May is supposed to be our wettest month, and we did get around 3 inches of rain, which isn't actually that much, but better than we have been getting.
Lots of things have been happening in the garden that probably deserve their own post. First the neighbor's chickens were causing a lot of damage digging up things in the front garden, then while we were on vacation the deer found it! I also got my sweet potato plants from Duck Creek Farms and planted them. I've been harvesting a few paste tomatoes, but I think the deer are eating a lot of them too. That makes comparing yields from the different varieties I planted difficult. I might have to leave out that bit of data this time around and just compare things like plant vigor and heat tolerance.
I knew I was risking things by planting my Rattlesnake beans in the front, and sure enough, the deer have been eating the leaves off of them. The funny thing is it looks like my deer are lazy, and are only eating the leaves in the middle of the vine, not bothering to bend down to eat the ones near the ground, or stand up to reach the higher ones.
The chickens dug up a lot of the beans, so in their place I planted the rest of my Waltham Butternut squash seeds. There were from Seed Savers Exchange in 2009, and I guess they were getting old because I was having trouble getting them to germinate. I went ahead and planted all the rest of my seeds in the ground before we left, and when we came back some of them were sprouting.
Taking a quick look at the herb garden, the Esperanza is starting to overwhelm things again, like I knew it would. The other plants aren't doing too bad though. Herbs really like being in the ground much more than in pots. Once I planted all my herbs in the ground, ones that had been in pots on my apartment balcony for years, they really took off. In the background here is the Mexican oregano flowering like crazy. To the gnome's right is marjoram, while to his left is thyme. Elsewhere in the herb garden I've got Greek oregano, rosemary, peppermint, orange mint, catmint, catnip, lemon balm, yarrow, skullcap, horehound, parsley, and now a few different kinds of basil.
The Moon and Stars watermelon plants are also doing well. I planted four of them. I also just planted three Melon de Castilla plants, a cantaloupe from Native Seeds/SEARCH.
OK, that's my update. By now I should be getting my summer crops in if it wasn't for the darn deer.