Friday, August 14, 2015

A Small Gardening Update

August is the traditional start of the gardening season in Florida although you have to wonder why anyone would want to garden in this heat and humidity!  

I definitely want to have a vegetable garden this fall but in truth, save for planting some seeds indoors (Romaine lettuce, collard greens and Supersweet 100 tomatoes), I haven't really done anything yet.

I need to plan my layout, my veggie rotation, clean out the backyard, weed (again!). And then plant the seeds, of course, and restart on my daily watering duties.

I want to get lattice to dress up my self-watering bins a bit, find a way to make inexpensive tent replacements for my lettuce bins (I think Greg has given up on making me some since we had a disagreement last weekend), and build a small shed structure that's not obtrusive so I can store some of the gardening supplies that are just layout about in the backyard right now.

In the meantime, I did go outside to take care of the plants today. The heat is relentless and a lot of the plants don't look so good, whether because of the heat, or disease, or bugs. My rose bushes need to be trimmed but I believe the month to do it is February. My hot pepper plants look like they've caught some disease because their leaves look mottled.  They still produce fruit just fine, though.

Here are some pictures that I took today:

My rhubard had survived so well until now, if not actually grown all that much... I really need to put it in a larger pot.  For now I gave it lots of water.

On the other hand, the guest squash plant is doing splendidly!  

It had lots of flowers but I just haven't seen any pollinators flying around lately.

I love the pop of red of this serrano chili pepper!

The strawberry plants look... beaten!  There are flowers but they're not really turning into berries, despite the plants being in the shade and the plants being in a self-watering bin. What gives?!  Also: do I pull the plants every year and replant new ones or will they come back next year? This article makes it sound like it depends on the kind of strawberries. I'm not sure what kind I have.  Apparently, though, I should have trimmed the runners... now that they have rooted, I might cut them off from the main plants.

This is one of my guest tomato plants.  It looked so good last week, but today it looked awful!

A lot of the leaves looked like that and when I started squeezing them, I could feel caterpillars or worms popping inside.  Gross. I popped them all off and cut down the branches that had been "attacked". I'm not sure if the plant will survive. I've been very lucky these past 12 months because I really didn't have to deal with bugs all that much, but this promises to be a bug-full "Fall".
Thankfully these other guest tomato plants a few feet away weren't affected...
I was very happy to see this herb pot full of vibrant... weeds!  They're weeds!  Damn it. Why do the darn weeds thrive when my plants don't?!
My leek zombie plants didn't survive being outside, despite being in the shade. Well, darn.
Lastly, I transplanted my roselle bush.  The roots had grown straight the pot so it really was time!  I placed it in the shade of the oak trees near Greg's shade.  Our neighbor's hibiscus is thriving just a few feet away so I figured it was a good spot for it.
Are you planning a vegetable garden this fall?  

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