

I have all 15 tomato plants in the garden; Actually that’s 14 1/2 plants. One of the dangers facing newly planted seedlings is a critter called the cutworm. They come out at night and eat a ring around the base of the new plant so you go out and find it mowed down. There’s a standard approach to combatting them by encircling the stem with a cardboard collar but I end up breaking the plants while messing with the collar. Anyway, one of the cherry tomato plants was chopped down by a cutworm. I took the top of the plant and stuck it in the ground with the hope that it may take root- sometimes that works. After one day it looked like this wasn’t going to work but after three, maybe it will. In any case, if I had to lose a plant, best that it was a cherry tomato. The variety is so, so productive that we keep the neighborhood and friends totally satisfied with 2 plants. Also I literally pull hundreds of renegade cherry tomato plants- starting now and throughout the season – so I’ll let a couple of them survive and if the cutworm victim doesn’t survive, I’ll pop a renegade in it’s spot.
I also started planting jalapeño peppers, 3 out of 7 plants now in the main garden. I didn’t plant them all just in case the time or spot is a problem. If everything looks good in a few days, I’ll finish off the rest of the plants. This is a new variety called Mucho Nacho and it sounded good – large, meaty variety of medium heat – best for making poppers or so the catalog advises. Normally I plant only 3 or 4 and that is sufficient for all of us but I always start more than I need and give the spares to Joey or a friend of Nancy’s. Turns out neither of them wanted jalapeños so I’ll have an extra large crop this year. That’s really ok with me since we always pickle several jars and it’s never enough. Barbara also pickles but for some reason didn’t last year. She assures me this year she’s going to be a pickling queen.

We’re in a serious cauliflower overload mode now. Nancy made roasted cauliflower soup the other night and we have a recipe for broccoli-cauliflower salad on the agenda. Also spotted a recipe for a cauliflower salad that is identical to potato salad sans potatoes. We make a veggie mix at Thanksgiving mashing carrots and turnips together, an old family recipe. I’m wondering if it would work to replace the turnips with cauliflower. The pic shows one of the current crop about to be cut.

Nice cauliflower
Nice cauliflower

Pineapple update – Of the 6 plants started, 1 died right away giving me hope that those that didn’t die instantly were more likely to make it. Two of those are clearly living and putting out new growth but the other three seem, at best, to be clinging to life; that means still green, but clearly not putting on new growth. I’m not going to pull them out so long as there’s hope.
In the process of losing another pine tree by having it topple over. We’ve had so much rain and the lake level has been high for so long that the ground down by the lake is soft and when a good wind catches the tree it pushes it over. This pine was tilting about 30 degrees (from vertical) a month ago, then sagged to 45 and is now approaching 60. I’m guessing it will just continue to gently drop. The photo shows it at the 30 degree point a few weeks ago. It’s falling away from the dock so I’ll just let nature take it’s course.

Toppling Pine Tree
Toppling Pine Tree

This is a picture of a pine tree gently toppling over down by the lake. The high water has softened the ground so that it didn’t take much wind to blow it over. It’s taken a couple of weeks to get to 60 degrees from vertical and will no doubt be horizontal, on the ground, soon.

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