Quick(ish) "garden" update. (containers on the porch) Everything is mostly organic. I say that because a few of the plants that I bought as seedlings weren't organic. It's hard to find them all organic. But I've used only organic means to feed them and to deal with pests. I've been using Worm Poop - I've seen growth comparison tests on some blogs that were amazing - for fertilizer. Interesting info: Miracle Gro tried to SUE TerraCycle. Cuz TerraCycle (along with about 120 other fertilizers that they didn't feel the need to sue) has green and yellow labels with flowers and vegetables on them. The bottles look NOTHING like MiracleGro - they're packaged in used soda bottles so they obviously look different than everything, sometimes even itself - but I guess they don't like this competition. TerraCycle *has* changed the label, so maybe it was to settle the suit? I only find info from spring of last year. For bugs I've used a couple of organic NON-TOXIC products (some people around here can't be trusted not to accidentally or purposely drink it and organic =/= safe), my fingers, diatomaceous earth, sticky cards, and I've had help from a few spiders.
My beans and peas? SO dead. There have been freakish storms probably 5 out of 7 days since we planted in May. They got beat to hell and overwatered and flooded and well... dead. adaghar and I got a handful of peas. Very tasty, but that's all we got.
The cukes are doing fantastic! But. They were doing this fantastic last year when they got sick and died all at once. It was cucumber beetles. They not only lay their eggs on the roots, where the larva hatch and eat into the stem, but they carry a really nasty disease. This year I put squares of aluminum foil around the bases of the plants, plus I put diatomaceous earth on the soil, PLUS I started them (and the squash/zucchini) with crop cover clipped down over them. So far, so good. I've killed several cuke beetles, but I don't see as many as last year. And I keep checking the base of the stem and I don't see anything so far. Today we actually harvested our first cuke! It was SO tasty! And ya know, it was probably 10 inches long, and about 4 inches around. I could have picked it the other day, but I really wanted it to fill out a little more. I don't mind the seeds.
And unlike last year? I actually HAVE squash and zucchini plants. Last year they just wouldn't grow. They'd start to come up and die. I'd reseed, and the same thing would happen. I think I have to credit the covering for that. But I can't remember if I have 3 squash and 1 zucchini or the other way around. I planted 4 of each seed on either side of the bin and promptly forgot which I put on which side. (5 came up, and I accidentally pulled one out.) Btw - the bush type squash/zucc seeds I got? They really have stayed bushes! Sometimes those plants are only vines that aren't as long, but not these. Which is GOOD. I only have so much room. No fruit yet, or I'd know what at least one of the plants was. We've had flowers, but never a male and female at the same time! Obnoxious.
The peppers were doing horrible. But now we have some! Anaheim, I think? I ended up doing the pollinating myself, and it's working. I'll help the squash with pollinating, too, if they ever grow male and female flowers at the same time. I haven't had to help the cukes cuz the bumble bees ADORE them. The jabaneros just won't grow, though. No idea why.
The herbs are doing ok. Though the basil... eh. Not anywhere near as well as last year. I wanted some pesto!! Fortunately I should have enough for at least one batch (if it doesn't die) and they sell it at the farmer's market every year.
And that's all I'm growing this year. Other than flowers. Still recovering from my car accident (yes, that was 10 months ago, but the legs just aren't healed - or, they're healed mostly, I'm just still having strength and Pain issues) so I didn't want to plant more than I could handle.