Saturday, May 5, 2012

Name That Fungus

For not getting started until about 2:00, I got a decent amount of work done in the garden today. I'll go through all of that before I give you that chance to "name that fungus."

First, I freed my tomato seedlings from the confines of the mini greenhouse and gave them an afternoon on the patio. Although a few are a bit leggy (mostly the cherry-type tomatoes), they're looking pretty good.

Tomato Seedlings

Next on the list was to prepare my mom's herb and flower pots. I started zinnias and a variety of herbs for her this spring. She's on vacation with dad for another week yet (they took a month-long cruise), but I want the pots to be ready for her when she gets back on Mother's Day. They're a little sad looking right now, but they'll definitely fill out. Each pot contains two genovese basil, one special basil (lemon in one pot and Thai in another), sage, parsley, oregano and thyme.

herbs in pots

After potting up the zinnias (no pics - they're pretty boring without flowers), I used the leftover potting soil to put three of my tomatoes in hanging pots. I've never grown tomatoes in hanging pots before, but they're part of a special strategy.

When we expanded the garden last year, we gave my sister-in-law an open invitation to stop by whenever she wanted and take whatever she needed. Normally, she brought her kids (both under the age of 5) with her. Those kids LOVE vegetables, particularly tomatoes. They must think that cherry tomatoes are made just for them (because they're so tiny). I love to see my niece and nephew eating so many vegetables, but we noticed that we got a lot smaller harvest of our favorite cherry tomatoes, Blondkopfchen. I don't have room for extra cherry tomatoes in the garden, but I'm planting them in hanging pots along the driveway so as the kids come up towards the garden, they'll see those tomatoes first. As far as I'm concerned, they can eat every single tomato on these plants. That leaves more for me in the back :)

From front to back there's Matt's Wild Cherry, Blondkopfchen, and Currant. The currant tomatoes are tiny, and I usually don't have the patience to eat them except for snacking, but perhaps small children will. Also, the currant plant grew into an unmanageable bush the last time I grew it, so I can imagine it being kind of pretty as it cascades over the pot. My only concern is that the stems will snap as they lean over the pot, but I'll see how that goes as they develop.

If this experiment fails, that's ok. I have 50 more tomato seedlings, and room for less than half that in my garden.

Since I had the herbs out for my mom's pots, I also planted my herb box. I've been trying to find a place for a perennial herb garden in the back yard, but I don't think it's going to happen this year. The box will have to do.

Front Row (L to R): thyme, oregano, sage
Middle Row (L to R): mammoth basil, Thai basil, lime basil, lemon basil
Back Row (L to R): large rosemary from last year, parsley (2), smal rosemary from last year

That was the end of the fun stuff. Then, I finally had to start weeding out the back fence line. There's a lot of space to plant back there, but it's completely overrun with weeds. Many of them are terrible spreaders that come through the fence from our back and side neighbors. At some point we'll need to address this with some sort of permanent solution, but for now I just try to fight them. See how nice and green it is back there? Too bad it's nothing I want. You can see there's a tiny section on the right that has already been weeded. That was Mom's contribution 3 weeks ago and I haven't done anything since.

There's creeping charlie, but there is also some sort of weed that seems to be very fond of our arbor vitae stumps. It looks like this. Any idea what it is? The root system is crazy, and I swear it creates worms - they're everywhere wherever this weed grows.

After and hour and a half, I'd made some progress. I now have two clear areas in front of the trellises to plant. For sure, pole beans are growing up the trellis (there will be two more trellises to the left with more pole beans planted slightly later). I don't want to waste the space in front of the beans, but I also don't want to plant something I need to trample over to get my bean harvest (I'll harvest most of them as green beans). Any ideas?

Now, it's time for Name That Fungus. I think it's a fungus, anyway. When I got back towards the trellis, I found a couple of these things. They look like a mushroom from afar, but have the texture of candle wax. They only grew near the trellis, which is cedar. Any idea what it is? I was pretty disgusted by it, but I'm intrigued.


  1. That green stuff? It's a variation of what my Grandma called "Frost on the Mountain". I think it's related to Queen Anne's Lace because it has that same carrot-y smell. We have it everywhere and Greg and I have tried everything possible to get rid of it. We've actually dug up the entire area, sifted the dirt (even a tiny bit of root will grow!), laid landscape fabric and put the sifted dirt on top. It still comes back. :(
    So now I try to spend time just pulling it out as soon as I can. If it can't photosynthesize, it'll die sometime, right? :(


    1. Yuck. I get even more angry that it's coming from my neighbors. I was able to grow stuff back there last year, so it could be worse, I guess.

      There's another weed (not pictured) that sends roots out and will sprout a few feet away from wherever it is - it occasionally makes its way into my raised beds.

      Thanks for the ID....still on the quest to name the fungus-looking thing.

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  3. Ron and I went to a mushroom society banquet once, which was a trip, and great people watching. Based on that extensive expertise, here's my best guess.