While those of you who live in cooler climes are making preparations to put your gardens to sleep for the long winter, here we're just starting to get ready for Second Season, that time of year when temps begin to drop out of the 100's and the nights cool into the 60's. We begin to visit the local garden centers, eagerly awaiting the arrival of new bedding plants, flowers, veggies and even roses and fruit trees. It's also time for those of us who like to start things from seed to get them in the ground, so today at lunch I planted Petch Siam and Purple Ball Eggplant, Alaska and Snow Peas, Asparagus (Chinese Long) Beans and Aunt Ruby's German Green and Roma Tomatoes. Tomorrow I'll get up early and mow the front and back yards, clean things up and build another raised bed or two (or three) for the pepper seeds I just received from the NMSU Chile Pepper Institute. I'm also going to try to turn a pallet into a vertical strawberry planter and get the Dahlias planted, of which I have 8 varieties. I'll post pics tomorrow of the work I get done, as well as Larry's new look.
The volunteer pepper is getting really heavy with fruit and they're looking really good, but today I found a Tomato Hornworm caterpillar, Manduca quinquemaculata, eating away on the plant. It was hidden within the leaves and I wouldn't have known he was even there except for the droppings on the brick path beneath the plant. This is the second one I've found in the last 2 weeks and I hope there aren't any more, as I'll be out of town for two weeks and I know my wife won't be checking for them and she certainly wouldn't touch one if she saw it. Thank goodness all the plants that matter are on timed drip systems, as I can't count on her to water, either.