This fall appears to be the best garden attempt for me yet. Harvest time hasn’t come yet but things are looking very promising in the second square foot garden. Cherry and Juliet tomatoes are growing in abundance. Green peppers are popping up. The eggplant is blooming. Winter squash is producing female flowers. Corn is getting ready to produce. The okinawa squash keeps on producing new growth. The only downside is that it is way crowded in there! When planning the fall garden, I used the square foot garden’s recommendation for spacing. However it is getting too crowded. The typical 4 feet by 4 feet garden is split into 16 one foot grids. Many of the plants growing need at least 1 1/2 of a grid or even two grids. I think that for next season I will break up the garden into 9 grids to allow extra space for big plants. Like the first garden I started in May, I also put a weed cloth down before filling the garden with dirt. The weed cloth was to put down to be a barrier between the pristine new soil and the yucky nematode filled soil below. After a recent organic gardening presentation I found that roots need lots of room to grow down and putting the weed cloth down inhibits plant growth. An experienced gardener assured me that as long as the plant is taken care of and healthy, nematodes will have little affect on my crops. I guess I will experiment with this in the spring but until then I cannot wait to reap the benefits of my hard work!
Loading it up with good soil stuff (peat moss, compost, and vermiculite), adding some support, and measuring out the grid.
Last Weekend – Busting at the Seams
A year ago this week, we moved into our current home. The backyard was a typical Florida suburb landscaped yard filled with St Augustine grass and various bushes.
Over the year some grass has died, some bushes have been moved, and some citrus trees have been planted. In the picture below, you will notice a compost bin in the corner and some work in progress. We put the weed cloth down temporarily to stop the weeds from growing while we were waiting to replace the grass. Additionally we added stepping stones to use in the walkway between the house and the back gate.
In place of the dead grass, we have started to plant Perenial Peanut and Mimosa strigillosa. Both are spreading ground covers with eye pleasing flowers that can be walked on. They seem to be an excellent St. Augustine grass replacement because they require less water and don’t get the same diseases as the grass does.
To make room for some other changes, we moved a couple of viburnum to the wall along the house where there is bad water drip during rain storms. Eventually we will want to put in gutters but for now the bushes will make a good rain erosion stopper. The plan is to move all the viburnum against the fence to this wall. We will wait for them to be dormant in the winter for the rest of the transplanting.
Finally, in the back we have removed a dying palm and the compost bin (It is moved to another area out of direct view). A muscadine grape and an arbor is placed in the corner. The bird bath was moved behind and soon there will be a stone bench in the middle so we can enjoy the afternoon shade.
I made a fresh vegetable lasagna about a week or so ago.
- Shredded Tomme Cheese (From a local Dairy)
- Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Ricotta Cheese
- Bay Leaves
- Dash of spicy seasoning
- Olive oil
- whole wheat Lasagna noodles
- roasted red peppers
- Muir Glen crushed plum tomatoes
- salt to taste
- green pepper
- glass of wine to drink while cooking
I chopped up all veggies and sauteed them in olive oil or canola oil (with the exception of the roasted red peppers that were already cooked). I added the canned tomatoes and spices to the sauteed veggies and let them all simmer together for about 30 minutes. I cooked the pasta according to package requirements (it recommended al dente for lasagna making). I oiled a glass pan and started a bottom layer of the cooked pasta. On each layer I put first ricotta, second pasta sauce mixture, third some chopped roasted red peppers, and fourth spread a layer of shredded cheddar, tomme, and mozzarella. At the very top, more shredded cheese was added to melt over the lasagna noodles. It was cooked in the oven at 350 for 30 -40 minutes (inspect for lightly browned at top). After it cooled, I cut the lasagna and placed it into multiple freezable containers. It is a great quick dinner for when you don’t have time to cook. We still have a few servings left in our freezer from this batch. It was yum yum good.
Today’s post consists of photo journey of gardens and garden related things from my recent trip to France. Enjoy!
Palais de Tokyo GardensA garden I stumbled upon while lost in the streets of Paris (I think we were trying to get to the Champs Elysee from the Eiffel Tower). It is a lovely mixture of flowers and edible plants.
Père Lachaise Cemetery Garden
Cemetery in Paris where many famous people are buried. I found this nice little garden inside.
St. RemyEvery Wednesday, St Remy has a farmers market. It is recognized as one of the biggest and best markets in Provence.
Baby Olive Trees for Sale
Côtes du Rhône vineyards
Espace Van Gogh in Arles
Monument made famous when Van Gogh was committed here in the 1800’s after cutting off his ear. Gardens are maintained to resemble what it would have been like during his stay.