Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
|32052A||MARIGOLD BOY YELLOW||2.00|
|36012A||COSMOS PIED PIPER RED||1.00|
|36392A||COSMOS SEASHELLS MIX||1.00|
|31518A||ALYSSUM ROSIE O'DAY||1.00|
|40085A||GERANIUM FLOREVER RED||1.00|
|49405A||CALENDULA PACIFIC BEAUTY MIX ORGANIC||1.00|
|33015A||PANSY ATLAS MIX||1.00|
|36115A||HELENIUM DAKOTA GOLD||1.00|
|48095A||ZINNIA RASPBERRY LEMONADE MIX||1.00|
|32672A||ZINNIA PINWHEEL MIX||1.00|
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Those dates (I presume) are for seedlings, which require at least four weeks to get to size. So, plant seeds now and they should be ready for transplant by the beginning of September. I wouldn't direct sow anything now: While generally I prefer direct sowing, the conditions are not suitable for it. Too much violent rain, too darn hot, too much humidity, and the earth is just writhing with buggies who love to eat your seed. Better to have some control--I like a mix of half and half peat/perlite in seedling trays. Microwave the medium for a while to get it clean, then soak it well. Keep things under cover, but where they get some sun, until the seeds germinate and break the surface of the medium. Then, move to a partly-sunny, shaded & protected site, with protection from the elements. And hope for the best! So much can go so wrong so quickly this time of the year.
Hold off on adding liquid fertilizer until the seedlings have their first "true leaves."
In the fall, I would not plant any melons/cucurbits at this time, even in Lakeland: October and November are wet, cloudy and humid... perfect conditions for molds/fungi. Just not worth it when it comes to pumpkins, etc. Same holds true for pole beans: They can certainly be grown, but they are prone to rust and take up a lot of room that would be better used growing other things.
My gardening friend Christine started her carrots mid-August, direct sown, last year. By September, they were already a few inches tall. I'm going to give it a shot this year, using seed tapes from Johnnys.
Generally speaking, it's crucially important to get crops in as early as possible. Better to have to replant than to get things started even a week or two late.
A week or two in the fall can mean a month's difference in harvesting schedule: You want plants as large as possible before it gets cold and growth slows down. I've sown broccoli a couple weeks apart, and gotten crops from the early seeds before Christmas, but had to wait until February for the seeds sown later.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The garden looks pretty shabby now--hot days, abundant but irregular rainfall, fungi and bugs have taken their toll. The Juliette tomatoes are still producing pretty well--two plants have produced an abundance of pear-shaped cherries, more really than the family could eat. I got back into town and, after one week of no one picking them, I managed to get about a pound of fruit. For whatever reason, presumably skin thickness (though I don't detect it), these tomatoes are pretty resistant to stinkbugs. The only thing that eats them is us and the birds.
Let's see... my grapes are ripening. I opened one of my pomegranates today: Typical Florida fruit. Pale, but acceptable. Persimmons are ripening. Sweet potatoes have the run of the place. Beans are producing scantily because of our warm nights. Basil is hanging in there, but it cannot cope with these conditions... Herbs in pots (thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint) are doing OK and will get rejuvenated when the hot weather breaks in six weeks or so.
August first is my traditional seeding day for the cool season--brassicas and carrots, the former sown in jiffy pots and the latter directly sown. I'll try to get some lettuce and chard started (including that Indian chard I bought recently from Evergreen), but I've always had trouble getting those crops started when it's so warm. Here's my Johnnys order... I'm going to give growing onions from seeds a shot this year--last year I had to wait until early spring to get appropriate sets, and while I had a very nice crop, I would prefer to get them in earlier.
Gosh, I wish Johnnys shipping weren't so dear!
Blue Wind (F1)-Packet
Vegetables > Broccoli > Hybrid
Snow Crown (F1)-Packet
Vegetables > Cauliflower > White
Super Sugar Snap-Packet
Vegetables > Peas > Snap
Vegetables > Cabbage > Early Green
Desert Sunrise (F1)-Packet
Vegetables > Onions > Hard Storage > Red
Moneta (Monogerm) (F1)-Packet
Vegetables > Beets > Round Red
Sugarsnax 54 (F1) (Pelleted)-Packet
Vegetables > Carrots > Main Crop
Mokum (F1) (Pelleted)-Packet
Vegetables > Carrots > Early
Vegetables > Carrots > Colored
Bionda di Lyon-Packet
Vegetables > Quick Hoops™ crops > Quick Hoops™ crops for Zone 8 and above
Saturday, June 18, 2011
- Edible Amaranth, Tender 41501 1 1.85
- Malabar Spinach, Green 28001 1 2.10
- Edible Amaranth, All Red: 58301 1 1.85
- Calabash, Hybrid Lattoo: 64401 1 2.20
- Japanese Turnip, Hybrid 54501 1 2.20
- India Spinach Beet: India 57901 1 1.95
India Spinach Beet is a fast growing vegetable, native to Indian hot and raining summer weather. Leaves are smooth, tender and uniformly green. First cutting can be done in 25 to 30 days after sowing and subsequent cuttings can be harvested in 15-20 days. Instead of the cutting method, some people like to harvest by picking outter leaves for eating, while the plant continues to produce more new inner leaves. This vegetable is strongly resistant to heat and is one of the most popular greens during hot summer in India and Southern Asia.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
For whatever reason, I haven't had much of a problem with them this year, though in years past they've been a nuisance. It's very important to pick your tomatoes before they are too ripe--I usually try to pick them right after they've blushed, or maybe the next day. They ripen up just fine on the countertop, no discernible difference in flavor. You can also control the population with a pair of needle-nose pliers and a quick hand. The problem is that the bugs seem most active during the hottest part of the day, which makes the whole affair unpleasant on several levels.
This is my first year for home gardening and it's been very exciting. However, my squash and cucumbers have fallen victim to pickleworms!! I wanted to ask if you were successful with bagging your plants to resolve the problem? Do you bag the entire plant or just the blossoms/fruits? Thanks so much!
I've had great success in the past, but I was away from home during the initial invasion of pickleworms and now the cukes have stopped setting fruit, so this year, no chance to try it. In the past the biggest obstacle has been heavy rains that would ruin the bags... I wish we had that problem right now!
The tromboncino is really tasty, too! One fruit weighs at least a pound, and there are no seeds to speak of anywhere in the body. Oh, and the limas: These are a passalong plant, supposedly a hybrid of Willow Leaf limas and another black lima. There's a whole story about a dying agronomist in Tennessee... anyway, I found them when I was rooting through my bag of bean seeds and thought I'd give them a try. It's a bit late to plant limas, but they'll still produce.
Monday, June 13, 2011
- Basil (Genoa... I couldn't find a more heat tolerant one in my seeds)
- A bunch of Trombone squash seeds (from 2007... I'll be mildly surprised if any germinate.)
- Mississippi Silver cowpeas
- Black Jungle limas
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Typically by June, the spring bean crop has burned out. I've always wondered if the vines decline because of heat/humidity/pests, or if the vines decline because, well, annuals die after a season. So, this year, about May 1, I planted a second crop to test: a short row of Rattlesnake Beans (Southern Exposure, known heat resistance).
When I returned on Saturday after a month away, I found that my early-spring crop was dead or nearly so, with only a few vines producing the typical misshapen and stringy beans I've learned to expect for this time of year. The May-planted Rattlesnakes, though, are growing vigorously, full of blossoms and perfect, mottled, narrow, tender beans. We'll see how long they continue to produce, but it seems that it's possible to extend the green bean season for at least a few weeks into mid-June or later. Since the Rattlesnakes are saved seeds, and beans are generally a low-hassle crop, the cost and trouble are almost surely worth it.
My Willow-Leaf limas, planted a week or so later than the Rattlesnakes, are blooming and vigorous. Strangely, my yardlongs seems puny. They haven't started to run or bloom. I need to throw some cowpeas in the ground where the declining pole beans are planted. Maybe I'll grow some extra limas, too.
Man, it's HOT out there. I'm "lucky" to be suffering from some serious jet lag. I was up at 3am this morning, and cleaning up the garden before sunrise.
I noticed the bee hive has gone crazy with the new super. I counted more than 60 bees a minute exiting the hive at dawn--a steady stream.
A few other mumblings and reminders, while I'm sitting here: Cucumbers are basically done. The ones that are setting are generally beset by the #(*&##%* pickleworm. I need to tear them out. Sweet potatoes are only now beginning to run. I need to plant peanuts. Peppers seem to be slow this year--lots of fruit on them, but the heat will probably limit the fruit size. I need to get some basil seeds. I harvested a bunch of large, sweet red onions. I'd all but forgotten they were there. Tops were all dead, but the onions themselves look good.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
All this dry weather, I have a bit of an aphid infestation. I'm away from my garden for a few days, and a friend is looking after it. She tells me that the #$%*(#$^* pickleworm has arrived, but so far the invasion is pretty limited. Dozens of tomatoes every day, peppers, loads of cucumbers... The traditional squash season is over. I might plant some Tromboncino squash when I get back.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Farmer Dave my fig trees are in full sun. They are planted in a very thick covering of mulch, which I think is crucial for fig culture here in Florida, with all our nematodes. Contrary to most information I have found about figs, I think please require quite a lot water and they like a rich soil . This year I gave my fig trees a significant feed of phosphorous in early spring. This seems to have done the trick, because my fruit set is large for a relatively small fig tree. (My fig tree has been in the ground for about three years, and is approximately 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide with several trunks.) In any case, I have a good gardening friend with five or six fig trees growing on her property. Each of these big trees produce at lease a bushel of fruit per year. So, fig trees can certainly thrive here given the correct conditions.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
In any case, the one problem I can see in sunken-bed gardening is our heavy rainfalls causing flooding, erosion, root rot, etc. All the problems that people who garden in heavy, silty soils experience. S far, this hasn't been a problem with our arid spring. We did have torrential rains in early April, and I didn't notice any problems after four or five inches of rain. But time will tell.
I know people in Central Florida who have had some good success with raised-bed gardens, but they have some obvious drawbacks here, including increased transpiration/evaporation that makes proper watering difficult, and the fact that they tend to get infested with pests and diseases. My friend Bill, from whom I learned a lot about gardening in Florida, used raised beds for several years, but ended up dismantling them when the diseases and pests got too bad. He blames the raised beds, specifically, for the mounting problems in his garden.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Sweet: Watermelon, Hybrid
Ae: Korean Squash, Hybrid
Japanese Cucumber, Hybrid
Arko: Oriental Melon,
Ingredients1 large beet
4 small turnips (or 3 medium-size turnips), quartered
1 beet quarter, cooked
2 to 3 slivers garlic clove
2 to 3 sprigs young celery leaves
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. coarse salt
Fill jar with vinegar mixture, seal and store in warm place 10 days. Makes 1 pint.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Reading gardening books for northerners, you often read about watering "deeply" rather than often. By watering deeply (so goes the thinking), you take advantage of the holding capacity of the soil, and plants can "help themselves" to the residual water in the soil.
Doesn't work here in Florida. Really, no matter how much organic material you rake in, no matter how thick your mulch, you're going to need to water often, and therefore, don't bother watering deeply. That "deep" watering is wasteful: Most of it drains out of our soils. (If you ever look through a microscope at sandy soil, comparing it with more typical, loamy/clayey soils like the kinds we find in the Midwest, the grains of sand look like boulders next to the tiny particles from "real" garden soil. What makes clayey soil clayey is precisely the particle size. The space among those sand boulders acts like a sieve, flushing water from the soil. When we take the kids up north, they are fascinated by puddles because here in Florida, we just don't have many.)
Especially during our peak growing months in spring (March and April), when rainfall is relatively rare, the air is clear, the moisture-robbing winds are brisk, and the sun is strong, you need to water daily, until the root zone is well saturated. Most days, I stick my finger in the ground when I come home around 6. I expect the soil to be dark and moist.
It takes a lot of water to do that during our hot-dry spells.
I use a mix of microsprinklers and conventional sprinklers. The latter are jerry-rigged: I mount Orbit flush-head sprinkler heads onto six-foot PVC risers in the center of my garden: I get very even, quick coverage over a large-diameter circle. I water my main garden bed about 15 minutes every day, mid-morning. My remaining areas are irrigated using Mister Mister system, which lets me water very precise areas, very precisely. I run lines into my pots and use 360° sprinklers under fruit trees, and then position 90° sprinkler heads so beds get watered "from behind"... There are many arid areas in my garden beds where I plant drought-tolerant plants, but they tend to be in the backs and corners of beds.
Look, water in Florida is cheap (too cheap). One day soon, we'll face some serious capacity issues, but not because of my vegetable garden. Blame the resorts with ten acres of St Augustine, exposed to full sun, and the jackasses with an acre of turf in their private residence who run the sprinklers every morning during the rainy season. (I have one of those neighbors behind me.)
If you garden, balancing real ecological concerns and the natural desire for plentiful blooms, fruit and vegetable is tough, but the alternative to watering sufficiently is (obviously) underwatering, which is itself wasteful, as that insufficient water is itself still a consumed resource, but one without the maximum yield (however you figure it). If you plant a rose bush or a squash plant, you basically commit to watering it enough. Otherwise, don't bother planting it in the first place.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
usi aluminiu has left a new comment on your post "Snapdragons":
In my garden i can`t grow snapdragons. They need something special or i don`t know, some conditions?
Posted by usi aluminiu to Gardening in Central Florida at 8:58 AM