It's been a while since I posted, just a general update covering a few things that are on my mind with respect to the garden.
This time of year is hard for me. With a climate similar to something like South Carolina or even Georgia in the USA it's much warmer and more humid than what I grew up in in the foothills of Appalachian Virginia. It seems like I have to force myself to get out there, lest the powerful force of nature that is wild plant life take over completely.
I seem to have lost most of the transplants that I bought to weed and pest pressure (i.e. neglect). One cucumber seems to have survived and is fruiting now.
The survivors of my neglect from the seeds that I started in my greenhouse a couple months ago have begun going out into one raised bed. I'm mixing a variety of salad lettuce, mizuna, arugula, and volunteer green shiso. I also planted out one tomato plant to borrow the arch support I intended for another cucumber. They need watering once or twice a day in this heat (33C and up), or they start to wilt and suffer. The direct sown lettuce I did last year was much more deeply rooted and didn't care as much about water... but I think I was more active with watering then anyway.
The chayote vines seem to have downy mildew and are hurting badly. That's a first since I've been here, and I wonder if it's just the climate this year or if I really need to catch up on the pruning to get more airflow into the garden.
I have a few more pawpaw fruit this year than last, but still less than 10 I think. They're not really a favorite for any of us, so I don't mind the low yield.
Our grape vine has recovered nicely, but has a bit of black rot knocking off fruit here and there. Steve Thorn suggested I handpick the rotten fruit and dispose of them. Again, they suffer for my neglect... though I hope I'll be able to manage that better next year.
A couple sunflowers I forgot I planted grew nicely. I'm eagerly waiting for the seed head to finish maturing.
A paper wasp nest I'd been watching has a bunch of wasps flittering about it now, hunting in the garden for caterpillars. I catch sight of mantises and geckos eating various bugs here and there too. The ecosystem seems to be thriving well enough. I just need to find room for food crops to grow alongside all the bountiful green nature...
Mosquitoes are no longer a major invader in the house. We discovered their primary entry point was the kitchen ventilation fan, which we netted over and stopped the problem. Hurrah! They're still quite a pest outdoors, but I can live with that. They compete with the horseflies for my least favorite pest. I'm not sure what beneficial impact horseflies have on my garden, but they are mean blood suckers, and if you kill one it's buddies all come to see who the enemy is, and attack, relentlessly. Apparently a female can lay hundreds of eggs in a year... joy. I think I might have whacked that many one summer before I gave into the futility of it.
Some pictures attached.