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<<Featured Image: I never get tired of seeing these beautiful blooms out in the garden.>>

Since we have had a few days with triple digits temperatures, the garden is finally starting to produce. I picked my first lemon cucumber a few days ago, and had it in my salad at lunch along with a few cherry tomatoes. It was so good! For those of you who might not be familiar with the lemon cucumber, it does not taste like lemon…it just looks like one. It has regular cucumber flavor.


Yesterday I picked another Early Girl tomato because it was starting to get red on one side but was still yellow on the other side, and I didn’t want the hot sun to scald it. This morning I was surprised to see how big the pickling cucumber had become, seemingly overnight. Those warm nighttime temperatures are what really makes things start to grow, although we have still had a couple of nights where the low went down to 52 degrees. Vegetable plants prefer for nighttime temperatures to be above 55-60 degrees. We’ve had so much cool weather this summer that we just now started going over that range.


I finally have lots of green tomatoes on my plants, now all I have to do is play the waiting game. I was overjoyed late yesterday afternoon when I checked on things in the garden and saw that my biggest zucchini plant has actually got several small zucchini starting to form. I need to make sure that the female flower gets pollinated when it opens, of not by a bee then by me.



I checked out the peppers this morning, and I was pleased to see that several of the Jalapeño plants have tiny peppers on them. The little Habanero plant is finally getting more leaves, and the Shishito and Banana Pepper plants have several peppers that will soon be ready to pick.


Over by the lettuce patch we have a lot of volunteer tomato plants that I just couldn’t bring myself to pull up. Almost all of these have small, tear-shaped tomatoes on them. It will be interesting to see what kind of tomatoes they turn out to be.


Speaking of lettuce, it is starting to show its age, especially with the hot temperatures we have had. It is always a sad fact that by the time my garden produces a lot of cucumbers and tomatoes, the lettuce is already gone. We still have maybe a week or so to enjoy it, and we have certainly been doing that.


WARNING: This next section includes some really icky looking pictures of earwigs. If you are squeamish and do not like bug pictures, scroll by it really fast!

Whatever was eating the plants out in the garden has pretty much stopped, so I am thinking it may have been grasshoppers instead of earwigs. What makes me think that is the fact that I put some earwig traps out there and didn’t get any earwigs in them. However, when I moved the traps over to the lettuce, I got tons of them. In case you are wondering, here is how to make an earwig trap: get a small plastic container that you don’t want to keep, fill it about 3/4 the way full of soy sauce (use the cheap stuff), then top that off with about 1/4″ of cooking oil (again, use the cheap stuff). Place it in your garden where you think the earwigs are and overnight they will crawl in it and die. The next morning you will have icky dead earwigs. Someone said they used water instead of soy sauce, but I found that not to be as effective as the soy sauce.



This past weekend we gave another one of Jerry’s beers a taste test. This one was his newest version of Lager. As usual, it was very good and we both enjoyed it, although I think I liked it a bit better than Linda did because lagers are my favorite. It had a slight honey flavor to it. Another thumbs up for this one!



Linda came into the house the other day to get me and show me what she thought was an owl up in the Catalpa tree next door. I grabbed my camera and we both went outside, only to find out it wasn’t an owl but just a regular ole Asian Collared Dove. Still, it was cute. It appears to be a female sitting on a very rickety-looking nest. I’m going to keep my eye on it.


A couple of days ago I was sitting out on our front porch, enjoying the heat, when all of a sudden a Robin came flying around the corner of the house and almost ran into my head. He landed on the porch near me and then hopped up on the bird bath. Poor thing, he must have been parched because he kept his eye on me the whole time, making a little chirping sound. Since it was 100 degrees out there, he decided that he wasn’t leaving without getting a drink first.


This morning I got some video of a very strange looking Praying Mantis. The only ones I have ever seen have been either green or brown. This one was beige. I saw him a few days ago when Summer Girl was playing with something on the back porch and it turned out to be this same insect. He escaped from her then and I couldn’t find him after that. Then this morning he shows up on the back porch again, climbing the wall. I put him in a jar and transferred him over to a rose bush. I don’t know where he went from there, but if I see him again, I will most likely recognize him.



Whenever I go out to the garden, Summer Girl follows me. A lot of times she is already out there, napping in the shade. This morning while I was taking some pictures, she came by and settled down among the pepper plants.


Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

5 thoughts on “THE GARDEN

  1. I love lemon cucumbers. A friend used to grow them and she’d give me some (she’s moved away). I have the worst luck with cukes.
    I’m going to try soy sauce next year when I’m in Oregon. I hate those darn things so much!!! They are just a nasty looking bug. I did use hair spray on them for a while, but I used too much of the stuff and my youngest was annoyed. He likes hair spray for tater cannons. They ate all my marigolds in one week. I cried. When you went from a bug trap to beer, I was sure you were going to catch slugs!!!!!
    Mantis can be all colors. My youngest would catch them and let them in the cab of his tractor when he was working wheat. I’m not fond of a bug that size that can FLY and I was startled to learn online that they can and have eaten hummingbirds! I like they eat other bugs, but I’ll let the boys play with them. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to say that earwigs are the “cockroaches” of the PNW. Thank goodness we don’t have roaches here like we did in NC (also called Water Bugs, they get HUGE and fly, too). I like to watch the mantids, but don’t play with them. And yes, the Giant Asian Mantis gets big enough to kill hummers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was a house in the town I lived in that had roaches. The renters were not very tidy and the place was awful. Opening up a cupboard after they left, the things fell to the floor like rain! EWWWWWW. There are mantis here in the PNW and other parts of the US that can grab and much on hummingbirds. I was startled, but they can.
        Earwigs are horrid. They are prehistoric and creepy!

        Liked by 1 person

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