I've been taking more sets of photos of the vegetable garden, and ever since we put mesh over everything so that little animals can't jump the fences and rip off huge chunks of leaves (see here), the plants have exploded in growth.
The tomatoes are fruiting unmolested and bulging out against the mesh; some of the top leaves have even managed to sneak their way through the holes of the mesh:
The bell peppers are getting bigger -- it's amazing how much they grow in just a few days:
And even the poor lettuce are making a heroic recovery. They were picked over the worst by the small animals (including by our own 4-year-old kid, haha). But I wanted to show you how they've fared throughout the month ... actually, over the course of a mere 16 days. The top-cover mesh made a HUGE difference:
You can't see in the photos, but some of the lettuce plants look like they are growing upwards, with a large stem in the middle. This is probably because their bottom leaves were the ones that were ripped off earlier and the plants would look much fuller otherwise. While every single one has seen new growth, a few will probably never grow very much before the end of the season (see photo below on the right side):
Even though they're probably big enough, we can't harvest any of the garlic or scallions because we'd have to cut into the top-cover mesh (one of the downsides, I'm afraid). But when the rest of the plants are ready, I'm excited to harvest. We're still waiting for the tomatoes to turn color, for the eggplants to drop from their flowers, for the carrot heads to break ground, and for the broccoli to grow florets. It will be awesome when they're ready.