Garden 2012 – Week Eleven
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As we near the end of the three-month point, Spring has certainly settled into our little garden, bringing with it a whole spate of new flowers. 

 Tomatillos 

Black beans (excuse the fuzziness; they are very small, and my camera didn’t want to focus)

 

 

Red beans

The next one isn’t blooming, but I just love that it’s climbing toward the sun just as hard as it can.  Would you believe that it’s a bean, just like the ones pictured above?  It would seem that, if planted in a lush spot, beans will stay put, but if not, they’ll become viners if they need to.  I think it’s marvelous. :D  

Here’s that crookneck squash again, the one that’s been going absolutely nuts. 

 

 Funnily enough, when this guy was just a seedling many weeks ago, my dog, Soho, snuck into the garden and nibbled several of its leaves off before I noticed he was even out there.  I was dismayed at the time, but hopeful that it would bounce back.  Just this week, Bro reminded me of the incident, and then pointed out that of all our crooknecks, this one is doing the best, by leaps and bounds.  More support for the “prune ‘em to make ‘em grow” tactic, I think!

 Here’s the vicious dog in question, soaking up a few rays while I survey the garden from outside the fence.

The Junior Gardener at Rest

Perhaps my favorite success of the week is this: 

 

It would seem that the poor Swiss chard plant that I dropped on its head last week has decided to give life another chance, and look how it’s doing!  Is that incredible, or what?  It never ceases to amaze me how something so delicate and fragile can also be so resilient and hardy.  Feel free to pull any analogies from this that you like. ;)   

In the meantime, remember that shy jalapeño that had just started to appear last week?  Well, I was able to get a shot of it.  It’s still not very big, but give it time.

 

We had a mysterious visitor a few days ago.

 

It took us quite a while to figure out what it was.  We knew it wasn’t a cricket, it clearly wasn’t a spider, and we felt pretty sure it wasn’t some strange-looking baby praying mantis, although we did start to have our doubts about that last one after staring at it for far too long.  The thing is, while we were of course curious to know its exact make and model, what really interested us was whether it was a good guy or a bad guy.  While some critters, such as caterpillars, aphids, and sometimes even crickets, are destructive in the garden, others are actually beneficial.  The aforementioned praying mantis, for example, feeds on those pesky aphids and other winged destroyers.  Ladybugs are great for keeping aphids at bay, too, and in fact some folks have them shipped in via mail to be released into their gardens.

 So what of our newest resident?  Was it there to assist us in our war on pests?  Or was it a pest itself, cleverly disguised as something perplexing in order to throw us off its trail?  A Google image search for terms like “Southern California” and “garden insect” and “brown” eventually pulled up this photo:

 

Looks like we have a winner!  Turns out that what we were looking at was a Bush Katydid nymph (or a baby, more or less).  Katydids feed on vegetation.  Ack!  It’s the enemy!!!!  Upon realizing this, I rushed out to the patio to evict the beastie, but it was nowhere to be found.  For the next several days, Bro and I kept a watchful eye on the greenery, searching for any signs of our teeny invader, but it must have gotten wind that we were on to it and either went into hiding or skipped town.  Fine by us!  =shakes fist=  And stay out! 

 As has become typical the last few weeks, so many things are going absolutely nuts growth-wise.  That crazy Hydra sage plant continues to thrive.

 

Legz is almost as tall as the fence now…

 

…and busting out all over with pear tomatoes.

The Hungarian sweets are threatening to turn yellow (their color when ripe).

 

Seems like every few days we find more and more Sweet Million cherry tomatoes.

 

The cucumbers are looking lush and lovely.

 

Here’s a better look at our first actual cucumber.

 And just ‘cause I think they’re gorgeous, here are more cuke flowers for ya. :D

 

That’s it for this week, folks.  See you in the next!

 


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