The raised beds are growing spectacularly. Between this photo and today, we've had a lot of rain and some warm temperatures. Everything in the garden has been growing dramatically overnight, after all that wet, warm weather. The beans should be flowering any day now. We've been eating salad every other day or sometimes every day. The onions, leeks, turnips and carrots are looking good. There are little green tomatoes on some of the tomato plants and the little pepper plants are just big enough that they should be starting to set flowers in the next couple of days.
The raised beds dry out more quickly, so I have to water them once in a while. When the temperatures get stinking hot, I may have to do it every day, but luckily, it doesn't take a lot of water to keep them growing nicely! The raised beds are also easy to weed. I've been plucking tiny weeds out every day. The soil is soft enough that they just pop out with little effort. The biggest problem is that it was a really good year for Maple tree keys. Those are the Maple seeds that float down like little helicopters. There were hundreds falling on the deck pots and raised beds alone, not to mention that the lawn was heavily covered and looked silvery for a while. Now I'm plucking little Maple seedlings out daily, by the dozens at times - sometimes a dozen from just one little pot!
The hot and humid, then cool and rainy, and then warmer and humid again has given rise to the start of powdery mildew on the cucurbits - well, the pumpkins and cucumbers anyway. So far the zucchini seems fine, so I didn't bother dusting it. In the past I've lost all the cukes and pumpkins to powdery mildew, despite using all the so called organic methods like coating the leaves with milk and spraying them with baking soda solution, and baking soda and dish soap, (and the list goes on). This time I looked up the different ways and it turns out that sulfur is recommended. I purchased the little tin, donned my gloves and sprinkled away. So far it seems to have done the trick. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate it no less a chemical than sulfur. The sulfur has a 1 day turn around time from application to ingestion, so it can't be all that horrid. Regardless, I really didn't want to lose the crop before they'd even had a chance to start growing. Fingers crossed that there will be a lot of cucumbers for my lunches and pumpkin pies in the autumn.
Last night's salad: two types of red leaf lettuce, oakleaf lettuce, black seeded Simpson lettuce, romaine, spinach, kale, swiss chard, green multiplier onions and 1 tiny orange tomato which is hidden under a leaf! YUM!