The veggies are coming

The motto of Organic Gardening Magazine is ” I didn’t know I couldn’t grow that until after I had three successful crops.” . I felt that way when everyone told me to save my time and not try to plant a garden here in south Florida at this time of the year. I didn’t expect to have everything grow but I wanted to give it a try anyways and the only things that were an instant flop were the things that the squirrels like to eat such as tulip bulbs and peas. Everything else have come up, some better than others but all are giving it a good try. I do have to add lots of extra water because the sun has been so hot 100 degrees plus most afternoons and not all my plants have some shade so the 3 gallon reservoir of water under each garden isn’t enough for the tomatoes or squash for those two I have to refill that every other day and sometimes every day. The others and those in some shade I only refill once a week. I give extra water from above 2 or 3 times a week and they love it. This is the squash box. Under there in the front two corners are two egg plants. Both are doing great, they love the shade they get from the big squash leaves.Patty’s big live oak tree give them some shade in the morning and by afternoon these leaves all wilt under the hot sun but perk right up again by evening as the sun does down a little in the sky. Looking under the leaves you find some female squash buds. There are lots of males and a good many females so when the flower open there should be no problem with fertilization. I don’t see too many bees so I may use a soft paint brush and play bee so I am sure they grow into nice big squash. I don’t know yet if they are yellow or green but I think by the shape they are yellow. Then pilling the leaves back you can see the egg plants. This is the egg plant and if you pull back their leaves also you see the fruit, there are two that have set. I don’t eat egg plant but Patty loves it and is waiting for these to grow up. When I finished planting all my boxes I still had not filled my tower so I tried all different kinds of seeds to see if they would grow in the tower as well. I put squash in a couple bins on the bottom hoping they would grow down and spread out on the ground but summer squash does not do that so up they are growing. Maybe next time I will put them in the top bins and let them grow way up if they don’t need something to grow on. We live and learn in gardening but they seem to like the bins and have enough room for their roots so far. These are the cucumbers and they are looking for something to grow up on so I think I will put out some bamboo stakes next to the tower for them to latch on to. My stacks are four foot tall so with one or two feet in the ground that will leave two or three feet for the plants to grown on and should be quite steady. these are best in the bottom bins. . These are the peppers. There are three different kinds and all of them are in bloom but none have set fruit yet. They got good shade in the afternoon so are growing well. At the end of the pepper box I put one Lilly and it is doing well there. These bulbs came later than my other plants so they got put in any empty space I could find. Most of them don’t like where they are planted but this one likes the peppers and one in the tower seems to like that. The ones at the top of tower do not like it and don’t seem to be making it at all. Plants know where they want to grown and who they will grow next to and you have to learn by trial and error to find out what they like. I know peppers don’t like to grown next to tomatoes so I never try to put them in the same box. The four tomato plants are all doing well. Here are a couple small tomatoes that have set. Each day I go out there are one or two more so now I have several set and lots more flowers. I was told it was too hot for tomatoes to set but again they do what they want no matter what some one says. Now we have to see if they grow big. I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I have two boxes of beans . One green and one yellow and I won’t know which is which until those flowers turn into beans. Can you see the small blossom? Both boxes are doing great and both get some shade. These were the peas but as you can see there is only one pea plant that made it past the squirrels. They dug up all the peas and ate them so I put the flower Bob gave me in this box and every day I had to put the soil back around the flower as the squirrels got quite confused and trying digging up something to eat under the flower but the flower didn’t seem to mind and now it is growing well and the squirrels have given up. This week I planted carrots and beets in here and in one other box that I had been waiting for the black berry bush which turned out to be seeds. I will plant those seeds in the buckets that hold the patio tent. If you look close you can see something coming up in the front. I also put some in the tower but those are not up yet. Going back to the tower you can see a couple of the cilantro bins. They are coming fine, I though they would and they aren’t letting me down. I started these by seeds. The parsley at the top I put in full grown plants and they are doing OK, I think I would have been better off starting those with seeds also. Can’t forget the corn! I couldn’t believe corn could grow in a box but it sure is doing it and if I can get two ears from each stock I will have some truly fresh corn in a month or so. Just below the cilantro is the other Lillie that is doing well. I guess he likes his neighbors. These are the radishes and they will be the first thing to be ready to pick. They always are and these are doing great. They like the tower but you won’t get too many in a bin!! This is one of the spinach bins. I have four or five of these and hope to get enough to add to a salad when they are bigger. Lastly are the strawberries. I think it was too late in the year to plant these. They are growing but not getting very big and most of the strawberries that set just dry up. they are supposed to go for several seasons so maybe in the fall when the cooler weather comes they will perk up. The birds are constant visitors to my feeding station. I spend many hours watching them and the squirrels. We have so many of them the dog doesn’t even try to chase them all now. When Otis wants something to do he runs out and chases them up the tree but most of the time he just passes them up.
Well that is the tour of the farm. The blueberries are getting lots of new growth so in the fall they should have another crop of berries, the bird are waiting for them. Have a good day. Talk to you again next week.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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2 Responses to The veggies are coming

  1. Shanti says:

    I love this! You have such a green thumb, Mom. You could grow a garden on the moon, I think. I have certainly inherited your love for green things and I hope a tiny bit of your good karma with plants! We are eating our fill of cherries from the tree again this year… and looking forward to the rest of the summer.

    • Thank you Love. I like to see things grow and some times it is hard to beat the squirrels but so far so good for most things. Our tortoise has not been back but if I ever get the squash or strawberries down on the ground she may come back for those and if she does I have to let her have them as there is a $1000 fine if you interfere with a gopher tortoise. I wouldn’t anyways as I love to watch the animals even more that growing plants.

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