247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

Q: I recently bought tomatoes that were still on the vine and brought them home. After a few days, I noticed what looked like little worms growing out through the skin. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the seeds must have sprouted while still inside the fruit. What causes this? Is the tomato still safe to eat?

A: This phenomenon is called vivipary, which translates literally to “live birth.” Seeds will often begin to germinate while still inside ripe fruit. Chemical changes occur within overripe fruit that cause seeds to come out of dormancy and germinate.

Tomatoes that have been stored at 55 degrees or lower are especially susceptible to vivipary. Other contributing factors include potassium deficiency, excess nitrogen fertilization, moisture, and a drop in abscisic acid.

Although it looks kind of creepy (remember the movie “Alien”?), the tomato is safe to eat.

  • Bianca Velsaco of Mater Dei signed to play basketball at Loyola Marymount.

  • Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, right, runs for yardage as UCLA defensive back Jaleel Wadood (2) chases during the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Boulder.

Q: I read your article last year on nutsedge and I still have the problem. I find it all throughout Riverside. Are there any ways to easily combat it? Would St. Augustine grass overtake it?

A: Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get rid of nutsedge (unless you want to pour concrete). This is one of those endless war situations due to the plant’s deep and massive root system. It can be eliminated, but that is a long and tedious project that involves persistence, determination, blood, sweat, and tears.

And, no, you can’t cheat by planting St. Augustine grass over it. You will just end up with a St. Augustine lawn with a bunch of nutsedge.

Q: Hi Laura, I purchased what was supposed to be a Rhubarb (Victoria). As you can see in the photograph, not even close.  Do you have any idea what it might be before I dig it  up? The white stuff is flour, since I read somewhere that it will keep grasshoppers off my plants.

A: You are correct—that is definitely not a rhubarb. It is nightshade, a common weed that is related to tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. It produces small bunches of attractive black berry-like fruit and every part of this plant is poisonous. Feel free to dig it out and discard it.

I have found out the hard way that rhubarb is especially prone to crown rot. If it’s planted even a bit too deep, the whole plant will rot at the base and die. This is probably what happened here. The nightshade then grew in the spot that was previously occupied by the rhubarb.

What’s interesting is your use of flour to deter grasshoppers. In my experience, grasshoppers are not easily deterred by anything. If you see only a few, you can smash them or snip them in half in the early morning before they are warm enough to move. Grasshopper nymphs are susceptible to some pesticides such as carbaryl and pyrethroids, but these are also poisonous to bees and other beneficials. If you are experiencing a grasshopper invasion, the only protection that sort of works are floating row covers.

Have questions? Email gardening@scng.com.

Looking for more gardening tips? Here’s how to contact the Master Gardener program in your area.

Los Angeles County

mglosangeleshelpline@ucdavis.edu; 626-586-1988; http://celosangeles.ucanr.edu/UC_Master_Gardener_Program/

Orange County

ucceocmghotline@ucanr.edu; 949-809-9760; http://mgorange.ucanr.edu/

Riverside County

anrmgriverside@ucanr.edu; 951-683-6491 ext. 231; https://ucanr.edu/sites/RiversideMG/

San Bernardino County

mgsanbern@ucanredu; 909-387-2182; http://mgsb.ucanr.edu/

This post first appeared on ocregister.com

The post My tomato looks like an alien, is it safe to eat? appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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