Tomatoes, salads, peppers, mice and snake


It’s been another very busy week.  Many clouds, but no rain.  And hot.
We harvested our first little Riesentraube tomatoes, the Al Kuffas are delicious and the salad is doing great.

Salad and tomatoes from the garden

On the down side, the mice are eating all our squash and zucchini along the fence and in the 3 sisters bed.  They also ate all the beans.  So it’s really only 1 sister now – the corn is looking good.
The ants are ferociously devouring  dead mice in the traps as well as the glued-on nuts.  I don’t usually consider ants in the garden much of a pest.  It’s xenical orlisat fascinating how they slice up and then carry dead insect parts and “stuff” away.
Fortunately, we have some squash, zucchini, melons and cucumbers in the caged beds.  The peppers in the last bed aren’t growing at all. We planted them out over 2 weeks ago and they’re doing nothing.
I did a bit of reading yesterday and apparently we’re not the only ones having trouble with our peppers: bell peppers not growing
The earlier peppers are really slow to get going too. A couple of the “hot peppers” from last year’s Henry Fields order have little peppers now and several plants have been flowering (including the heirloom Black Hungarian), but the plants are still so SMALL.
7/2/10 – the pepper is now almost as big as the plant

Maybe they’ll finally get going now that it’s WARM at night, 81 was the low last night.   Up until a week or so ago it got down to the 60s.  Or maybe they’re not growing because it is too hot during the day.
I spread some coffee grounds in the beds last week and we have a few more months in our growing season.  Hopefully we won’t get an early October freeze like last year.
I’ll update at the tomato blog about the Al Kuffa and Riesentraube first tastes.  The Violet Jasper and Mini Orange are thriving and have many baby tomatoes and flowers.
Just the other day a neighbor remarked that he hadn’t seen or heard any rattlers yet this summer.
I totally missed the snake too yesterday evening when I walked to the garden.   Jose noticed it stretched out in the middle of the driveway, apparently snoozing.   I was lucky I didn’t step on it.
Picture taken with flash, it was already dark

It’s not a good day when you have to kill, but they DO bite and we’re not up to the $17k helicopter ride to the hospital.
I’d prefer the snakes eating the mice and us eating the squash, but somehow it just doesn’t work like that.