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This week in the vegetable garden

Tasks: Deadheading and trimming up a lot of herbs that were getting unruly and beginning to flower or go to seed; harvesting the first eggplant and long beans from the Asian Garden and Swiss chard, early tomatoes and a variety of peppers.

Observations: Many of the herbs are filling out to their summer size, so we can start harvesting. The fennel and dill have done their job of attracting swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs. If you look closely at the plants, you will find swallowtail caterpillars eating their fill.

Challenges: Nothing much. The black raspberries are putting on new growth that is getting out of hand, but that's more an annoyance than a challenge.

Anticipated next week: Harvesting beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and more. Maybe the first of the cucumbers will be ready. Beyond that, we'll be weeding, watering, deadheading and doing what it takes to keep the garden in shape.

Lunch in the Garden: Next week will feature lavender cookies. Bring a lunch; starts at 12:15 p.m. Friday.

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