Dog Vomit Fungus!

Yep! That’s what it’s called. And those of you with dogs (or cats) will certainly see the resemblance. This little gem (pictured below) startled me one day on my way to the back door and I wasn’t completely sure how it got there.

Dog vomit fungus (Fuligo septicai) is most often found sprouting on wood mulch or lawns during warm, wet weather – and has a tendency to magically appear overnight. Technically a slime mold, dog vomit fungus varies in color from bright yellow to an unpleasant orange tone as the mold begins its fruiting stage. As the slime mold ages over the next couple of days and conditions dry out, it becomes a dark, hard mass, then turns into a crusty mound and eventually moves into the spore state.

Migrating to moist and shady areas, the wind-borne spores patiently wait for the right conditions and when they arrive, absorb that extra moisture and open up to start the process all over again, producing a brand new patch of vomit-like mold.

While odd looking, dog vomit slime mold is harmless and won’t damage plants. It will disappear on its own within a few days, but if you prefer you can break it up with a rake or use a trowel to remove it before the spores develop.

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Argiope aurantia (or Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

A little scary looking when discovered in the garden, but overall a non-agressive spider who keeps a clean web. Native to North America, they like to build their homes in a sunny garden spot, sit head down and each web has a distinctive zig-zag pattern down the centre.

Want to grow a fun, non-stop vegetable?

                           

Then Try Rat's Tail Radish

 

Unlike the traditional underground, round, red radish, rattail is an edible pod that sprouts from pale pink flowers that in turn, sprout from long, flowing stems.

A non-stop summer performer, rattails are easy to grow and won’t fade away in the heat like most radishes do. This is certainly not a cool-season radish. Similar in appearance to a long bean, (and a rat tail!), this edible pod is delicious fresh from the garden, is a great addition to stir-fry’s and is also an easy pickling vegetable.

Plant these every two weeks over the season for a continued harvest.

Let a few of the pods dry out and save the seeds for the following year!

Black Beauty Tomato - dark black skin, deep red flesh. Amazing flavour.

- Dragonflies can fly at up to 20 miles per hour - and can fly backwards and hover!
 
- Hummingbirds average speed is 30 miles per hour, but they can get up to 60 when needed!
 
- Don't change the soil in  your pots if the plants were healthy. Just add some compost next year to help increase the nutrition levels before  you plant.
 
- Deer can jump 8 feet high!
 

Cup Plant

A native North American plant, the cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) sprouts stunning yellow flowers and forms "cups" where the leaves meet the stem. These cups hold water after a rainfall or when watered.
 
This plant needs  lots of room - it can grow up to 10 feet high and 6 feet wide in the right conditions - but is easy to divide if needed. Hardy in zones 5 to 9.
 
A fast-growing plant, the cup plant likes a medium to wet spot, full sun (but will tolerate some shade) and attracts both birds and butterflies - that actually drink from the "cup".

Cucamelon

Unbelievably easy to grow! A vining annual that starts with pretty little yellow flowers that grow into these mini watermelon-looking fruits about the size of a grape.
 
With a taste of cucumber soaked in lime, cucamelon has a refreshing,  almost tangy flavour. Eat them right off the vine!

They're a slow germinator, so start them early if you can and don't plant until all risk of frost is over.