i left by around noontime. when i arrived in belmont, my mother was once again waiting for her italian sub. i had just enough ingredients left over from yesterday for one more sub. my mother ate half while i ate the other half.
inspecting the orchids in my parents' bedroom, i discovered they were infested with mealybugs. i brought them outside to spray with neem oil while my father repotted them as several of them were crooked. we also watered them with special 30-10-10 orchid fertilizer, just a small amount (1/3 tsp) makes a gallon of fertilizer water. we filled the orchid pots with the mix, left it to sit, before pouring out the water.
we then made a garden inspection. a new generation of female squash flowers have emerged, we're hoping those will survive and not abort like the last batch. so far none of our squash plants have more than one squash. also all the newer leaves are much bigger than before. it's hard to say whether this is nature or because we overfertilized the bed (i side dressed with my espoma granules, my father side dressed with his unknown fertilizer, i watered with miracle-gro, then finally did a 2 foliar treatments).
originally we thought about training the squash growing in RB1 so it'd grow into RB2. but now the RB2 trellis seems to be exclusively for the 3 bitter melon plants, so my father pruned the squash vines, preventing them from growing any farther. there's so much overhanging squash leaves that they're eclipsing one of my lotus barrels, and the lotus thinks its already fall and the lotus leaves have changed colors.
the compost bin stinks something fierce. i turned it yesterday and turned it some more today to the point where i almost got blisters on my gloved hands. there's just too much grass clippings and not enough dried, dead materials. the pile steams when i turn it and it smells like a farm, that strong manure odor. i'm hoping to control the smell before neighbors complain.
the wild tomatoes seem to be doing well. growing in the western bed they look very leggy and slender, but their ability to produce tomatoes are unmatched. they come in long strands like cherry tomatoes, but nearly 2 dozen tomatoes per strand. the tomatoes are also much larger than standard cherries. we have noticed that some of them have an elongated shape (like a mini roma), but maybe they'll grow out of it.
elsewhere in the garden: chinese asters are growing tall we could possibly see some flowers by next weekend. the flower buds look white, but hopefully they'll change colors once they finally open; our climbing trellises for flowers on the western bed and RB3 are doing well but so far no flowers. once they bloom, there should be a combination of blue morning glories, white moonflowers, red cypress vines, and purple hyacinth beans; eggplants in RB4 are getting huge. i grew garlics in RB4 last season, so there should be plenty of leftover nutrients since i fertilized very well; hyacinth beans in RB0 seem to be eclipsed by the squash vines, such that the bean leaves have lost their greenish color. however, this kind of stress is actually causing them to finally set some flower buds.
in the afternoon i decided to finally do a drone flight. unfortunately i haven't used my setup for so long, the iphone was out of battery. i charged it to 4% before going outside. right away something seemed off, the DJI fly app kept warning me that the processor on the phone was maxed out and there could be errors. i managed to take a few snapshots before the phone ran out of battery and went dark. fortunately the drone was just overhead and i managed to fly it back to the launch pad manually. later i discovered that the ability to recharge the phone from the remote controller is actually an option that needs to be turned on before that happens.
i went back out again in the late afternoon, after seeing a lull in the rain showers. this time the controller recharged the phone and i didn't get any processor errors. i flew the drone to the belmont farm to see what they were growing. that seems to be the range limit and i had a few RC signal lost error that made me fly the drone back. i was also getting weather errors, i think 400ft up in the air there was some rain, so more the rain to come back.
for dinner my parents cooked up the 3 japanese eggplants harvested from our gardens. unfortunately they forgot to add the thai basil, which is a key component of this asian braised eggplant recipe. for the next eggplant harvest we'll be sure to add it (we have plenty of thai basil in the backyard).
it was dry enough after dinner that i was able to bike home instead of getting a ride. there was nothing good on tonight, i kind of just want to make an early evening of it, crawl into bed with some netflix or a book.
all this rain we've been having must've created a mosquito population explosion. i never gotten so many mosquito bites in the backyard, at least half a dozen, on my arms and legs. yesterday i even managed to get a mosquito bit on my face without realizing it. then just tonight, while i was sitting in the living room, i scratched my neck and felt something. when i looked at my fingers, it was bloody smeared body of a mosquito. i can't remember the last time a mosquito made it inside the house.