Spring is here and the garden has come alive. Our winter was mild so all the plants I had started in the fall did fairly well. It is getting hot quickly but we are able to harvest some goodies before the major heat, mold and bugs arrive.
I wasn’t sure because it started off slow but it looks like we had a good year from the blueberries and tomatoes.
We started picking the blueberries one by one as they ripened. I thought we could beat the birds this year. I guess the area birds are not a fan this year. They left plenty for us.
They are almost all gone. In retrospect I think the new drip irrigation that I added for them has helped them this year. I always thought they had plenty of irrigation where they were but I guess I was wrong. With consistent irrigation and the right schedule of acid, next year should be even better!
While we soon say goodbye to the blueberries, the tomatoes are thriving.
Tomatoes growing out of control. I need to secure them.
In other news….
Grape vine is fully grown for the season.
Broccoli has bolted. We never really took advantage of harvesting it this year.
It might be a good year for the citrus. I started a new fertilizing routine last year. None of the other disease control measures were working and the trees still seemed to be dying off. The new fertilizer sits on the leaves and provides nutrients. The idea is that the plant will remain strong and fight off the diseases its self. They seem to be holding on for now and producing fruit. I won’t know for a while if this routine will work long term
|Night Winter Sky from my backyard
It has been a while since the last garden update. Garden has been neglected a bit but seems to be doing well on its own.
The one citrus plant that was healthy but has yet to bloom is blooming in full force. I did some estimation and we might have 55 limes when it is done this season. Unfortunately it is falling to the same disease as all the others. I have applied some proactive fertilizer (see the brown water on the leaves). The hope is that I can keep it healthy enough for it to fight the sickness off itself. I haven’t found a product that will treat whatever this is that is slowing killing my citrus plants.
|Sickly key lime plant is still blooming
|Grape vine is still dormant
|We have big beautiful collards
The tomato seeds that I planted are doing well through the winter.
We are happy to have our fresh dill back.
Hopefully we won’t lose our blueberries again this year. Have not had luck with them the past two years.
My husband has chopped up our christmas tree. It is supposed to be used for mulch but I might end up composting/throwing it out because it is in the way.
My late fall project is growing in nicely. I replaced one of the gardens with sod and a lavender sensory garden. The grass is green as can be but the lavender is slow to grow.
The lavender is quite beautiful up close though.
Next up some tomatoes, citrus and hopefully blueberry crops in the spring.
I think this is the largest crop of summer tomatoes I have ever had. The only thing I did different this year is one application of Mater Magic fertilizer (I normally never fertilize but rely on the health of the soil).
Perhaps I should add regular applications to my schedule?
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 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!!!
Today’s harvest will probably be the last until we get early summer tomatoes ( if any). It was probably the best year yet. I wish I know what I did different this year; but I don’t. The great weather and mild winter probably had something to do with it.
Spring is also bringing us herb blooms.
I am also liking how healthy this lime bush looks. Perhaps I won’t kill all the citrus?
Next up is to see if the blueberry bushes will bring us anything this year. We will see.For now here is a cat picture….
They did it. The tomatoes survived. They survived some freezes and the survived neglect while we were in India.
We came home from a vacation to this bounty. So far we have used them for salads, lentils, and spaghetti sauce.
The biggest problem is that we cannot eat them fast enough!!!
Some fresh herbs as well.