A garden is the best alternative therapy.

I’ve got three each of yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers growing on the South side of the house.  I’ve also got a bell pepper plant and green beans on the East side.  The bell pepper has been with us since early June – having survived the summer heat with a couple close calls, I couldn’t bring myself to pull it up.  We eat peppers like crazy, so it’s worth it for me to try to keep it going.  It lost nearly all of its leaves twice – once due to an overly concentrated soap spray I used to combat some flea beetles and then once due to three hornworms.  As you can see, it’s got a lot of fresh new leaves on it, and even a few flowers.  I did it a favor by removing about 50 nubbins it had started so that it could concentrate on growing leaves again.  It looks like that worked.

the green peppers rebound

the green peppers rebound

The beans are now producing another set of leaves.  Not sure what’s been eating or moving across the first set of leaves – but you can see traces of them as white lines.  Anyone know what this is?   It is interesting watching the leaves unfold as they do.

beans, 3 weeks from planting

organic Blue Lake bush beans, three weeks from planting

beans, up close

beans, up close

The zucchini is developing well.  I cut off the first set of leaves because they were yellow and dead.  It’s got new leaves forming near the base, as well as little nubbins.  I assume these nubbins are going to produce more leaves.  If so, it looks like it’s about ready to explode with new growth.

Black Beauty zucchini, three weeks from planting

organic Black Beauty zucchini, three weeks from planting

zucchini, up close

zucchini, up close

The squash plants are also coming along.    They’ve already got a good covering of leaves.  Like the zukes, the squashes also have a lot of new growth near the base, as seen in the picture below.  To me, the little nubbins look more like flower pods than leaves, but we’ll see what they turn into.

organic, heirloom Yellow Crookneck squash, three weeks from planting

organic, heirloom Yellow Crookneck squash, three weeks from planting

squash, up close

squash, up close

As are the cukes.

Straight Eight cucumbers, three weeks from planting

organic Straight Eight cucumbers, three weeks from planting

Our Bougainvillea continues to give us a bounty of beautiful fuchsia blooms.   And, recovered from an invasion of Hibiscus Beetles, the hibiscus offered up this beauty this morning:

a tropical beauty!

a tropical beauty!

Finally, I hope to be able to get some work done in the yard today.  The rain brought back the grass very quickly, so I’ll have to break out the lawn mower for the first time in over eight weeks.   I’ve pumped myself up with some Claritin and Benadryl, as the Bermuda grass gives me fits.  Wish me luck.

Maybe tomorrow I can get started building the last of the beds for the broccoli, spinach, lettuces, parsley and carrots.   We’ll see…

***Afternoon Update*** Whew.  I’m sitting here with a brew after moving a 1/2 yard of dirt for the rest of the raised beds.  This time I enlisted my daughter, who’s itching for more allowance money.  Many hands make light work, as the saying goes.  We knocked out the dirt-moving in about 1/2 an hour – after I loaded up the dirt in the Element and came back home with the load.   I’m still stoked that the grower’s mix only costs me $16 for a half a yard.  I counted at least thirty 5-gallon buckets full of dirt at that price.  If I was to buy that by the bucket, it would have cost me $150 easy ($5/bucket).  Unbelievable.  So what if I have to sweat for a couple of hours and perform some manual labor?!  I still hope that tomorrow afternoon I can get over and pick up some lumber and get these things assembled.  I figure a total of $50 is all it will cost for a couple bags of manure, boards, braces, nails, which includes the $16 for dirt.   I consider this an investment because the boxes and dirt can be reused again and again.


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