May in the Garden Brings Bounty and Bugs

Yesterday's Harvest
Yesterday's Harvest

Yesterday morning I spent about an hour in the community garden, harvesting some green beans, cherry tomatoes, basil, and dill, and weeding and watering the three 5′ x 40′ plots. As summer begins to settle on Central Florida, everything both good and bad begins to grow like crazy.

Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Kentucky Blue Pole Beans
Kentucky Blue Pole Beans

The cherry tomatoes and pole beans have been our best producers by far, and though we have had some problems with tomato fruit worms in the past month or so, the bug situation hasn’t really picked up until now. I’m seeing all sorts of interesting things going on, mostly on the tomato plants. I have heard that Florida is “tomato hell”…

Caterpillar Leaf Damage
Caterpillar Leaf Damage
Caterpillar on a Tomato Leaf
Caterpillar on a Tomato Leaf
Whose Poop is This?
Whose Poop is This?
Leaf Damage
Leaf Damage

I’m not sure what the above leaf damage is from, nor what I’m looking at below, although they look like they might be red aphids?

What bug is this?
What bug is this?

Bugs aren’t the only thing in the garden, however – there are some glorious flowers! The only thing I would do differently with these is plant them earlier in the season, both for the enjoyment and for the magnetic effect they have on bringing beneficial bugs into the garden.

Zinnia
Zinnia
Cosmos
Cosmos
Sunflower
Sunflower
Burgundy Sunflower
Burgundy Sunflower

I even heard, and then saw, a majestic pileated woodpecker yesterday morning, chilling at the top of a dead tree:

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker