Thursday, August 22, 2013

Corn Serves as Praying Mantis Habitat

I may not get any ears from my Indian Corn crop, but at least I know it's going to good use.  The past few times I've visited the Brunswick Street Community Garden, I've spotted this tan fellow on my cornstalks. Why did I plant corn in such a tiny garden?  Last fall I bought a decorative trio of small Indian Corn ears at a farm stand in Lancaster, PA and saved them until this spring.  Each ear was a different mix of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges and I was curious to see what I would get from their offspring.  So I planted and they came up, survived the rainy-hot-rainy-hot cycle of summer weather, grew tassels, some toppled over, and most are developing very tiny ears.  I don't know if any of the ears have kernels on them; it looks like only one is plumping up.  My plan is to harvest them when the stalks begin to dry out.  Until then, the praying mantis gets to enjoy his own little vertical cathedral of maize.

A few more deep brown Earthwalker sunflowers are blooming on the single stalk that grew large enough to flower.  Both the bees and I love them.

Who's got eggplants?  I do!  One of my plants is nurturing at least a half dozen purple fruits.  They're a small variety, so we won't be overwhelmed by the harvest.  As you can see, the plant foliage is under siege by flea beetles, who are making Alpine Lace out of the leaves.  I diligently squish any that I see when I water but it seems to be a relentless assault.  Regardless, the plant is doing a fine job of flowering and holding on to the fruit.

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