Summer Yard Check-In [NOT 9/8/21]

image of small veggie garden
not my actual garden

Hi, friends!

I’m back from my trip and I didn’t get sunburned once! I was also the sunscreen queen and took along one of those lightweight jackets that’s UPF so that I could make my own shade when needed. I probably looked like a feminine unabomber on the beach surrounded by all the people happily crispifying themselves, eh, shrug.

I admit I was very afraid that my garden would be a craptastic mess by the time I got home. My parents promised to water, but 2 weeks before my trip I realized I had a fucking massive spider mite infestation and then literally the day before leaving I found a bunch of stinkbugs in their first instar on my banana pepper plant (AHHHHHHHH). Much squishing commenced as well as diatomaceous earth application.

Anyways, I wasn’t sure what would be when I returned.

Well, happily things are okay. I didn’t get a chance to digging around for more stinkbugs because a massive thunderstorm was rolling in. The good news? None of my tomato plants died off (although the Better Boy is looking pretty shitty after I’ve done a lot of pruning and neem spraying to try to control the mites). Even better? Four of my pepper plants had ripe peppers! I got an Anaheim pepper (it was still green but splitting so I couldn’t leave it to ripen to red), 4 sweet banana peppers, 2 green bell peppers, and 2 glorious red delightful giant Marconi peppers!!!

I love sweet peppers so I’ve been impatiently waiting for these sweeties to start ripening.

On the ornamental front, I’ve finally identified the last plant here from the previous owner (only took me 3 summers, heyyyyyy). Big clump of Japanese anemone plants!!!



  1. We are on vacation now & always worry about the yard when we are gone but I just saw my friend on the doorbell cam watering.  Luckily we got most of the yard on timers before we left.  We are having a good blueberry & strawberry year.  Not so great for tomatoes yet.  Grapes are finally established & could be good.  Peppers are finally going off & my purple cayennes are producing a large amount especially.  Glad you are having a good garden year.

  2. Our Mr. Stripey heirloom tomatoes are stressing me out. The plants are healthy, there is bounteous fruit, but they are all still green. They take 80 days to provide red edible fruit; I think we are at around 100 days. I have a slothful slacker plant…Mr. Stripey’s teenager perhaps?

  3. Fingers crossed but we’ll have a bumper crop of figs this year. The first few have come in and with any luck the squirrels and birds won’t be cleaning us out completely.

  4. My jalapenos have come in MUCH earlier than the green chiles and tomatoes (just pulled two tomatoes that have started ripening today), so I need to do a batch of pickled jalapenos before I am able to make my salsa.  Note to self:  start the jalapenos a month after everything else.

  5. My seedlings went to shit in the June heatwave. I’m going to replant stuff at the end of this month. Only thing to survive was a cucumber plant that looked like hell for a bit, then dug in and started to get to work.

    • I’ve always been amazed at how resilient cucumber plants can be.  More than once, we’ve had a bed that looked like everything was going to be dead, dead, dead.   Then, in a few weeks, we’re getting a massive harvest and the plants would be stronger than ever.

  6. I don’t garden but I do harvest fruit from the “wild” of our neighborhood. Blackberries and creeping raspberries galore at the moment. I take the kids on snack walks. Brilliant way to get them to walk for an hour and eat without any prep work or cleanup necessary.

  7. My sad little container garden is still sad. There are several serrano peppers on that plant (do you pick them green or red? I don’t actually know…), but the 2 tiny bell peppers on the other one are starting to shrivel 🙁 The 3 San Marzano tomato plants haven’t shown any real inclination to do anything… there are a few flowers, but not even a hint of a tomato yet. 
    Today went sideways, which frequently happens around here, but was especially frustrating this time. I hate driving in the rain because it gives me a headache and I haven’t gotten my new glasses yet, so it’s extra aggravating. I wasn’t supposed to have to drive much today at all, only dropping 2 people off at work. Instead, I was in the dang car for 3 solid hours, running all over Hell and half of Georgia. I am finally home and in my comfy shorts,  just in time for tornado warnings 🙄

  8. the giant thorny thing i didnt plant is suddenly full of berries…like raspberries…but purple…forgot the name
    the strawberries i didnt plant are looking pretty happy too
    the grapes i did plant have migrated over the fence and decided to live on the neighbours shed tho (i offered to trim all that shit…but she likes it)
    anyways…looks like a pretty good haul considering i didnt plant anything this year and have barely made the effort to keep the grass cut

  9. Our building’s little community garden is thriving. We’re down to maybe three volunteers, the others having fled New York. It’s funny, though, because according to sales data the building is getting more and more expensive and yet it’s getting younger and younger and the residents less and less engaged. Do they all work for Google? Hell if I know. 

    Our community garden is a little bit of a free-for-all because potted plants will just show up and it is up to the Master Gardener to figure out what to do with them. “Oh, this is an X, so it will need to go over into this corner because it doesn’t need a lot of heat and likes the shade…” We have a few planted boxes, I can’t remember what you call them, one of which is the herb garden, and that’s doing well. All of this is on our spacious roof, which is quite civilized with lots of furniture “groupings” but it makes for a harsh environment. It gets very windy, and the sun beats down uncomfortably at this time of the year, but the plants don’t seem to mind. I wish we grew more edible stuff and not so many decorative flowers. We have this enormous rhododendron that’s like Audrey from “Little Shop of Horrors” and we’re constantly cutting off the blooms and pruning and two more will grow back for every one we take off, seemingly overnight. 

    I do not have a green thumb so my task is to go/wheel myself up there and water if the soil seems parched. That was always my task, but on nice nights I used to bring some vino with me, walk around with the hoses spraying, and plop myself in a chair with a book and/or my phone and read to the plants. Like Prince Charles, who has been doing this for decades, I am a tad eccentric in this way. “Oh my God, you guys, did you hear about this? [Celebrity X did Celebrity Y thing.]” Or read lines from a well-regarded biography, or some literary criticism, whatever I felt in the mood for. Better Half must think I’m nuts and he’s probably right, but it’s better than one resident who used to sneak up there to have sex with his girlfriend until the evening his wife wandered up unexpectedly and caught them in flagrante delicto and she almost threw them both over the wall. Hell hath neither the fury nor the physical strength of a woman scorned, apparently.

  10. The rabbits are leaving my hostas alone this year (knock on wood). Which is crazy because i see more rabbits than ever. But they also eat their weight in birdseed so maybe they finally figured out the deal. They also like to dig a hole and sleep in it under the one bush. Of course, i will have to train new ones next spring. 

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