This Growing Season

Lemon Balm

This year the hubby and I are having what I’m calling an “off year” for growing. It wasn’t something we planned or decided on. Rather, due to weather and a bit of procrastination, it just kinda happened. First off a late frost threw us off schedule. Then we got a lot of rain through May and the early part of June. My favorite thing to grow are herbs and jalapenos. While the rain wouldn’t have bothered the herbs much, it would have made some “duds” out of the jalapenos. Too much water effects the capsaicin, the compound in peppers that give them their heat. Hot, dry climates create a beneficial stressor which activates the capsaicin. The more water a jalapeno plant absorbs the more it will taste like a green bell pepper rather than spicy flames in your mouth.
It hasn’t been particularly hot and dry in our neck of the woods so we held off getting starters to do any planting. By doing so we missed out. This year we went to our usual gardening center to get starters only to discovered it had been picked clean. Fortunately the hubby was able to get a few tomato plants from a co-worker since his thing is growing tomatoes.

So as I mentioned before, I like to grow herbs, particularly those from the mint family, which tend to come back on their own. But as I’ve discovered, they can be pretty invasive. Last year my garden bed had lemon balm, chocolate mint, apple mint and anise hyssop. This year the lemon balm turned into pac man and completely took over the whole bed. It now looks more like a shrub than an herb plant. Luckily I managed to get a good cutting of the apple mint before the lemon balm devoured everything. So for this growing season it’s just two tomato plants, some apple mint and this monster of lemon balm.

Apple Mint

Actually not doing much this year is a welcomed break. Last year we went overboard and grew way more than we could possibly use. We were up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and herbs. Lets just say my poor hubby heard a lot of fussing from me. There’s only so much salad, salsa and tomato jam a woman can eat. So this year we’ve decided to keep things small from now on for both our sanity. 😊

Found some clover in our backyard. Hope this brings some good luck. 😊

Little Creatures

​This summer has flew by. Already I’m seeing school buses making their way through my neighborhood. August is here and soon the summer breeze will turn into beautiful hues of Autumn leaves. 

This summer I let my little garden bed of herbs run amuck…in other words I’ve been a bit lazy on attending to it. Luckily herbs don’t require too much care. The Lemon balm was forceful this year, pushing the chocolate mint and apple mint to the edge to bust through and climb over the weather worn wood that boxed them in. Good thing I put my sage in a separate container. I allowed the lemon balm to flower for it was far too much for me harvest for tea, hoping that it would bring in a host of bees like last summer but the fuzzy little creatures haven’t made much of an appearance. Instead there are a bunch of these things…

Unfamiliar wasp like insect on flowered lemon balm.

I have no idea as to what they are but they seem to really like the lemon balm. 

A little beetle hanging out on some apple mint.