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In which I am not a Botanist. - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
In which I am not a Botanist.
Having had the foresight to make the run to purchase seedlings last weekend, even though it was bloody miserable out, since I knew that this weekend I would have to be working during the hours a greenhouse would be open, and having managed not to let any of said seedlings die of neglect in the intervening week, I've gone ahead and bunged my tomatoes in the ground on this nice warm May Day. (Now watch it get cold again, this is Chicago after all.) BTW, if anyone's still lagging on this, because it has been pretty damn miserable on and off yet and I could barely even talk Mum into going on the plant run last weekend, the greenhouse across from Shure at the corner of Touhy and Lehigh has many many heirloom tomatoes and I wish we'd known to go there first, 'cos the original plan to have some zucchini for variety went up in flames when we went in place #2 for "the zucchini and 3 more tomatoes" and came out with six tomatoes instead. But since the zucchini didn't produce anything last year we decided screw it.

Final roster of this year's crop:

(place #1)
better boy
big beef

(place #2)
caspian pink
black prince
black krim
cherokee purple

I planted the hybrids closer to the composter because odds are that's the ones that'd get stepped on, although they're all as caged up as I can manage not being able to drive the feet of the cages down in this crap clay more than about 6-8". I weeded the patch first in my usual half-assed fashion (if it's not actively trying to eat me I call it "green mulch" and leave it), which meant pulling out some thistles, a couple of dandelions, the bindweed (which never works but you're supposed to try to keep on top of it), and... whatever the hell this is, which I tangled with last year:


The hole was more than a foot deep by the time I'd got all of the roots up, which I hope I did because chopping it in two when it first appeared last year only seemed to have made it angrier. The thistles and dandelion, not being in seed, went into the composter, but this damn thing I chucked in the dumpster so it wouldn't end up back in the garden. I have no idea what it was; last year it sent up a stalk about 4' high with a... um... {goes to look up a spotters' guide for this sort of thing} -- kind of a spike of waxy white flowers that made berries. How it got there, considering that it wasn't there the first year after they took the decorative cherry out, I have no idea, although I rather suspect that without warning there was this total eclipse of the sun.

The patch on the other side, BTW, is beans, peas, 5-color swiss chard, garlic, and a pot of leeks that begged me to rescue them from Home Despot, but that's all been in for a few weeks now. Slowly, I am learning what will grow here in the first place and how much of it will fit when it does...


6 responses | moved to respond?
ghormenghast From: ghormenghast Date: May 2nd, 2010 02:53 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
That almost looks like horseradish!
(Deleted comment)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 3rd, 2010 03:07 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Googled and it's not the right kind of white flowers, though -- these were all up one long spike.

Edited at 2010-05-03 03:07 am (UTC)
owensheart From: owensheart Date: May 2nd, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Sound like you did lots of garden work there, hope all you goodies come up perfectly so he have a good harvest.

Hubby's the gardener in our pafily, I for some reason hate getting my hands durty (and yeah I know there are gloves but I still dont like it)
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 3rd, 2010 02:29 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
It's the squirrels I worry about, I keep forgetting to buy squirrel repellent in time to keep them away from the tomatoes... :( And I was wearing gloves but I still got a blister. This Is Not Fair.

Edited at 2010-05-03 02:29 am (UTC)
atlanticat From: atlanticat Date: May 3rd, 2010 12:27 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Yeah, if that's not horseradish, it's something related. Though the smell should have given it away--a broken horseradish root smells pungent. Wash off some of the root and bite into it. Should be easy to figure out. If it tastes at all bitter, spit the whole thing out and rinse your mouth out. But I'm willing to bet it's a brassica (family) and there are no brassicas that are poisonous on sampling. Just a few that are toxic with frequent consumption.

If it is horseradish and you like horseradish, you can save the smaller roots (the main will be too woody) by peeling and grating them finely, then storing them in vinegar. The resulting concoction will maintain pungency for some time.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: May 3rd, 2010 02:37 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
There wasn't a smell as such and it's already in the dumpster, so I can't taste it, but I was looking around a bit more and it might have been something in the beet family like a mangelwurzel. (Getting cut in half last year can't have really done much for its shape...) Now, this still begs the question of where the hell it came from...

[googles horseradish -- oh, and those are definitely not the right flowers, this critter made a long spike.]

Edited at 2010-05-03 02:40 am (UTC)
6 responses | moved to respond?