Most of these photos were taken about ten days ago. You know how fast things grow in the heat of summer? Some of this stuff has doubled since then.
We are having a lot of pest problems – first a huge infestation of tomato hornworms which we dealt with by hand picking twice a day until all gone. Then the aphids took over and we placed three rounds of lacewings among the tomato plants along with spent banana peels around the base. The aphids are gone! Now we have some kind of black winged bug that is pooping all over the tomatoes and eating their leaves. In spite of all that we have harvested many beautiful tomatoes. The squash bugs have been held at bay by carefully applying diatomaceous earth to the base of squash plants and checking leaves for eggs near daily. We are holding them off but just barely. A few flea beetles on the eggplants are easily controlled with a little insecticidal soap. We also covered the plants right away with row cover to keep the pests away. All effective.
This years summer plants include, tomatoes (Celebrity, Black Krim and green Zebra), peppers (bells, jalapeno, banana, Thai, lemon drop, Pablano and pepperoncini), corn, bush beans, tomatillo, zucchini, basil, sweet potatoes, okra, Butternut squash, cucumbers, pole beans, watermelon, honeydew melon and lots of volunteer marigolds, Mexican sunflowers and giant sunflowers.
WE placed the herb bed and planted it with chives, Mexican oregano, parsley, sage, lavender, dill, lovage (which continues to struggle some) and plenty of marigolds and other small flowers to fill space while the herbs are getting established. Still to come are some stepping-stones, securing the decorative fencing and creating two gates. After the stones are placed we will add another several inches of bark mulch and some decorative lighting and other elements. I am having a lot of fun with this part of the garden!
Gene completed the supportive structures in the two big tractor tire beds. The soil sorely needs amending and mulching. Hopefully something will go in these two beds this fall and be tented with plastic. I don’t seem to have a photo of them yet. Soon!
The outdoor sink has been placed and the solar shower is installed. The blackberry fence is secure but not really done yet. Still some walkways to complete. And THEN we will begin work on meandering wildflower beds east of the cornfield. This fall – when the weeds die back. I don’t have a clear picture of how this will turn out yet but it should be fun too.
AND it is time to plan, start and get to planting those fall crops.
We have had some extraordinary flavor sensations while experimenting with new recipes this year and I hope to share some of them with you later.
What’s happening in your garden this summer?