Backyard beds now complete!

Or just about anyhow.  All 4 large beds are now done, the two smaller okra are built but one of them needs soil added.  No big deal.  Two weeks from now we'll add more.  I'm still debating if nasturiums are going in with the okra or pansies?  Either way, I have to get the seeds started soon.
Here's what we have thus far.
 Bed 4 is all the way to the right, Bed 3 right next to it.  Bed 2, then Bed 1.  Bed 3 & 4 always get the least amount of sun and always remain the coolest.  Bed 1 & 2 are the hottest areas in our yard so things like tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, and eggplant usually do well there.  We're upping our Basil production this year and that will be going in bed 2.  In a moment of inspiration yesterday I
decided to take some leftover red mulch and put it down between our beds.  Originally I threw newspaper down between the beds as it was really muddy.  Now that the mulch is added it looks so much better and for now it reduces all the mud problem.  I can imagine come summer this will be a great weed barrier as well.  I now need to purchase a tiny bit more of the red mulch but not a whole lot.
The tents are not PERFECT but I think they'll work for the time being.
Today we decided to add a few plants to the front as well.  We had been trying over and over to get the watermelon seeds to start from last year but obviously the seeds were just no good.  So we bought some Heirloom Blacktail Watermelon and some Papa de Rola Pole Bean.  The pole beans are just so pretty and I have never seen these before EVER in a grocery store!
I plan to train these to grow up the wall out front in between the squash and artichokes.


Next, my husband asked me about growing Stevia a while ago so today I looked it up and it looks rather simple to grow.  If many don't know, Stevia is actually a plant that can be used as a sugar replacement.
You can use the entire plant as it is all very sweet.  Here is info from Wikipedia on it:

"Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The speciesStevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleafsweet leafsugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.
With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available as a sweetener for decades or centuries; for example, stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japanwhere it has been available for decades. In some countries, stevia is restricted or banned. In other countries, health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the United States banned stevia in the early 1990s unless labeled as a dietary supplement,[1][2] but in 2008 approved rebaudioside A extract as a food additive. Over the years, the number of countries in which stevia is available as a sweetener has been increasing."

I figure I'll give it a try and see what we think.  I ended up purchasing four plants from Amazon. 
Here's the info on that.  $9.99 I figure isn't too bad.  Especially considering we started most of our other plants from seeds.  
Next My Brazialian Orange Eggplant that I received a week ago is coming up like mad but my Marina di Chioggia has shown no life at all.  Same applies for the Tomatillos that I received in a seed exchange.  I have yet to start the red russian kale that I also received.  Just haven't had the time or room for that matter!
Most of all my other seedlings seem happy as clams however some of the peas, squash and cukes are showing signs that they really want to be outdoors.  Now.  RIGHT NOW..  I may have to move them around a bit to find somewhere they'll be happy until it's time to move them outside.  
I gave my parents the rest of my summer squash seeds so if these bale out on me I don't have much left of those.  No worries though, I have tons of other things that have come up that I never even expected to see!  

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