And squishing bugs.
|black krim blossoms|
It's hard to walk around our deck these days! We wove our way around the pots looking for any possible ripe fruit. We did pick a small handful of ripe strawberries, two grape tomatoes, and four early girl tomatoes. Not much, but it's nice to have something to pick!
Although all the pots have mulch, weeds still manage to make their way in, and I find myself pulling grass blades and other weeds every at least every other day. We spend time each evening watering all the plants, as container plants typically need more water than those in the ground because most of the water escapes through the bottom of the container. I spotted three different kinds of bumbles buzzing around the blossoms over the weekend, so I hope they pollinated the plants and we get some fruit soon.
Speaking of insects, we also saw quite a bit of aphids, which we squished without a second thought. Actually my husband squished them. I just say, "Hey, what's this thing over here?" and he identifies it and tells me whether it's good or bad for the plants. Having an entomologist in the house is very convenient. We spotted a baby stink bug in the strawberry bed and got rid of it too. Fortunately, we spotted several beneficial insects on the plants as well, including lacewings (whose larvae eat aphids and spider mites) and pirate bugs.
In non-bug news, the cilantro is actually growing! It took its sweet time to appear, but here it is. We're growing it from seed again this year, but we have it in a container this summer instead of in the ground. We planted it in the ground last year, and it just didn't seem to grow well, maybe because it didn't get enough sun because of the tomato plants around it that cast some shade? Or possibly from the intense heat last summer.
In our small ground plot we have cucumber and luffa growing (and broccoli, but not in this picture). So far so good with these. The luffa won't really take off until late summer/early fall when the temperatures cool off a little.
|mammoth sunflower plants|
And finally, an update on the sunflowers. We've had some problems with these flowers this year. The squirrels got to the mammoth sunflower transplants AGAIN while we were out of town last weekend. It is so frustrating! Luckily, we had some mammoth sunflower seedlings sitting in growing cells that we didn't know what to do with. Once we came home and realized that squirrels had snipped the plants out, we moved the other seedlings into the pot and brought the pot closer to the door. I hope keeping the pots closer to the door deters the squirrels from attacking these things. (The mesh netting snapped off so that didn't help).
|coconut ice and Chianti plants|
Finally, the coconut ice hybrid (front) and Chianti hybrid (square pot) are doing OK. I planted four seeds in each pot, but only two seeds germinated in each. These are also close to the door, which I hope deters the squirrels from attacking them. That's it for now.
Oh, we did eat the strawberries. The small ones were a little tart but the slightly bigger ones were pretty sweet!