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At least one garden area is successful

By Penny Stine

This has been a tough gardening year. I had a lot of seeds that didn’t germinate and a lot of plants that died, so it’s good to see an area that’s thriving, like this one.


This bed used to be too shady to grow much of anything other than shade-loving perennials, mint and parsley, but since we cut the big tree down in the front yard, I decided to see what I could grow in here. The bed has good sunshine from about 9 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. which is more than almost anyplace else in my yard.




I planted three sweet pepper plants, and as you can see, they’re full of peppers. They’re supposed to be orange when ripe. I’m getting extremely impatient for them to turn orange. One turned almost completely yellow, and I decided that was good enough, so I put it in a salad with cucumbers, basil and a couple of tomatoes.

The peppers are starting to drag the limbs to the ground (which means some of the peppers are also on the ground), so I'm hoping that's not an invitation to the bugs to come and make a nice dinner out of my unripe peppers. 


I also planted three different types of melons in this bed, which was probably too many. I stuck a couple of tomato cages (and two shoe racks) in the bed in an attempt to get the melons to grow up instead of spreading out into the lawn. It’s kinda, sorta successful. I need a sturdier, taller support for them. A stepladder would be perfect, but I just can't see my husband agreeing to put a small stepladder in the middle of a planting bed.

I have a couple watermelons, a couple of cantaloupe and a few honeydew melons in the bed, so I’m pretty excited about that. I'm not very good at determining when they're ripe, so I'm going to leave them on the vine until I just can't stand it. 

There are also three or four ground cherry bushes in there somewhere. So far, they’re not producing very many at a time, so beyond putting them in salads, I haven’t experimented with them much. I found a great coffee cake recipe, so as soon as I accumulate two cups of them, I plan on making it. (Of course, that requires me to quit eating them as soon as I find them, which may or may not happen!) 


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