The field peas are always covered in ants; enough that I have to flick each branch to dislodge them before picking the beans. I don’t know exactly what they do for the plants, but they apparently grow extrafloral nectaries to attract the ants, so it must be a good thing.
I’ve got three kinds of beans in the garden, in various places: Greasy beans, lima beans, and my old standby field peas. Shown in order.
I probably planted the lima beans pretty late, and at first I know I planted the field peas too early (since they just failed to come up well), but the second planting I got right. They and the greasy beans are in poor soil, while the limas are in better.
But the only ones producing food for me so far are the field peas. Maybe they’ve just self-selected for dealing well with my gardening style (not to mention the local climate) over the generations, but they just kinda…work. They just grow beans, delicious ones, in whatever weather, and you can either harvest them to eat fresh or let them dry on the vine and pick them then. If you miss some, and you probably will, they resow themselves freely.
The limas and the greasy beans are growing a lot of nice leaves and flowers, but so far, no actual beans. They’ve still got time, I guess.
Weeds, mostly grass, are getting a little out of control, but it’s producing!
The herb section is good and useful. Basil, oregano, thyme in useful quantities. Dill all went to seed, but it’ll drop those seeds and regrow. Tarragon failed to thrive - not dead, but it must not like the soil or climate or something. I finally added the sage and extra basil seedlings, and an egg carton full of Thai basil a friend gave me recently.
Also added the eggplant and Malabar spinach the other day, just before the rains, in the third bed/second raised bed, at the far end. We’ll see if they do anything.
That bed has been producing me delicious spring onions for months, ready to harvest as needed at any stage. The green tops are dying back now, so I need to get the remaining bulbs out while I can still find them. Also a very nice crop of carrots in there! Not super long, but sturdy, and straight. I should see about planting a fall crop. Chard getting along, making leaves, sure to get even better once it starts to cool off.
The tomatoes don’t look like much in here, but they’re producing plenty. Some hornworm damage, though I pull them off for the chickens when I see them, and one of the Cherokee Purples wilted and died for some reason (at least we got 4 good big tomatoes off of it first). I’m still pruning periodically to keep air circulation up, and harvesting some every day. Yesterday I picked every single one that was even beginning to turn (30+) because we’re getting a hurricane and all the rain (2″ already) would make them split before they could ripen out there. The counter is covered in ripening tomatoes, because I ran out of windowsills.
They do need more frequent stakes, and maybe also twine that won’t stretch so much. But they’re doing all right!
I am successfully growing green peppers this year - and it seems I’m about to get red peppers, too! I planted some anonymous seedlings I got at the farmers market, in shitty sandy soil, and then mostly ignored them. Mulch kept the weeds at bay. They grew very slowly at first, and they’re still not very big I guess, but we’re getting peppers, so I’ll call it a success.
Immature parsley seeds with a lacewing egg attached:
More lacewing eggs. When all the eggs I saw hatch out, it is going to be a bad day to be an aphid:
The scarlet emperor pole beans have been making lots of blossoms but none have resulted in any beans so we pulled out the Fisher’s Earliest sweet corn stalks a couple of days ago and planted some Kentucky Wonder pole beans. This is one of the three that have broken ground so far:
Today’s backyard garden harvest:
This little one was surprisingly cooperative:
Bouquet of unwanted plants. It’s composed of oak seedlings, privet, a Rose of Sharon & a cocklebur that somehow made it from Plot 420 to our backyard:
I did a good thing this weekend and I’m pretty proud of it. I weeded the entire orchard garden, apart from the onion rows that separate the veggies from the potatoes. I pulled out 26 baskets of weeds (like the one in the last pic) on my own, not counting the ones my mom helped with.
The past couple of months have been unusually cold and we’ve had heavy rain almost daily, the lower part of the garden and orchard had been flooded a few times, so for quite a while you couldn’t get in there. You could barely tell it was a garden in there at all and I hated it. Now that the weather has gone back to the usual scorching heat of August, I was finally able to get in the garden and do some work. I honestly thought it was going to take longer and plants would look much worse, but two days of weeding in the morning and evening and here it is. Looks surprisingly good for what it went through.
Garden update: I finally reached my boiling point with my sad as hell cucumber plants (squash bugs and cucumber beetles are bastards), and ripped them all out. In their place now is a small “zen” garden