I watered everything really well because we expect high temps today. We had to put the air on yesterday as we touched 90. The humidity was very unpleasant. The weather people say we may get isolated thunderstorms but I am not expecting much. I also sprayed the Japanese beetles. They are making a mess of my beans and have hit strawberries (now covered), the hibiscus, and the blueberries. I made up a tea of tansy and cayenne pepper but I don't think it is all that effective. I suspect the cayenne has lost its potency since I grew it a couple of years ago. I have some purple cayenne growing now and will dry it for a new batch next spring. I also think I will not plant any beans next year and in the fall I will look for their grubs when I get the beds prepped for winter.
I need to finish cutting the grapefruit mint and start on the spearmint. How many herbs do I have? A fair few. I always grow peppermint and spearmint and then add a couple of new mints for a season. This year I have chocolate mint and grapefruit mint. In addition I have tansy and painted lady daisy (pyrethrum) for their insect discouraging properties. They both make a pretty show of ferny foliage. My sage is a two year old plant that survived the winter very nicely as did the oregano. Other culinary herbs include lemon thyme (replacing the German thyme which didn't survive last winter), lemon basil, purple basil, sweet basil. I managed to start stevia, bee balm, hyssop, and summer savory from seed, and put in put in stevia and bee balm transplants just in case I didn't succeed in starting the seeds. They are all doing well. The bee balm and pineapple sage I put in mostly for bees and butterflies but I don't mind harvesting them for our tea. Other new plants this year include borage, foxglove, and chamomile. The foxglove for the bees only, and for the showy flower spikes next year. I almost forgot--I got a nice stand of lemon balm volunteers from last year's plants that went to seed. Again--almost forgot--bay, lemon verbena, lavender, and rosemary in pots inside.
My tomatoes and peppers are blooming well and I see a nice lot of fruits developing. I have felt like they are slower than usual. The Amish paste are only now showing the first tomatoes. I also have several patio, Supersauce, Heatwave, and undetermined heirloom cherry tomatoes showing a good number of fruit. Nothing ripe yet. I put in four pepper varieties: Mohawk, Lipstick, Albino Bullnose, and purple cayenne. They are all doing very well also.
A big news story for the last couple of days has been the return of the Twinkie. The company that bought the Hostess brand is in production and upgrading their machinery. Some of the former employees may be hired back but without the union, benefits, and at a much lower wage. I really have a hard time comprehending the hullabaloo over the snacks. When production shut down hordes of people filled shopping carts with the cakes as though it were the end of the world. Now they are flocking to Wal-Mart to stock up on the new Twinkies which are higher priced than the original. I was fond of the snacks as a kid. But the last time I had any hostess cake, some six or so years ago, I was very unimpressed and wondered what I liked about them. They simply didn't taste as good as I remembered. I find so many things like that now-a-days.