Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bloomin' Tuesday

It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Central Florida.
We've gone from spring to summer heat last week
to temps in the 60's again this week.
What's a gal to do?

It was so rewarding to see these turtle bean plants shoot right up
just days after being seeded.

Then heartbreak hit.
Someone's entered the garden without an invitation!

The calabaza pumpkins had no trouble emerging from their unique containers.

  This seedling was transferred to a sunny location 

for vertical growing.
Not sure if the teepee will support the heavy gourds,
but it's fun to experiment with various methods.


A light misting of soap spray was used to keep diners at bay.


Alas, they snuck in anyway 
and munched on the first few we transplanted to the back bed.


A couple were planted near the lemon tree.
So far, the leaves look healthy and vibrant.

This one was planted on the southwest part of the yard.
There is room to roam there.

We'll see if there is enough sun to keep this vine happy.

The shallots are new to us this year
and I must say, they seem to like it here.

Just a few weeks after being sown,
they've gone from this...

to this.
So gratifying.

Each plant contains several shoots
with luscious bulbs underneath.
Shallots compare to a mild form of onion or garlic
and are savored for their subtle but distinct flavor.

There is some lettuce growing in the square foot bed.
An additional three pots were planted
so that they can be moved to a shadier location
once the heat of the season hits head on.
For most folks lettuce is a summer crop,
but here it's just too blazin' hot,
so we have to accommodate for the weather.

So far, so good.

The San Marzano tomato seedlings were transplanted
from the square foot bed to individual pots.
Again, tomatoes won't grow here in the summer
(except for cherry tomatoes)
so portability is important.

This pot is the biggest we currently have
and will house our one and only tomato plant.
It was used for a makeshift compost bucket,
until we started composting directly into the garden.
The zinnias seem to like it.

This is a volunteer tomato in the square foot bed.
Can tomato seeds remain potent after being in the ground for a year?

We'll see how it does in the pot.

 A handful of peas were harvested last week for a salad.

The pods weren't edible, but the peas were sweet.
Unfortunately, the plant started to wither, so I pulled it up.
A different variety will be tried next time.

The Blue Lake green beans popped up pretty quickly.

 Every morning triggers the curiosity of this novice gardener.

What's come up today?

Is everything happy?
What can I do to make your stay here better?

It's also fun experimenting,
even on a small scale.

Tomato seeds were placed in two different potting soil mixes
just to do a little comparison.

They both came up at the same time,
although both seeds came up in one while the other produced 
just one seedling.

Everything was fertilized using fish emulsion.
One teaspoon per gallon of rainwater was added
to an empty jug.
The one thing that I've been lax about has been fertilizing.
I'm vowing to keep my records handy,
so I'll remember to fertilize on a regular basis.

I am determined to grow something 
for our family to enjoy.
Gotta hope the good critters outnumber the destructive ones.

Happy gardening, y'all!