To All Organic Gardeners: I Need Your Help!

alexandsam:

My friend Jenna lives a few blocks from me, and has this bizarre thing on the leaves of one of her tomato plants. I have never seen anything like this. Can anyone identify these critters? She said they’re like thin black beans.

Originally posted on Delicious Daydreams:

Every day when I get home from work, I putz around in the garden and examine all of my plants. Not only do I get the chance to pluck a lot of harmful caterpillars and worms from the leaves, but I get a chance to just sit and enjoy my blessings. Today, though, I’m stumped.

This is the front and back view of a Chadwick Cherry heirloom tomato plant leaf:

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These black, shiny, bean-shaped things are actually embedded inside of the leaf. They look like seeds of some sort…maybe? Of all the years I’ve been a Zone 9 Florida organic gardener, I’ve never seen this. Please, please, please, gardeners, friends, bloggers, I beg you, help me.

Thanks in advance,

Jenna

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Beans grow fast!

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Here’s what the bean sprouts look like this morning. They’ve grown an inch in two days. Amazing.

Sprouting beans

This didn’t take long….the white things that look a little like maggots in the dirt are bean sprouts.

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New beds for planting beans

I just finished digging out two areas at the foot of my clothesline poles to plant beans. Last year I didn’t have enough support planned, and they got to be a tangled mess. This year I’m using my existing poles and line to keep them straightened out. They’ll have all kinds of room to spread out.

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Ready to plant!

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I have seeds! Now that vacation is over and fall is nearly here, it’s time to start thinking about planting. I have to get the beds ready – I need compost and new soil. And I have to cut back the overgrowth of the lawn that is creeping up the sides of the raised beds. I’m going to put the cherry tomatoes in a container and hope for the best.

Garden planning

Every time I come to the UK (this is my fourth trip) I’m dazzled by the beautiful gardens that people here create around their homes. They all have flowers galore, and here on Orkney I’ve seen some really nice vegetable gardens too. A lot of the homes seem to have small greenhouses in their back yards as well. I’m sure that would be necessary to prolong the growing season here.

Yesterday we were in Stromness, and walked past a beautiful veggie garden tucked into a tiny back yard. Someone had really put a lot of work into it. It’s very inspiring. And it has inspired me. I missed a whole spring season of gardening this year, and I have a lot of catching up to do. I want to get serious about cleaning up the front yard and getting flowers planted. I want to eventually have edibles in front too, but for now flowers are quicker and easier and prettier.

I already have some seeds at hand at home. I know I have a packet of yellow carrot seeds and there are three others – probably some lettuce and cabbage. I ordered Chinese long beans and more lettuce just the other day and the seeds will be waiting for me when I get home. I’m going to get in all my supplies first then have a big planting day when I’ve got all my soil improved. And I’m going to get pots of flowers for the front yard first, then start digging out the weeds and planting things in the ground.

I have a dead bay tree to get taken down, and I want to plant a couple of live oaks to give the house more shade and protection.

There’s a lot to do! But first I have another week of vacation. :-)

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The moors of Scotland

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Complete with heather:

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