Monday, September 30, 2013

Starting from scratch...

I harvested the sweet potatoes, peanuts, and Southern peas from my garden this weekend, leaving this bed more or less clear. A rare enough thing in the Florida garden, so I took the time to dig it deeply (without bringing up too much sand from below) and added a few hundred pounds of a compost/peat mix from the local landscaping yard. I also scratched in some 10 10 10 fertilizer and removed a bunch of roots that had infiltrated. This bed only gets OK sunlight in the winter, but I've always had plenty of luck with cabbage, beets, salad greens, broccoli, onions, peas, etc... The usual winter crops.

The next few days are sunny and warm, so I'll wait until mid-week to set out the many transplants I have ready for the garden. They're forecasting plenty of rain for the end of the week...


Monday, September 02, 2013


Green is the color of the Florida late-summer garden. Solid green. Peanuts, southern peas, sweet potatoes, scallions, lima beans, some "sweet" peppers that long ago turned hot, and some struggling oregano, basil and parsley. Lots of okra rising from the waves of green...

Persimmons are ripening! Looks like I won't get any bananas this year. Banana hands that emerge this late in the season won't beat the frost. 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Beginning of autumn!

Onions, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, rocket, and various asian greens are planted in their containers. I also direct-sowed some Fortex green beans, hoping not to have a problem with rust this year. The first day of autumn (hah!) is duly marked. By the way, we got 1.5 inches of rain here in DeLand last night. Another weird storm--so much energy in the atmosphere at 8pm. Adding... Since there wasn't any of that excellent coir-based seedling mix at Lowes, I got a bag of perlite and am mixing it about 3 parts peat::1 part perlite. That seems to absorb a lot of water while still having the right looseness. Seedlings need water, filtered sunlight, and gas-exchange at their roots. Whatever you use, make sure it doesn't smother the roots. I hadn't noticed that the moss had a little slow-release fertilizer mixed in. No biggie. Generally I hold off on the fertilizer until I know the root structure has formed, and then I prefer to add it very often, but highly diluted. Miracle-Gro is a great product... I love that my moss bag recommends 9 parts moss::1 part perlite, while my perlite bag recommends (predictably) a 1::1 ratio.