... and look! I've got peppers and zucchini already!
And cucumbers too...
I think that horse poo we added to the garden - along with the chicken poo - has really given my plants a lot of energy! I have tomatoes popping out all over the place and have already eaten a couple of the grape sized ones. Some of the plants are as tall as I am now! And the beans are already going over the top of the arbor!
I'm spraying with neem every other day to keep the bugs at bay and even though I see a few, it's nothing like last year when they took over. I'm zappin' them left and right. I also discovered a praying mantis (yay!)on my cucumbers and a stick bug on my okra. I wasn't sure if the stick bug was a good guy or bad guy so left it until I did some research... definitely a bad guy! Or, I should say bad gal because Indian stick insects are female and parthenogenic - which means they reproduce without mating. I should have crushed her! They eat foliage, but seem to prefer ornamental leaves, not veggies.
And speaking of good bugs... does anyone know what this creature is eating a cucumber beetle on one of my zucchini plants?
Since it was chowing down on one of my biggest pests, I cheered and assumed it was a good bug. It's much smaller than this blown up shot (for your viewing pleasure) so not as scary in person. I need to find out what it's called.
My cleomes are blooming in the garden and so is my bee balm on the deck...
And here is a shot of some cucumber leaves early in the morning with dew on them; I thought they looked purty.
With everything growing so well I have my fingers crossed that I will be busy canning and freezing lots before too long. No pickles though... will eat beaucoup cucumbers and maybe sell the rest at Mike's shop or just give 'em away. I planted a lot this year just in case one variety didn't do well since I got so few last year. I'm growing four different kinds, so hopefully will get plenty.
Yesterday Mike and I spent five hours cleaning out the chicken coop. It was a lot of work, but is only done once a year since I do the deep litter method - and now I have a huge pile of shavings and chicken poo next to the garden that will turn into some nice compost. And the coop looks so clean and new. I have two fans in it for the chickens to keep air circulating. It's not been that hot here, but the humidity has been intense, which makes it feel much warmer than it is. I can't imagine walking around in a down coat like the chickens.