Tuesday, August 11, 2009
More Scary Things In Your Garden
Worried Dad's garden is doing very well, and if something is going well, then it's time to worry.
Item #1: Tomatoes and Potatoes are Getting Wiped Out
Tomato and potato crops throughout the Northeast US are getting decimated by Late Blight, a fungus that once caused the Irish Potato Famine.
Experts (or "Blightists") say that the fungus made its way to Northern gardens and fields through Big Box gardening centers. The unusually wet temperate weather created a perfect breeding ground for the fungus, which spread quickly as more people have turned to home gardens. Next year, start your tomatoes and potatoes from seed or get your starters from garden centers that buy from local farms.
Item #2: Don't Touch the Pretty Weeds
The next time you're about to tidy up the garden and pull up the weeds, you better be sure that you know the difference between Heracleum sphondylium (a nice ornamental plant known as Common Hogweed) and its evil twin Heracleum mantegazzianum (better known as Giant Hogweed). The latter has been spotted in backyards throughout the Northeast. Touching it "can cause skin sensitivity, burning blisters, and blackened scars if you are exposed to its toxic, watery sap."
Item #3: Plants Can Eat Meat
Intrepid botanists have discovered a hitherto unknown species of giant meat-eating plants in the central Philippines.
According to one of the botanical daredevils, "The plant is among the largest of all carnivorous plant species and produces spectacular traps as large as other species which catch not only insects, but also rodents as large as rats." Or, he might have added, small children.
While this plant was previously not a threat to human civilization, the botanists placed specimens in the herbarium of Palawan State University.
Posted by Worried Dad