It’s the 4th of July and the garden is doing fine.
We finally have a watermelon growing. The bees are no where to be seen so I have been hand pollinating these as I can.
We also have a great crop of plum tomatoes. I noticed some signs of caterpillar damage (but saw no caterpillars yet). I want to spray them but the rain is every day lately. Hopefully I can spray BT sometime soon.
In the distance you might be able to make out the corn plant that is hanging on. No corn yet but I am hoping for something.
I am doing a much better job at training the muscadine grape vine this year. Last year the weight of the vine made the trellis slant forward. The extra support I added this winter is holding up.
For the first time we will have grapefruit this year. I counted at least five that are growing. The leaves are still falling off though. I found a spray that may help with this but I am having a hard time applying it because of the constant rain.
Key limes are back again too. They have the same issue as the grapefruit tree.
I butchered the heck out of the viburnum in the backyard. I was trying to locate a lost sprinkler head and finally found it behind the middle bush. I will be replacing that sprinkler head with drip irrigation to provide better water to one of the square foot gardens. I would like to train the bush on the right to grow as a small shade tree to open that area for some shade plant opportunities…..we will see what happens.
Flowers doing well in one of the whisky barrels.
And finally the aloe plant is reproducing again this year. I might transplant some of the babies. We don’t take advantage of this plant as much as we should.
Hopefully I will have an update at the end of the month to see what makes it.
The ladies are back. They seem to like the grape vine for now. The lady above is wearing spots but the one below is in plain attire.
Muscadine grapes are starting to grow. Looks like we will have another good year for grapes. It looks like the little black bugs are back as well (see blurred leaf). They are there every year but appear to be harmless so I let them be.
One of the watermelon seeds germinated. I have yet to have a successful crop but I keep trying. I got these seeds from a watermelon purchased at whole foods a year or so ago.
We haven’t had much rain and days are getting hotter and longer. I am watering almost daily my seedlings. I hope they grow to a stable size soon so they won’t need as much attention.
The following is a list of what I am going to try to keep alive this summer. But it is only April you say? Yes, mid-April pretty much means summer has started in Central Florida. Only few things can make it outdoors in the summer heat. I have some leftovers in the garden from winter/spring and some new seeds planted. Some are gambles but you never know for sure if something will work unless you try.
The following is what is happening:
The plans for the summer garden. And yes I know I plant things too close together. I do it because I never really know what is going to make it. It is easy to just thin out what you don’t want. Did I misspell carrot, ha!
Seeds in and ready to go.
Trying a new type of basil. See if this one can tolerate the sun better. It is supposed to taste the same as traditional basil. Why can’t I ever get organic basil ?
Tomato plant leftover from the winter/spring tomatoes. I never have luck with summer tomatoes but why not try again. It is too healthy to pull out.
My Charlie Brown Key Lime tree. It is dying, like the lemon did, but it has looked sad like this for two years so I am holding out hope that it may make it. It has produced some great key limes.
Muscadine grapes are coming back. I am confident they will do well (they always do). The goal this year is to keep it trimmed well so the trellis doesn’t lean forward again this year.
Spring flowers (planted last fall).
I love these guys. They are going on their second year and add great fragrance to the yard.
Mint and rosemary
Who doesn’t love a mint infused cocktail?
Wish me luck!!!
It almost feels like deja vu again. A couple years ago I had a bumper croup of tomatoes in the winter that experienced a freeze before they started to ripen. Soon after the freeze some tomatoes did finally ripen but most were too destroyed to enjoy.
Today I have about 6 very large tomato plants with many tomatoes just waiting to ripen. I have finally realized what the problem is. I have been monitoring the sun exposure for the two gardens for the past couple of months and have found that they are simply not getting enough sun exposure to ripen the tomatoes this time of year. The gardens are perfectly placed for spring, summer, and fall crops but not for winter; which is our prime tomato season. The only thing I can hope for at this point is that the plants hang in there and we avoid a deep freeze this season (highly unlikely). The sun patterns will change and they will get light again. I have some choices to make about next year’s crops. Summer is brutal so I really should be set up for optimal fall, winter and spring gardening. For now we wait.
Not sure if you can tell but I used vines from the now dormant muscadine grape to contain the tomatoes while I was running low on string. Pretty good re-use of the garden if I do say so myself.
The muscadine grapes keep coming and coming this year. They are such a treat. When they are golden brown like in the picture below it is the perfect time to pick them.
They are very sweet – almost dessert like. The only downside is that it is a bit of work to get to the sweetness. The skin is pretty tough and tasteless and you have to end up spitting out 3-4 seeds after you get the fruit, but believe me it is so worth it.