Friday, September 23, 2016

Fenton Friday: Nicotiana Bait and Switch

Nicotiana tabacum
At a plant swap in May, I was given a few "Flowering Tobacco" seedlings (Nicotiana sylvestris). They took forever to settle in and start growing. When they finally did, they became monsters towering over even the neighboring corn. I waited weeks and weeks for any sign of a flower and finally this week they sent out a bloom. The flowers are a sad comparison the sprays of the ornamental tobacco variety and I cannot detect any of that signature perfume. This is clearly field tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). I am more than slightly annoyed that I was given mislabeled seeds and grew this monster plant.

BTW If you click on the tobacco picture itself, you can view it at the original size and be able to see that it is covered in what I am guessing are spider mites. I will be yanking it out soon.

Gold Rush Currant Tomato
Elsewhere in my plot, the 'Gold Rush Currant' Tomato is ripening up. They are cute, but I have to say, "don't bother." They are far slower and far less prolific than the red currant varieties and also don't have half the flavor. I'd recommend only growing them as a colorful and cute salad addition or garnish.

Right before I left for the Garden Communicators Conference, I soaked and planted 'Carouby de Maussane' a variety of heirloom Snow Pea at the base of the green beans. No sign of them emerging yet. I will give them another week before panicking. 

How is your edible garden growing?

About Fenton Friday:
Every Friday during the growing season, I'll be giving you an update on my community garden plot at the Fenton Street Community Garden just across the street from my house. I'm plot #16. It is a 10 ft x 20 ft space and this is our 5th year in the garden. (It opened in May 2011.)

2 comments:

Joanna Protz said...

Those are aphids on the tobacco plant. Spider mites are so small it is very hard to see with the naked eye.

WashingtonGardener said...

HI Joanna - You are right! My brain was thinking "aphids," but my hands were typing on their own. I hope to be catching up on my post-conference sleep deficit this weekend.