FIRST CHERRY TOMATO

I usually start seeds for some vegetables and flowers in April, but this year I got a late start and didn’t get anything planted until Memorial Day weekend. Late starts notwithstanding, some very nice tomato seedlings grew into healthy big plants and they are fruiting nicely. Except one, which I discovered had been infested with stink bugs. (Not the one pictured above). Little b*stards will hide if they see you coming, although I’m pretty fast at catching them. They have spread to only two other plants, but I’ve hand-picked about a dozen bugs and drowned them in soapy water. I’ve also discovered the soapy water spray, which is just dish soap (non-antibacterial) and water. 1 to 2 tsp dish soap to 32 oz water. Be sure and spray them directly top and bottom thoroughly. It kills by clogging their breathing, which is through their skin.

Most of the ‘mater plants seem healthy so far and are growing like little weeds. They like this late summer weather, now that our summer monsoon has finally broken after 33 rain-free days. Even if it doesn’t rain, it gets cloudy and cools things down a bit.

TOMATO PLANTS FROM SEED

I actually was able to start cucumber seeds this year in a pot and they are doing quite well, to my surprise. In past years I never seemed to be able to get them going enough either in a pot or in a raised bed to make any cucumbers worth eating or canning. Oh, I’d get a few, but nothing to write home about. This year I planted them in a pot full of iris from the garden, stuck a trellis in there, and they are climbing up like crazy.

Some seeds I have started in years past re-seed every year after that somewhere in a garden. I pull them up morning glories in the front yard routinely because they are all pink and they strangle everything like the relative to bindweed that they are. But I started some blue ones from seed, which I’m sure will revert to a purple somehow and then die off. Pink ones are hardy and show up every time I disturb the ground.

PETUNIAS

I do like petunias so far. I had planted climbers and patios, mixed. The climbers survived and re-seeded, so they pop up in the oddest places and in the most interesting combinations. This pot full ranges from cream with fuschia stripes, the same in a mirror image, and then every shade of pink to red. They’ll go to seed again this year and pop up somewhere else next year.

I have so many packets of old seeds, I’m going to throw them all out into the garden this fall and see what comes up. I will have rose campion in the garden already, thanks to kishik!

They are much bigger now and will be ready to plant in the fall.

I’ve got a lot going on in the garden, but it’s too hot to do any work, until the afternoon. Then it clouds up and cools off, so I hope to get something done later today. This morning we are going to a fair and we intend to get back before it gets hot.

What’s going on in your garden these summer days?

[Merry Light’s  gardening piece documenting her experiences first appeared in Daily Kos, Saturday, July 29, 2017. It is reprinted by permission of Daily Kos.]