Sometimes gardening is a mystery. Because I’m a Master Gardener, people think I know all the answers.
Certainly, there are gardeners that do… but I’m not one of them. Throughout the growing season, I get handed bags with weeds or bugs and phones with photos and asked, “What is it?”
Some are easy, some require research. Of course I like the easy ones because it makes me look smart, but the toughies can be a fun challenge. The first photo is an easy one. “Milkweed. Let that grow so the monarchs have something to eat.”
The second photo is a bit different. They are beets in a tiered garden that doesn’t get much air circulation. “Fungal disease,” I reply. But, I need to know more. I find that it is botrytis. A fancy name for something you don’t want on your beets. Everything I read said, remove from garden, discard - do not compost and wash your tools with bleach after removal. Similar to tomato blight, there is no easy answer to tell the gardener. There will be a reduced crop and don’t plant beets there again for a couple of years.
That said, many mystery plants can be fun. Like in the third photo case, a mystery squash. Let it grow and see what color it turns, then eat it. I’m thinking a pumpkin by the looks of the stem, but maybe not.
Have you had mystery plants pop up in your yard?