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Things tall and small in July

The garden is looking tall and lush, despite my benign neglect.

I'm even contemplating ripping out things like cornichons just because I'm tired of the daily search for tiny cucumbers to make into tiny pickles. Does that make me a bad gardener?

One of my worst nemeses is back -- why do I have leaf miners in my peppers? It's bad enough that they decimate spinach, beets, and chard. So far, I'm picking and destroying. I suppose if I were not heavy into the summer doldrums, I'd be monitoring leaves for eggs. Head 'em off at the pass, and all that.

One thing I finally have done something about is the bizarre, spotty, aphid infestations in my popcorn. I'm keeping a spray bottle of soap out there and hitting each colony a couple of times a day. Their activity level (and that of their attendant ants) seems to drop off dramatically. I'm also wiping the bigger clusters off, although the ones tangled in the silks are just plain nasty. I'm hoping that they will not be an issue when the ears are dry. But. . . yuck.

I can't knit lace, but the cucumber beetles have made lace of my bean plants. It doesn't seem to affect their vigor, and the pole and bush varieties in the big bed are getting ready to dry, so I'm not worried about them either. But still, I figure I ought to be out there with a cup of soapy water catching them as they fall, since they eat the just-blooming sunflowers too. I'm not.

Finally, and this one's for Granny, my hand fully spread out is 8". That makes this leaf. . . at least 32" across? Zucchini is just crazy.


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