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Garden Leaves: Tomato – 8 in a series

Garden Leaves: Tomato - 8 in a series
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When anyone thinks about tomatoes, they typically only think about the wonderful fruit we all love to eat. In reality, though, it is only through the long hard work of the tomato leaves that we gain anything at all. Without their vigorous growth, our tomatoes would be small, tasteless little things that wouldn’t appeal to anyone.

Remember this next time you harvest that huge beefsteak tomato from your own garden or pick one up at the grocery store. These are the end result of a huge amount of photosynthesis and a lot of work from these tough, hardworking, leaves.

The tomato (see pronunciation) is the edible, red fruit of Solanum lycopersicum,[1][2] commonly known as a tomato plant, which belongs to thenightshade family, Solanaceae.[3]

The species originated in Central and South America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word “tomate”, from which the English word tomato originates.

Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year and in cooler areas. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and grown as an annual in temperate climates. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz).[4][5]

Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry-type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables, being ingredients of savory meals.[6] — Wikipedia 

 

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Previously in Garden Leaves:

Event: California Native Plant Sale – Oct 22 & 23, 2016 – 10am-3pm

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NATIVE PLANT SALE

OCTOBER 22 & 23, 10AM TO 3:00PM

Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd., Encino (near Hayvenhurst)

MEMBER PRE-SALE AT 9:30am-10am Saturday only

ALL CNPS MEMBERS GET 10% OFF PLANTS & BOOKS*

With over 1000 plants of over 50 California native species, there is a plant that can fill your garden’s needs — from hot and dry to moist and shady. Many native plants can survive quite well with natural rainfall once they get established. Sale items include seeds, irises, mints, sages, berries, hummingbird and butterfly plants, shrubs, perennials, and trees. Wildflower seeds will be available for purchase. Also for sale are natural history and native gardening books, activity books for children, field guides, and posters. Refreshments and lunch will be available for purchase.

During the sale, experienced CNPSers can assist you in selecting plants that are suitable for your garden! Proceeds from the plant sale help support the activities of the Los Angeles / Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Featuring FREE Native Plant Gardening Talks:

Saturday – Noon Wild Suburbia – Learning to Garden with Native Plants Barbara Eisenstein Thinking of getting rid of the lawn or simply improving your existing landscape? This talk will present practical approaches to transitioning from traditional resource-intensive yards to more natural, interesting and fun gardens featuring low water-use native plants. Barbara will present information from her new book, Wild Suburbia – Learning to Garden with Native Plants. Ample time will be left for discussion and book signing.

Sunday – Noon Designing a Native Garden in a Limited Space Steve Gerischer Garden design, particularly for a small space can be challenging. Some of the best strategies are counter-intuitive. Thinking ‘small’ can result in a garden that isn’t working at its best. Learn a few ideas for designing in confined spaces using our beautiful native flora.

More information at the Los Angeles/Santa Monica Chapter of the California Native Plant Society Web Site

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Interesting Plant: Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)

Starting a series within a series, I will be highlighting shade plants that grow well underneath trees, especially California Live Oak. I have a deep shade area beneath many trees here in my own garden and i am constantly looking for plants that can help green this area. — Douglas

A good ground cover that could cope with my trees would be much appreciated, so I am going to look into Wild Ginger more deeply. There are large areas that could benefit from its spearing habit and the lack of maintenance required for the plant would be nice, too. 

Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum)

Asarum caudatum 10993.JPG

By Walter SiegmundOwn work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2176503

What are your thoughts on this Interesting Plant? Drop a note in the comments!

Asarum caudatum (British Columbia wild gingerwestern wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger) is native to rich moist forests of western North America from British Columbia to California and as far east as western Montana. It an evergreen with flowers that develop from March to August.[citation needed] The flowers are distinct, hirsute(hairy), cup-shaped, and brown-purple to green-yellow which terminate in three, long, gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads, forming mats.[3] The leaves emit a ginger aroma when rubbed.[4]

Caudatum comes from the Latin cauda meaning tail. This refers to the tail-like shape of the flower’s calyx.

Asarum caudatum is found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Northern California,[5] Idaho, and Montana[3] in moist, shaded environments. It is a typical herb found in the understory of mixed conifer forests under 2,200 feet in elevation, and is often a dominant plant.[6][7] It reproduces rhizomatously, meaning many mats are formed by oneclonal plant connected by a rhizome. A. caudatum can also reproduce sexually, with its seeds dispersed by ants. Their flowers are pollinated by flies. However, cross-pollination is rare. Ants are attracted by a fatty appendage attached to the seed.[8]

The ants carry the entire package back to their colonies. The seed is often dropped outside the nest once the ant realizes only the appendage is edible. Due to the costs of producing seeds with an appendage to attract ants, it is more energetically favorable for the plant to reproduce rhizomatously. — Wikipedia

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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

Prickly Pear Cuttings show new growth – Potted on May 18, 2016

These prickly pear cuttings I gathered from a neighbor are finally showing some new growth. I am guessing this means they have put down roots and are ready to start growing on in other parts of the garden.

I potted these cuttings back on May 18, 2016, which you can see in this video, Container Garden Update 42: Propagating Prickly Pear (Opuntia) and I noticed this new growth around September 20, 2016. This means it took about 4 months to see any obvious signs of rooting and new growth.

The paddles had been somewhat “flopped over” when I first potted them up, so the first good sign was when they started to stand up straight again in their pots. That — and the fact that they weren’t rotting in place — gave me good hope that they would eventually take off, if I just waited long enough.

Once all the cuttings start to who obvious signs of growth, I will begin planting them out around the garden. I already have a few ideas for placement and will show you that in an upcoming “In the garden…” episode.

Prickly pear 1

Prickly pear 2

My original video where I pot up these Opuntia cuttings

 

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