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question concerning gumballs and tomato plants

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  • question concerning gumballs and tomato plants

    On my property I have many large sweet gum trees. I love the trees and the shade they produce in the summer, however, these particular trees produce hard spiked indestructable balls of Hell spawn known commonly, around here, as gumballs or monkey balls. See the image:

    This would not be a problem at all if they stayed on the tree. In the late fall they are dry, brown, sharp, and litter the entire yard, each one dreaming of the distant warm spring day when I might come strolling through the yard with bare feet. Chop them up with a mulch mower? This only serves as a way to turn them into projectiles that strip the flesh from my ankles, and cripple most small animals within a 30 foot radius. Burning them only seems the harden them, almost like tempering steel.
    But.... They might be useful afterall.
    A couple at my church said that they are great for planting under tomato plants. The theory is that they will give the roots something to really hang on to, as well as hold moisture for the plant. I'm thinking about trying this. My seedlings should be ready for the garden in about 4 to 5 weeks. Anyone else ever here of this?
    The 12ga.... It's not just for rabbits anymore.

  • #2
    Have not heard that. The best place to find such info is at your local farm or university extension, they'll be familiar with the death star and know if your neighbors are having you on!

    That thing looks like some inimical sea life.
    "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012


    • #3
      I have two of these trees from hell also ....... great trees except for the spiney balls ....... you can compost them into the soil ..... they would hold moisture just like any other composting greenery ...... but they take a full two years or more to beak down ........ I prefer to just chuck them and use the better stuff for composting ........ the tomato thing doesn't make any sense ????????


      • #4
        actually here in the south we use a lot of red neck ingenuity i have seen mater plants grow in rocks broken glass marbles and a mixture of pvc shavings and dirt as well as styrofoam ball and such once the mater plants spread roots the roots entangle around the gumballs thus giving it something solid in the ground to become sturdier
        the pack that plays together stays together