Monday, June 13, 2011

Shame on me!

I can't believe how long its been again since I've blogged. The garden - it's over for the summer here. Everything wilts and dies this time of year since its so hot. I had a pretty good haul this season though.
Lettuce - lots!
Corn - no. it didn't get its ears before the heat took over. that was too bad.
squash - yep! mostly zucchini.
one little tomato - maybe another before the heat gets it all
broccoli - yes!
peas - unbelievable - i had tons of peas. i love just eating them right there in the garden, many didn't even make it into the house and maybe only one batch got cooked. i'm doubling up next year because i can't get enough of them.

But i do think i'm going to shrink the garden again for next year. 6 boxes is still too much for me to keep up with. i need to keep it small so i can keep up with the weeding and taking care of things. too much stuff and i get overwhelmed and don't do it at all.

now i have to go catch up on how everyone is doing. i'm 2 weeks out from another competition so that's where my focus has been for the past 3 months.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The corn is coming up! Today I was out spraying it with BT because I am NOT going to have cutworms eat it all this year.
We had a few surprise cold days come up and I lost the watermelon, squash and spinach, but no worries because I started some more today.
So, short blog, but here are a few pics of what's coming up in the garden!

I replanted that left row today with romaine. I started it inside and I'm pretty sure I pulled it out when it came up outside because it didn't look like the other lettuce I had started!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When I plant, it rains

Every time! We might as well set the rain predictions by when I plan on planting seeds in the garden. And we have big, fat, heavy raindrops here which means my little seeds (like lettuce and herbs) will be washed all over the box and who knows what will sprout where!
Today I accomplished quite a bit in the garden. I started the 3 sisters box today. I planted the corn in a spiral pattern and was able to fit 88 into the box. I read that in a spiral in small gardens they have a better chance at pollinating. I'll take any better chances I can get. That may be too many, but I plan on fertilizing aggressively this year (i have lots of bunny poo), and it can't be worse than any of the other years that my corn didn't come in. I put in two small trellis' to help prop up the pole beans. I don't want them strangling the corn completely :) . Then along the edges of the box I added some squash - 3 bon bon squash (already started in containers), 2 raven squash, and I have 3 dixie squash in the containers about to sprout that I'll put out in a week or two. I'm just going to let them roam all along the pathways and in between the boxes. I don't really care for growing the squash up the nets.
I managed to identify some of the plants coming up in the container squares. The Bon Bon squash was kind enough to spit a seed casing out with it's leaves so I was able to match that up with the ones from the package. The Dixie squash seeds are turquoise so all I had to do was dig down a little bit and look at those. The tomatoes were easy, the watermelon was easy - except for the fact that I started two kinds and they both look the same right now (sugar baby and crimson sweet). The brussel sprouts are coming up and those were only easy to identify because I planted 9 squares of them. Today I planted some romaine into the containers because I didn't notice it coming up outside. And I'm not sure what it looks like when it starts. I may have pulled it out as a weed. Once it comes up in the containers I'll know if I saw it out there. I don't really use the containers to grow things for 4-6 weeks before going out. I just use them to get things started so I know they aren't a weed out there LOL. I did pull tons of more little weeds out in the boxes today. Will they ever stop coming up???

Last week I spent my energy working on the front yard. I put in lots of potted plants and its looking nice again.

Here's an overview of the backyard. Wow I just noticed how badly this side of the fence needs redoing. Oh well, working on the other side right now :) .  I've found that getting rid of the extra four beds has been such a relief. I think I can handle these five.  The one surrounded by block and covered in weeds isn't a working garden bed. I think I'm going to dig it up and line it and make it a little pond. The whole area needs a new cover of mulch  to pretty it up, but one thing at a time!
 In this box I have 3 tomatoes up along the top trellis. Along the west side trellis I have peas- green arrow and sugar snap. That nice little line going up the middle is broccoli, and there's a glob of radishes on the right. There are also some onions growing up by the tomatoes and some carrots between the broc & peas. No peppers coming up yet.
 This box is the 3 sisters box. Got the corn planted today, and the beans. Also transplanted those three bon bon squash that are on the far side of the box. And those three holes on the close side were for the dixie squash that haven't even come up yet so I'm not sure why I made them LOL.

And there's my update for the week. Trying to be a better blogger, and I think I can manage one blog a week :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What WAS this thing?

I saw a bizarre insect in my garden today. It was "standing" straight up and down, as if its bottom half were growing out of the ground. Its legs were up at its head around the eyes. There seemed to be wings folded along its back. I brought out dh to look at it and he said its probably laying eggs all over my garden and the offspring will devour the whole thing. So I squished it, and pulled all the surrounding dirt out - no chances! When I picked it up I found that it's bottom half - very wormy/caterpillary like - was inside an old stalk of some small plant. I mean small like an old flower stem or even the stem of some cilantro or other herb. Sorry about the fuzzy pics but these were the best that would come out. And then of course it was squished/squashed and there were no more photo opportunities.

Anyone know what it is? (was)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'll Remember!

Being that we have a very long growing season here in Florida I have not really played around with starting seeds indoors. I just throw them into the garden and let them do their thing. However, I found these 2 trays that I purchased marigolds in last year for the front yard. It has 18 cups in each one and I thought - why not? After all, this way I'll know it's the plant growing and not weeds. And who knows how many plants I have pulled from the garden thinking they are weeds?
So in went the soil. And out came the seed packets. And I'm saying to myself  "I'll remember" what I planted long enough to grab some paper after I plant them and write it down. Poke the hole, drop in the seed, cover it up.... rinse & repeat 35 more times. Run out and get the paper and pen.... what did i plant? I have the seed packets right here, but where did I put what?
Scrape aside the dirt, look at the seeds.
What is THIS one? I planted several types of watermelon - which one is this? I planted 9 squares of brussel sprouts, which 9?
I finally put together some semblance of a chart. I at least knew which seeds were in which container, just didn't know which square each one was in. Well, that's okay, knowing which container they're in is good enough once they sprout.
But then....
I figure the containers will leak a bit so I'd better put them on something. I found a large lid to a plastic bin, picked them up and set them on it, and didn't pay the slightest attention to which tray I put on first or anything!
LOL, so I have mystery containers for now.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have a few things coming up in the garden.That's always so fun to go out and see what's peeking through.
So far I've seen peas, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, radishes,onions & lettuce. Some of the stuff hasn't sprouted yet, but I think it will eventually.
Today I prepared the last two beds for my February stuff. One of them will be a 3 sisters garden, mostly corn. I really want corn this year. REALLY.
The herb bed - which still needs a cleanup - reseeded itself with cilantro and dill. The bunny was thrilled. He's been turning his nose up at the store bought cilantro. He ripped the fresh stuff right out of my hands LOL.
I weeded the other beds, filled the last two, turned the compost a bit, checked on the worms that we forgot about for over a year. Seriously, the bushes grew up around the worm bin and we just totally forgot. There were still worms in there and yes they were alive. I put in some new bedding and food for them.
We've had rain off and on so I haven't had to water in a while, which is nice. There are more weeds that I hoped for, but I just keep pulling them. Right now its a bit hard since i planted some spices randomly and I'm not sure what's a weed and what isn't. So some of them are being left alone until I'm sure.
That's about all. It's nice seeing things grow again and being out there working in the yard!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting the New Year with the garden.

I'm a bad blogger. I admit it! But at least some work is happening in the garden. And if I have to choose between getting that done or writing about it, well getting it done produces better results :) .
However, I have a moment here so a little recap:
I trimmed the garden back to 5 beds. I had five the first year I started and it was manageable. I expanded to 10 and it was just too much. Too many pests, too many weeds, too many headaches trying to get everything planted. I feel that I can keep up with the 5 beds and am looking forward to a productive season.
I planted 3 beds on New Years Eve day. Carrots, peppers, watermelon, 4 different lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, onions, tomatoes & some herbs.
I have one prepped for February, and one more that I'm currently cleaning up and getting ready to prep for corn in February. My corn has never grown well and it is the one crop that I was really excited about. I am going to be extra vigilant this year against those cutworms.
Oh, and I guess its really 6 beds. I always forget about the herb box at the back door. I think that is still manageable. Honestly the herbs pretty much take care of themselves. I still need to add some more compost to that one too and get it ready.
I didn't get any gardening done after I cleaned up the beds last fall. And all of the weeds grew back until I basically plowed the one box under. After that one stayed clean I churned them all up and it seems to really have helped the weed issue. No more horse manure!
I also want to be better about keeping the nutrients in. All of this info on blood meal and fish emulsion and bone meal - its enough to make my head spin. But I think if I just read a little bit a day instead of trying to take it all in at once I can manage.
So that's about it. I'm in off season for my figure shows so I have a bit more time to put into the garden. I did walk away with a trophy last season so that was awesome! I'm looking at doing 3 shows this summer/fall so good thing the garden is pretty much dead in the summer.
Sorry to be gone so long, and I'm hoping to keep up a bit better this year. I need to be more productive and organized so that's what I'm working on.