So, class, as we all learned in June and July, plants from the nightshade family, including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, do not grow under a black walnut tree.
However, as summer has morphed into Fall, I’ve noticed there is, in fact, another hazard of the tree beyond the juglone it gives off into the soil around it.
Apparently, the black walnut pods, as they launch themselves from the tree, are not good for lettuce, either.
After several days in a row where I left the house at dawn and returned after dark, I finally got a chance to get out to the garden last Saturday and see how things were going. The whole thing had started to get this ratty air about it. Although the lettuce and arugula seedlings looked lovely and green and lush, everything else was starting to get a little worn about the edges.
As I approached the plot, I noticed the black walnut pods, which are now falling by the dozens each day, were wreaking havoc in the garden. To the left is one of the craters left behind when I pulled a pod out of the lettuce patch.
So, again I’m reminded of why I’m not going to spend a lot of time thinning out the lettuce seedlings. Between the rabbits and the black walnuts, nature’s got that covered.