The schools have all started up again here. Its nearly the end of August and I don’t remember when we last had any rain. I cringe at the thought of my water bill, especially as now I have just put out new beans, tomatoes, herbs-including some catnip for my furry babies, and more peppers. This past season, I only had peppers from my lemon jalapeño and italian banana pepper plants- not one sweet pepper from either the red or green ones. Instead those plants seem to stay stunted with every so often a bloom but not one single beginning pepper. Other failures include disappearing onion plants- literally one morning to the next- full tops to absolutely gone, none! I have no idea who the varmint might be- do opossums like onion tops? They didn’t seem to have any pests otherwise. I did have a group of horned caterpillars show up on my banana peppers but after two days of careful picking them off, the peppers regrouped and have gotten nice and leafy again. Tomatoes this year were a mixed bag. None of the bigger tomatoes had any fruit. I did however get plenty of cherry tomatoes in red, summer gold, and zebra striped. The okra had mixed results too- I inspect every day but still somehow a good deal of the fruit goes from mini sized to hard and too large and woody to eat before I pick it. I had a few cucumbers but not what I’d expected- trying again this season with a new crop of those and so far they seem to be growing fantastically. I think the garden just gets overly hot no matter how much I water or mulch. I did put in a grape that had been languishing in a pot, and now that is throwing some small shade as it makes its way up the trellis. Eggplants- the Italians withered and the Japanese and Thai varieties did great- so no more Italian versions for me I think. All the basils are doing fantastic, and I’ve already frozen several mini bags of pesto. I have way more oregano and rosemary than I could ever use. So far, I’m taking cuttings to maybe use as ground cover in another part of the yard. I wish I could extend my dill. It went to seed as soon as it got hot and maybe (?) it will send up some babies this next season- time will tell. I find it funny that the dill is gone just as the cucumbers are producing anything worthwhile. I haven’t been writing in some time due to having to keep up with the watering and weeding- despite the heat, the weeds just keep chugging along. I’ll try to keep up better- meanwhile, if you have any gardening tips leave me a comment. Thanks you’all !

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