Hello from Pennsylvania!

Discussion in 'Welcome to GardenStew' started by Brooke Fryberger, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. Brooke Fryberger

    Brooke Fryberger New Seed

    Jul 20, 2020
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    Philadelphia, PA
    Hey everyone!

    My name is Brooke and I’m from the Philadelphia Suburbs Area. I joined this site to hopefully get some help! My parents bought a new house and the previous owners had a vegetable garden. Instead of tearing out the wood framing and soil, my parents decided to have a garden of their own this year (our first one), so my dad planted beef master tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, orange peppers and onions. He also planted peppermint and basil in pots. He got off to a rough start. Nothing was growing, and what was growing, was dying very quickly. He then got Covid-19 (stinks...I know...but he’s strong and a survivor) and was too sick to tend to the garden. I DO NOT have a green thumb but I managed to bring the mint back to life just by moving the pot onto the porch and out of the direct sunlight. I figured if I could bring one thing back, I could try to save the rest. What’s the worst that could happen, I continue to kill the dying plants? I stepped in and took over. I believe a lot of the seeds and onion bulbs were being taken by squirrels and skunks, so I planted some more seeds and bulbs and put mesh over top of them to prevent the little thieves from getting to them. I also think he was over watering them. Once I started tending to the garden, everything started growing, except the beef master tomatoes and the basil. The tomatoes might be growing now, but it’s hard to tell at the moment. The basil has no sign of life though (I keep watering it anyway ).
    A plant that I didn’t plant started growing as well. I thought it was a weed and I was about to pull it, when I noticed how thick it’s stalk was. I decided to let it go to see if something the previous owners had planted was growing. The plants are pretty big now, but I have no clue what they are! Can anyone help me identify them please?

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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

    Aug 23, 2010
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    Central Texas, zone 8
    Brooke, welcome to the Stew! I don't know what your unknown plant is, but someone here will. We have great, knowledgeable and kind gardeners who can help.
    Good on you for reviving the garden. It is doubtful that the onion bulbs were taken--wildlife usually doesn't like the potency of onions. I think they were planted at the wrong time. We are in central Texas, and plant onion bulbs or starts in late January or early February. You are in a similar growing zone.
    The basil is probably a goner. Being a Mediterranean plant originally, basil likes not very rich soil and just enough water to stay alive. Try finding potted basil at a nursery and giving it another try. We plant Genovese or Italian Flat Leaf which is very flavorful and prolific.
    Tomatoes don't set or thrive in hot weather. Keep them watered and when the weather cools off in September, start looking up recipes that use tomatoes, lots of tomatoes!
    Let us know how things are going in the garden, and please ask any questions you like.
  4. mart

    mart Strong Ash

    Mar 31, 2010
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    NE Texas
    I am not sure but the plant in the pictures looks like maybe Broccolini or something similar and if so its probably not goiung to do anything in this heat ! its a cool weather plant ! I have kept Basil in Texas heat all summer if in partial shade and soil kept moist ! Wouldn`t hurt to feed the plants except the basil since this heat depeletes
    the food ! It has been 98 degrees and I have tomatoes doing well ! Still putting on new ones ! Trick with tomatoes in the heat is always plant two and make sure the plants intertwine ! no problem with pollination that way ! I was pretty late getting mine planted and now they are six feet tall !
  5. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
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    Just popped in to say a big welcome to GardenStew Brooke. I hope you enjoy our forums as much as we all do.

  6. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

    Jun 15, 2011
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    New England
    Hi Brooke,
    Welcome to the Stew! Good for you for stepping up to the gardening task. Glad that your father has recovered from Covid & that you didn't get it.

    I am suspicious about that plant in your box....a weed?? Let's see what others think.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  7. Odif

    Odif Young Pine

    May 2, 2017
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    pyrenees orientales
    They do look like nightshades
  8. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

    Nov 10, 2010
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    Chelmsford MA
    Hi Brooke, welcome to Gardenstew from Chelmsford, MA. As the amount of oak trees renders our yard a so-so place to grow edibles, perhaps a sniff test may provide clues to the occupants of the box. Sniff the plant and then the spices in your spice rack that are more obvious. Other than that, they fall under the category of weed.


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