That caterpillar must have been one tough SOB because these plants have some serious thorns all over it
Luckily these plants are loaded with future plants. I plan on putting crushed egg shells around the bases tonight to discourage this from happening...I'll let ya know if it works
(I went to touch the eggplant above to get a better shot and got pricked by the thorn...so this is as good as it gets for now)
as you can see, the herbs needed some serious attention. I had thinned the basil a few times, but never got around to thinning out the parsley (or dill or cilantro for that matter).
As you can see I really didn't bother to do much with the cilantro. That is because I am officially over it-cilantro wise. First of all, I'm part of a very elite group of people who cilantro tastes like soap to. Unless it is used very sparingly it is yuck to me. Second of all, it bolts so quickly here in Florida you'd think its other name was Jesse Owens.The only reason I even tried to grow it again this year was because one of our garden goals was to make lots of our own salsa (thereby justifying an entire bed-each-of peppers and tomatoes).
That stuff that between the cilantro and basil that makes me look like a neglectful weeder is actually marjoram. It has definitely been the slowest grower among the herbs, but it is finally coming along.
...since we were already talking about peppers.......
Here's some beautiful bell peppers. They are loaded down!
The poblanos are looking quite sexy too
The carmens are all starting to recover from the previous disaster (when we went out of town and the little neighbor girl didn't properly water the garden and lots of blossom end rot was the result)
Not sure yet what to do with all these banana peppers, so if anyone has suggestions, please pass them along
Here's some more bell peppers. My DH started the garden from seeds this year and at one point in time there was a "spill" and some of the plants identities became a mystery. We marked these in the garden with a popsicle stick with a big ?
Turns out they were bell peppers! Yesssss! I was so praying they would be BPs and not banana peppers. I really wanna have enough bell peppers to freeze for the rest of the year.
These are either Carmens or Orangecicles. Either way, Yum!
They taste FANTASTIC! Last night we used some of the peppers that weren't totally destroyed (but still kinda ruint) by the end rot. Husband made sausage and peppers using a mix of bell peppers, carmens, orangecicles and godfather peppers. They were all so delicious and blended together perfectly!
(don't worry, he cut around the rot)
I need to take some pictures of the Serranos and jalapenos because they are coming along nicely too.
Now for the other part of salsa:
The tomato bed is as jungle-y as ever
But look! This is after we lost about 25% of our tomatoes to blossom end rot, and I picked a few for fried green tomatoes the other night. Its like looking at one of those out of focus pictures, once you get your eyes adjusted you see that there are tomatoes everywhere.
The cherry tomatoes we planted are kinda disappointing this year, but I guess you can't expect too much from a $.20 bag of seeds bought in the winter time (the summer garden fever strikes early in these parts)
Now, onto the "party" bed. This bed is full of all those wild and crazy plants that don't play well with others. Its like they all got put in after school detention together, but somehow they all seem to be hitting it off
As you can see, the tomatillos are the most "strung" out in the whole bed. No matter how much you try and tie them up, they find a way to sneak out and get wasted overnight. Tomatillos are dragging the dirt, but they don't seem to be affected. A small brown bag (hmmm, how fitting) is now holding some we already harvested until they are completely ready to make salsa Verde.
The melon trellis is slowly but surely getting taken over by the watermelons and cantaloupes. The cantaloupe on the far right side decided it wanted to head to the left instead of straight up so it is crawling all over the other plants sideways. They don't seem affected for now, and it is pretty determined to stay that way too.
But there is FINALLY a female cantaloupe! Who knew they were so fuzzy....
Here's one of the watermelons too. I think it just wanted to get away from everyone. My solution will be to wrap a knee high (pantyhose) around it once it starts to get a little weight to it.
The beans are climbing....anything they want. They are training nicely up the strings, but are also climbing up the center pole AND reaching backwards for the fence....which is NOT a good idea with this fence.
^cow peas 5/22/2012
^Blue lake green beans 5/22/2012
^okra time! 5/22/2012. Can't wait for these plants to get out of control
^summer squash plant 5/22/2012. I thought for sure this plant would be done by now.
^my DH pollinated this one this morning, so there should be new zuke in my life very soon.
After we were away, I gave the 8 ball zukes one week max, and yet here they are. They have actually been the biggest producers.
^8 ball zucchini 5/22/2012
^cucumber bed 5/22/2012
This year we planted lots of flowers in the garden beds in hopes of bringing around bees, and look:
I don't think I saw one bee last year, and this year there is almost a daily sighting. Squeeee bee
and what do we have here...
Thanks bee, I owe ya one!
These cukes are gonna be awesome!
^the accompanying dill is doing fantastic. Its not the scraggly variety that I've been unfortunate enough to have before. I will be buying this exact seed every time now.
The Bay Laurel tree is kickin it and taking names
I'm just not sure about the lettuce. In the winter time it literally grew like a weed-we had a couple of seeds drop in some sand and they became huge heads. I think the Florida heat (May = already summer) is just too much for lettuce.