Tuesday, March 29, 2011

End of March Vegetables in the Central Florida Garden

The welter of activity preparing for the spring garden has mostly passed. I've got beans, cukes, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash in the ground. The squash has already started to produce nicely--three plants provide an overwhelming abundance! The pole beans are really starting to run up their strings, and I noticed that they've begun to bloom. The first cucumber should be ready any day, and the vine is loaded with fruit and blooms. Tomatoes are blooming profusely, but I haven't noticed any fruiting. Melons are still small, but large enough that I don't worry about them any longer. I pulled the last couple of feet of parsnips this weekend. First time I've planted them, and I'm pretty satisfied with them as a crop: They take up more space than carrots, and probably produce a bit less, but they're a nice change of pace and the flavor is excellent. Speaking of carrots: I have ungodly amounts. I've been giving them away to friends and coworkers. 

Beets are doing very well, too. I've decided that I like Chioggia beets the best in the garden. They aren't the intense beety color I love in Detroits, and they aren't quite as luscious in texture, but they grow very large, quickly, and their greens are by far the best of any beet I've ever grown. Milder than spinach. I've also got some Red Ace out there that are about ready to be picked. That hybrid from Johnnys did well, but I'm not sure that it did any better than Detroit or Chioggia. Let's see, what else am I harvesting? Chard, onions, peas (still going strong!), m√Ęche, lettuce, turnips, more chard, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, potatoes (still small...)... Probably more out there that I'm forgetting now. I have a last row of mixed broccoli and cauliflower that's heading up nicely. Should be ready for harvest in ten days, maybe two weeks. Did I mention chard?

Flower garden is gangbusters now, too: red yarrow, Vietnamese Hollyhocks, Cape honeysuckle, volunteer snaps, calendula, volunteer cosmos, roses, borage, alyssum, volunteer pansies (still going strong... whoever thought they were weak?), zinnias starting to bloom, volunteer Osteospermum, nasturtiums (not for much longer)... My gaura should start to to bloom soon, and then the perennial phlox and the oakleaf hydrangea. My garden, which looked so bare in February, will be overgrown by July.

It's a great time in the Florida garden. Like northern spring and summer combined! If it doesn't get too hot, too quickly, I'll soon be picking sweet peas and tomatoes while the ranunculus and cosmos bloom. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your updates! My whole garden is a few weeks behind yours and our soil is not yet well built up (first year sheet mulching in a yard full of Florida sand) so some things are growing more slowly... but I keep reading your stuff and thinking "my garden will get to that point in a couple of weeks!"