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Posts Tagged ‘pepper’

A lot has changed in the garden since Day 5, my last update on our expanded growing area. All of the seeds we planted in containers have been moved into the ground. We needed to wait until about September 15 when the weather started to cool enough here in Florida so the soil wasn’t too warm. Unfortunately we lost a few we planted because the sun literally baked them once transplanted. And the black weed barrier we have down around the plants didn’t help, I’m sure.

I took a few shots this afternoon, including one of our friendly neighborhood hawk. I’ve affectionately dubbed him “mascot”, number two only to our pup Morgen.

This was the only shot I could get as he and his 2′ wing span flew away before I could get my larger lens.

Ok, back to the garden. This year, my husband expanded our garden by double, so now we have a total of 760 square feet of growing space.  Here’s our original little piece of land, the left side of the garden that has Southern Peas, tomatoes, green and yellow beans, giant Caesar lettuce and sweet peppers.

Here is some of the giant caesar, which looks really hearty so I’m excited to see how this does.

 

 

 

Green and yellow beans already needed stakes after being in the ground for only a week. The flowers are already starting to bloom on these! We usually have really good luck with these beans and hopefully this year will be no different.

 

Below is the new section Ryan cleared out over a period of weeks. The grass that used to live here had mostly gone to weed, so he had to pull all of that out and mix in the good compost. A LOT of sweat on 95 degree days – backbreaking labor! Now that the plants are in we need to put some mulch down to keep the moisture in and keep the weed barrier from baking any more of the plants.

 

Sweet peppers are looking really good too. We have about 12 of these plants.

 

 

And my favorite plant this season – the cucumber. It’s normally a very difficult vegetable to grow for us, but I think we have the problem sorted out. Instead of growing these on the ground, we’ve decided to stake them. They seem super happy already, with blooms appearing and the little tendrils curling around the bamboo stakes. Hopefully this solves the problem!

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It’s been a couple weeks since my last garden update, and wow…what a difference that time can make! We’ve had many many hot sunny days – dusty and dry. But the plants have loved it! Last night, we had a nice drenching downpour and when I checked out the garden this morning, I was amazed to see what the rain had done for our small plot.

As I looked around today, I noticed a peculiar pattern on the edges of some of the bean plant leaves. It looks as though a critter has been munching on them! Can you identify what this could be? And when I say critter, I’m thinking opossum, raccoon…that kind of critter! Can you imagine!! Ewww!

Almost every tomato plant has blooms on it now, which means that in a few weeks, we’ll hopefully have a delicious bunch of tomatoes to add to our meals!

Affectionately called “Big Green”, our first cuke is thriving. Is that bad when you start naming your vegetables before you pick them? I would be in a world of trouble if I actually had a farm with livestock!

My girls put mulch around our lettuce last weekend and somehow that has made them double in size!

And last but certainly not least, we were able to pick our first bunch of green beans that we cooked and ate with dinner!

(photo disclaimer: shadows and poor lighting need to be worked on in my shots…just so excited about the garden!)

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With the weather cooling off (that’s a relative phrase for Florida!), the harvest is starting to pick up and the local farmers markets are buzzing with incredible fresh, local produce.

Today, we visited the Lake Mary Farmer’s Market. We made a stop there last week as well and were so pleased with all they had to offer, so we returned. Our bounty included:

  • Red and green peppers
  • Cubanelle peppers – this was a new one for us! Looking forward to it’s sweetness.
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Cabbage

I’m so excited not only because we’re focused on buying local produce, but also because we’re trying a few new things this week – the Cubanelles and the cabbage. I remember my Mom making ‘Pigs in a Blanket’ or stuffed cabbage. Brings back good memories!

They also had pumpkins – plenty of pumpkins! But these were shipped in from Tennessee, and usually if we buy pumpkins this soon before Halloween, they will rot from the heat. Lovely way to welcome guests to your house! Have a rotting pumpkin on your front porch. Hey…maybe that’ll be a good way to keep guests away from my stuffed cabbage!

Find a farmer’s market in your area and give it a try. Apologies for my friends outside the US – that locator is only good for the States, but I’m sure Google would be a great resource! These farmers work so hard to bring food to our tables – I love the idea of meeting them in person and showing our gratitude by buying directly from them.

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Wow! We were blessed by some amazing rain this week. Throw a couple tropical systems into the mix and voila! A garden can do what it does best…grow! When I look out at the garden today, the plants – especially the beans – look as if they are little children lifting their arms up toward the sun. It’s amazing what you witness in growth of any type.

The tomato plants are looking especially strong, but not to be outdone are the cukes. We have little stringers running off of those, and flowers are just starting to bloom. On Tuesday, I saw some bees getting down to business spreading the love around the garden. Awesome!!

The basil is still a bit yellow, but I’m just trying to give time. Cilantro and rosemary are happy little herbs – soon to be BIG herbs! I need to start coming up with some recipes with those ingredients. Any suggestions?

All in all, everything has grown by at least 20% this week. All the plants, even the green and red peppers with little buds appearing, are looking fantastic.

And for this week’s big announcement…we have two tomatoes that have decided to appear! Take a look!

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