Well, here in Texas things have been different. First of all, the landscaping at our home was completely done, and not really in need of much more. When I did put some plants in the ground back in 2009, none of them made it, ever. I don't really want to dig in the ground in 100 degree and humid weather. The ground is not good for vegetables. You have to build an above ground container for top soil, then plant. So, I did this. Above-ground garden built. Last February/ March (when I was quiteround and uncomfortable), I went out and bought some veggie plants and at a rate of about 2-3 plants/ day, I stuck them in the ground. After several weeks of snail-paced planting, I had a nice crop of future hot peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, chives, strawberries and leafy greens. And of course, my herb garden. Then Isla came, and my garden strategy turned to survival of the fittest (with the help of a sprinkler system). Whatever grew, grew. Whatever couldn't survive on it's own, died.
Carrots and Chives- never came up. Leafy greens- buggies eat small holes upon sprouting. Strawberries- fruit eaten before they could turn pink. Now, the pepper and tomato plants grew big and leafy- and I had high hopes for them. Just as some nice tomatoes and peppers appear- some nasty bug comes a long and sucks bruises on the surface of them, and they eventually wilt away to pathetic looking dingle berries (see red bell pepper photo). The only saving grace of my garden has been the herbs- most of them are doing well. I had enough basil to make some pesto. Rosemary grows into large bushes in Texas, so I don't have to worry about her. Oh yeah, and I got to this one jalapeno before the bugs did.
I'm sure I made a ton of mistakes in my gardening- planting things at the wrong time, putting my garden in the shadiest place in the yard. But these bugs!!! Fortunately you can take down and start over 3 times in the growing season here in Texas. I'm going to wait for it to cool off, and start over again soon. I think the plants were getting enough sun- because I saw many of the veggies come and start to ripen before the bugs got to them. My friend Maria who flaunts her gardening success on her blog, tipped me off to what this fruit-sucking bug might be- STINK BUGS! But a brief internet search reveals very little in the way of stink bug deterrents. One suggestion was to smush the stink bugs individually.
Needless to say my complete failure at Texas gardening has been disheartening. Not to mention a waste of time and money. I mean, I put those plants in the ground when I was 9 months pregnant!!!! All that for 1 lousy jalapeno! Here's a photo of Jason and Isla- they are not stink bugs.