raised bed 0

out of all the raised beds, RB0 gets the least amount of sun, but it contains a few plants that seem to be thriving irregardless of the lack of sunshine. first there's the mint, which seems incapable of dying, no matter how badly we treat it. originally it grew in the southern facing part of the garden, but last year we moved it to the eastern side. despite little sunshine it did very well, and even managed to spread back south. it's pretty invasive, and left on its own, it'll probably take over the entire raised bed in a year or two.

i haven't been paying attention to the thyme, but it's doing surprisingly well too. this was a plant we left outdoors during the winter, and was reduced to nothing more than a few twigs and some yellowing leaves. now it's grown to become a little bush, and there's still a whole summer to get bigger.

some wild tomato seedlings have sprouted in RB0, offspring of some discarded fruit from last season. i had some last year, on the western side of the house. they produced tomatoes but they were very small. not sure whether it was genetics or just i didn't take very good care of them. these wild tomatoes are very hardy because they survived the winter outdoor as seeds and have managed to germinate all on their own. i usually let them grow out of admiration.

raised bed 1

my father has been taking care of the garden ever since he came back from china. it must've been a surprise for him when he returned and saw that everything had been planted. i didn't even see it at first, but he noticed that some of the radishes are now ready to eat. you can tell because the round red bulbs are poking out of the ground. he pulled out a few about the size of large jawbreakers (no more than an inch across). i tried one, they're very sweet and juicy with a pungent characteristic spiciness. this is only our first season raising radishes, but they're so easy to grow, it's a shame we haven't been doing it sooner.

RB1 is the designated salad box. the one plant here that seems to be doing better than all the other plants are the arugula. there are so much that when me sister went out and snipped off a large salad bowl of arugula greens, i couldn't even tell where she picked them from because there's so much around.

the peas are still trying to get high enough to reach the trellis overhead. once they're climbing i think they'll start growing faster. at least they're smart enough not to start making flowers yet.

of the 3 varieties of lettuce, vivian is doing the best but we've grown them too close together and have yet to thin them out. the iceberg and roman emperor are more widely spaced; i don't remember if it was by design, or due to poor germination. more room means individual plants can grow bigger. i don't know how well they'll do, not with all this recent hot weather which might induce bolting. maybe we can use wooden planks and give them some shade in the afternoon.

there's a small area in RB1 that seems to be a dead zone. plants growing in this region are stunted and prone to dying. my guess is it's something in the soil. some of the early compost we used had a lot of sifted sand which probably contained a lot of salt as well. plants generally don't appreciated salted earth.

raised bed 2

most of the garden drama is happening in RB2, home of cucumbers, tomatoes, and some basil. grey month of may has yellowed these plants. it's confused the hell out of the cucumbers that they're making flowers now, a sign of distress, when they almost don't have any leaves yet. in order to force the plants to go to back to growing, i pinched off all the flowers.

tomatoes aren't any smarter, producing flowers at this early stage of the season as well. they too got their flowers pinched. the tomatoes of RB2 aren't as big as those of RB4; could be because RB4 has a lot more compost (i basically emptied the bin into RB4).

the pair of indoor-started morning glories suffered some cold/grey weather damage, but they're making a comeback. already one of them is making flower buds. these i won't pinch off because the whole purpose of growing morning glories is for their flowers.

anywhere from a quarter to half of all the zinnias my sister started indoors and then we transplanted outside have died. the ones that've survived have been tested and these look like they'll make it all the way through the season. we put a wire mesh cage over the flowers to at least keep the dog from trampling the still small seedlings.

the basils of RB2 are in a sorry state. of the 4 regular basils, 2 are okay but look like they could die at anytime, while 2 others look downright depressing, with yellowish droopy leaves. maybe those are already dead. RB2 was the second raised bed we set up, and there could be a change it got a dose of that salted compost. hopefully they'll pull through but if not we should start some seeds indoor to replenish the crop.

there used to be 6 thai basils in RB2, but now only one of them is still alive. elsewhere, 3 lemon basil seedlings have germinated. they're so tiny and they grow so slow, i have my doubts that they will survive into adulthood.

raised bed 3

the main attraction of RB3 are the gourd/cucumber mounds, bisected with sunflowers. one of the pickling pickle mound has germinated, still waiting for the other one. none of the coccozella gourds have emerged yet. supposedly they're grow pretty fast, with 40+ days to maturity - that is if they'll even germinate.

the one store-bought cherry tomato plant made some flowers as well, which i also pinched off. it definitely the healthiest of all the tomatoes, but i'd like to see it grow a bit bigger before producing any tomatoes.

a morning glory seedling and a moonflower seedling have emerged. still waiting for the cypress vine. then front quarter of the raised bed is reserved for herb seedlings. there are pockets of thyme which seem very tiny and fragile, but seeing the survival instinct of the RB0 thyme, i don't think these are in any danger of dying. there also some lavender seedlings, which take something like 90 days to reach maturity.

raised bed 4

RB4 was the raised bed that almost never happened because i couldn't decide where it should go. wide or tall? short or long? but the plants growing in RB4 seem to be the healthiest, probably due to a generous amount of natural compost.

RB4 contains almost all the surviving thai basils, and this after more than half had already died. they seem so fragile now, it's impossible to imagine harvesting any amount of leaves without killing the plant.

the pair of cypress vines might be died. they look like they've been scorched to death, although there still seems to be some activity down by the base, like it's trying to make more leaves. the good thing is we still have a lot of seeds so if it looks like they're not going to survive we can sow more.

RB4 basils are healthier but not by too much. RB4 is also the only box that has hot peppers, a total of 8. half were attacked my slugs until i went out with a flashlight one rainy night and hunted them down. i also sprinkled a lot of out poisonous slug bait (supposedly harmless to humans and pets). the half that weren't affected by slugs are very healthy, have a classic pepper shape. the other half are growing back though, with more leaves than before. these might be the better peppers since these plants get hotter when they're stressed out.

corner garden


after spending a few hours slaving away in the garden with my nose running because i forgot to take my nasal spray this morning, i came back inside and took a shower. having not eaten yet, i heated up some leftover burgers in the toaster oven. sitting down to relax, i opened the blinds because it was too dark inside. my sister immediately flipped out, said the house has to be completely dark inside in order to keep cool. i told her i couldn't see, and opened the blinds again. she said if that's the case she was turning on the AC instead.

for some reason i just lost my shit. i like to think by nature i'm a mellow person, but once or twice a year i go into a rage. almost 100% of the time it's because of my sister. she always has to have the last word, can never admit when she's wrong, and has to always get her way. not this time! i grabbed the nearest thing on the cluttered dining table and launched it across the room. i was screaming and pulling my hair, throwing stacks of mail. the thing i threw turned out to be an expensive makeup item, and it shattered on impact, releasing a cloud of facial powder.

when it was all over i gave my sister money to replace her cosmetic. my mother was there, said i went crazy because i didn't eat anything all day, but i knew the real reason was because my crazy sister was driving me crazy. i was still so angry my hands were shaking while i ate my burgers. but as quickly as i went into a berserker rage, the crisis soon subsided, and everything went back to normal - except the blinds were open now.

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