Friday, May 30, 2008

Grazing in the garden...

From a post I did over at the Florida Forum on GardenWeb:

Lately I've been grazing:

left to right, top to bottom.

okra: My gardening buddy Nicki gave me a plant. I usually wait until at least July, when nothing else grows, to add okra.

blueberries: 'Sharpblue' blueberries are ripening. I've eaten a bunch of Emeralds this season (they ripened at the end of April). So far, emerald has been the best blueberry. This is the second year they've been in the ground -- I'm expecting lots more berries for next year. I won't bother with rabbit eyes any longer -- Southern Highbush are the best for Central Florida.

herbs: Basil, thyme, mint, thyme, parsley, savory. This time of year, mostly shade, in pots, and lots of water.

'Sea Foam' chard. The only chard i consider growing. Way more heat tolerant than any other; and slugs really can't deal with the savoy-leaf.

pomegranate! -- Bill, another gardening friend, gave me a seedling sometime last year. I don't think this one's edible, but i have a Grenada cultivar that should bear sometime next year.

eggplant 'Little Fingers" from Tomato Growers Supply. Second year in the ground (buried pot, actually), still producing heavily.

'Jet Setter' tomato. Blasted thing's only set one fruit. Not much of a setter...

Michael's crazy squash. I found this volunteer last year in my garden, in August. Just popped up. No idea where it's from. produced ridiculous (20+ from one plant) winter squashes. Sneers at diseases. apparently invincible. Ill behaved. I love it.

Malabar Spinach I have a bunch of these seedlings that I plan to grow them up ropes.

Sorrel. It's been going nonstop all winter, and the hot weather doesn't bother it in the least.

Goose Creek Tomato. Really vigorous tomato. Tasty, too. I'm also growing 'Tiffany' (tgs), Sungold (an excellent cherry), 'Matt's Wild Cherry,' 'Pomegranate.' I have several plants of some of those varietals.

Tabasco Pepper. I've grown this one plant for years in a pot. I dry most of the peppers, but there are always a few handfulls for fresh use, too. Incredibly hot. It's starting to fail this year -- I'll probably get a new one.

Mississippi Silver Cowpea. From Southern Exposure. Just starting to yield. Grows in sand, no water needed. A handful of plants will provide you with all the delish cowpeas you care to eat... and I eat them with wild abandon in August and September, when nothing else really seems to grow in the garden.

Collards. I've been pickin' at these all winter. Still going strong. Not at all bitter. My wife makes delish green "pies" from these -- a calzone dough, wrapped around a mix of these greens, feta, and olive oil.

Goose Creek Tomato: What a vigorous, wonderful, pest-free tomato bush!

Lettuce crop: 'Appollo' arugula and 'Summer Glory' lettuces (Parks). The shade cloth helps a lot. The arugula deals just fine with the heat. This is the first time i've tried salad crops this late into the summer. Growing in straight-up mushroom compost. Full sun plus shade cloth and lots of water. So far, so good.

Basils: I grow six or seven kinds of basil -- genoa, greek columnar (thanks, tony_k!), african, thai, purple...

Another crazy squash plant

Lagos Spinach: An edible amaranth from echo. does very well in the heat and humidity. Nutty.

Sweet Potatoes. These are volunteers from last year. A mix of Japanese white and traditional orange. My plan is to let the crazy squash and sweet potatoes fight it out for street cred in the sunniest, driest part of the garden.

Tromboncino squash. Just getting started in my garden, but Bill had a bounty of them in his garden already this year. He complains about the taste, but the ones i stole were incredibly tasty -- only squash i've ever eaten that tastes good raw. Dense, sweet, crisp. a single squash has to weight in the 2-3 pound range. Great cooked, too.

Italian Peppers. Another plant from Bill. May and June are the best months for peppers in my experience. Come June, i'll have so many I can't eat them all. I have eight or nine peppers in my garden.

Cassava. Looks just like pot, no? My gardening buddy Felix gave me cuttings. I got six plants from the one branch he gave me, and I've added some variegated ones i found on sale as a foliage plant. First time I've grown them in my garden. I love cassava.

In addition to these vegetables, I have Malanga, Okinawan Spinach, Cachucha peppers; and of course figs, citrus, bananas, and grapes coming along towards harvest at the end of summer.


Anonymous said...

I just got some advice from another Florida gardener (also recommending high bush) and he said, "Don't let them set blossoms the first year."

What did you do?

Christine said...

I see you have a picture of what looks like lupine. Have you had success with this. I have some planted as well.

david said...

where u get the crazy squash seeds?