Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Central Florida garden in early October

I got this blooming cactus from a friend (thanks, Mary!). It blooms at night, and I've missed most of the flowers this season, but our recent, much-cooler nights, this bloom lasted until mid-morning. Prettier than any orchid bloom I know.

I've done peanuts before, though usually just a few in corners of the garden. This year I planted two short rows in the center of my garden and was very pleased with the results. A handful of green peanuts from the Publix refrigerator case. They grow very densely and choked out every weed. Very pretty, dark solid mass of green leaves with small yellow flowers. No disease or insect issues. Easy to harvest, too! And though I worried about nematodes, I didn't see a single bit of evidence of RKN on these peanuts. So, I end up with a quart or more of peanuts and a bunch of green matter for my compost bins. And a weed-free patch of garden at the end of summer. The yield isn't as much as sweet potatoes, but peanuts are surely prettier and controlled weeds better. Next year I'm going to plant half the summer garden with peanuts and the other half with sweet potatoes. Maybe some cassava and African basil around the outside. Oh and Okinawan spinach. And all my hot peppers... But that's it. Well, and scallions, chaya, and yard-long beans.

Lucullus chard in a barrel ring. Filled with pricey but excellent organic compost from Pierson.


Homesteading Mommy said...

Green peanuts from the refridgerator case? And do you peel them first? I planted some peanuts and the squirrels went nuts so I'll have to transplant them instead. My okinawan spinach didn't like the dry hot summer. Do you have your's shaded at all?

Michael said...

yep, right out of the refrigerator case. i hulled them and put one peanut every 6 inches or so. no problems with squirrels. they germinate really quickly--even if the rats got a few you could just keep planting the seeds until you had a nice cover crop. my spinach did fine--my experience is that it needs shade or it needs to be watered pretty consistently.

Anonymous said...

Very nice blog , I found You through P.Allen Smith's list of 10 best blogs. looks like you have been at it a long time. I saw the cactus flower ,(Queen of the night) I have pressed the flower and use it in my art too. I blogged about it. Hope your new bed does well.
Peace and Happy Gardening.