Garden variety

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Hey, how’s your garden growing? Fellow green thumb Bruce Van Dyke and I were comparing notes last week, and he’s saying the same thing a lot of my other friends are saying and that I’ve experienced in my own backyard: Squash are kicking ass, tomatoes are finally coming on, and peppers are slow.

I don’t know that I can attribute it to the smoke from the crazy fire season we’ve had this year, but I don’t know what else it could be. The wind seems windier than in years past, but the temperature has been pretty moderate. (By the way, these are only my feelings, as opposed to anything I looked up, so feel free to check out my observations and report me to the authorities.)

Those freaking little box elder bugs have been out in greater numbers than usual, but I can’t really see that they bother anything. The earwigs are also out in huge numbers, and those little fuckers will eat almost anything with tender leaves. I planted two six packs of coleus, and they ate them all down to the nubbin—the only plants I lost this year—although as summer advances, and my attention span drops, we’ll see about that.

It seems climate change gets blamed for a lot of things, and I often hear the words “global warming” used in an anecdotal manner—“Hot today.” “Yep, global warming.”—but more bug eggs surviving the winter and wind-pattern change and even larger fires could all be symptoms of a feverish Mother Earth. (Can I just say the fires are more likely caused by mankind’s lousy stewardship of the forests?)

Myself, since I won’t use insecticide in my yard, I just don’t plant plants that I know are susceptible to certain kinds of bugs. But you know, sometimes the mind creates patterns where no pattern exists, and I was wondering how everyone else’s garden is doing this year.