Field of Science

Flowers at the stage of seed dispersal

Of course TPP is talking about fruits, flowers at the stage of seed dispersal. These particularly handsome berries were among the best part of our kitchen garden this season, so far. Note the past tense. Now begins the whining of a gardener with a small garden.  One of the major problems with small gardens is that they cannot sustain much damage. The person who plants 50 tomatoes at her Father's place in the country doesn't have to worry about losing a plant or two, or a variety that doesn't like the weather this year, or an animal eating their fill. A rather violent thunderstorm toppled one of our tomato trees (5 feet tall) in a cage and the fall snapped off the stem about 8 inches above the soil.  It would grow back and probably even produce some fruit, but that was one sixth of our tomato orchard; it was replaced by a late season bargain from a garden shop closeout sale. So far this year the eggplant had been a stand out; vigorous, healthy plants, early prolific fruiting. Yea!  Then some miscreant who hadn't read or decided to ignore "wildlife friendly yard" agreement picked almost all the leaves off the eggplants at the base of the petioles, and dropped them.  They weren't to their taste, but in a classic slow learner response, they tried another, and another, and so on down the row. This was not one of the usual suspects, not neat enough for bun-buns or tree rats, and neither ever pays any attention to eggplant (nightshades generally are not their thing).  A couple of small eggplant were chewed on a bit, and TPP suspects perhaps an opossum.  The thing is that eggplant without many or any leaves don't produce much fruit until they recover. On the good news side of things the Japanese beetle season is about over; it was fairly brief and the beetles were not very numerous. Big cannas and a June berry bush were the only plants significantly damaged. 

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