Another week, another application of liquid fertilizer.  In fact, I watered everything in the west planter with several bucketsful of the stuff (in lieu of regular watering).  The plants in this bed have turned a corner, growthwise, thanks in part to this light pink fluid.  As a further indicator, two bell peppers have started to form.

The garden was also due for general purpose fertilizer—it has been about a month since I sprinkled out a batch of Garden-Tone—but the only plants that looked like they could use it are the zucchinis.  I troweled a small mound of the granular product near the root end of each stem and watered it in.

To fill the void left by the Sugar Snap peas, we sowed seeds (from Burpee) for two types of string beans:  French Filet, a bush variety, and Blue Lake, a pole bean.  Using a stick of kindling as a dibble, I poked two-inch-deep holes into the soil and Rachel dropped a single seed into each one.  The seed packets suggested a spacing of three inches, thinned to six inches, but we learned from the Sugar Snap peas that we can plant much closer.  We chose a spacing of two inches.  When the shoots appear, we may thin them out (especially if they look stir-fryable) or we may not.

We planted the bush beans under the east half of the trellis, behind the squash plant that is not doing so well (and hence, not casting much shade).  The pole beans we planted behind the other, larger, squash plant.  Hopefully, the pole beans will quickly rise above them to get their share of the sun.

Of course, it is possible that neither squash plant will still be in the garden when the beans are reaching maturity.  Both varieties need about two months before they start producing.  Based on my spreadsheet (in which I track these things), that will bring us to the Labor Day weekend.  At this point in the summer, that seems like the very distant future.

I tend to focus on the harmful insects we have encountered but there are many helpful bugs in the garden as well, including dragonflies, lacewings and bees.  Of these, dragonflies (a category in which I include damselflies, whitetails and other similar insects) are my favorites.  They look to be enjoying themselves, quietly sunning on a rock or one of the tomato cages, and sometimes follow me around the garden when I am working.  They seem to be curious about what I am up to and want to be involved.

As we were finishing up, I spotted a ladybug on one of the squash leaves.  This is the first time I have noticed this beneficial insect in the garden (we have had many of them in the house over the years).  To her, I say “Welcome!”  (And ask, “Where were you when the aphids invaded the pea plants?”)

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