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Summer Pre-teens

Alright! We have ripped right through the spring and are barreling headfirst into summer. We went through a busy period of rushing to get everything planted, but now we enter the Calm Before the Storm. Gotta keep everything alive and healthy, but it'll still be several weeks until we can eat off 'em (except for the squash, which are threatening/imminent. Let's see how the kids are doing, shall we?

Remember those tomatoes that froze? Mother Nature threw us a bone - they came back.  The vast majority, anyway... a dozen or so are gone for good, but the rest (a good hundred plants) just bushed right back out from the base of the stem. That guy above was frozen to about an inch off the ground, so we're assuming there was just enough residual daytime heat trapped by the plastic mulch to keep the roots alive. Amazing! The plants are finally blowing up, they love this hot, wet weather. And they're just starting to set the first few tomatoes. Yippee!

Elsewhere in the Nightshade family, the peppers are coming along quite nicely. I've heard some people top their peppers, which makes them bushier and more productive. Has anyone tried this? Think I'll try it with a few to experiment. 

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And the bush beans look the best we've ever grown so far! Green beans are one of my very favorite garden treats, I just think the difference in quality between a garden green bean and a grocery store one could fill the Grand Canyon. Very excited to see how these do. So far so good! 

Across the way, the cucumbers also look the best we've ever grown. There might just be something to this improving soil quality and biology thing, huh? Strong, shiny, dark green leaves… well, until the cucumber beetles roll in. Mama's ready for 'em, though. I got a sweet li'l ATV with a 30 gallon spray rig to throw in the back. It's on.

We've kept the summer squash under row cover to keep the squash bugs at bay as long as possible, but as soon as these flowers start opening, we'll throw it back to let the bees in. I'd say we'll be eating the first of them within the week. I have missed squash. Yes, I actually just said that out loud, after topping out at consuming a couple pounds of squash per person per week last summer. I refused to buy one all winter. Bring it, squash. I ain't afraid of you.

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And down in Melontown, the first set of cantaloupes have begun to sprawl. Squee!

Finally, although we did end up losing a lot of blackberries to frost, there are still soooo many on the vines. I am beside myself. Dey gonna be so good.

We'll be harvesting the earliest variety of garlic in a couple days! Onions won't be far behind...