Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Garden on 3/24/16

Well, something found my largest ripening strawberry... and ate it!

But I have more flowers and berries starting up in the self-watering bins...

So I grabbed a homemade "tent" made of rebar and screening material, and threw it over the 2 bins to protect the plants. I hope it works and that I get a few more strawberries!

The small plants that came from last year's runners are looking better. I keep them in the shade of the hedge in the backyard. I had been meaning to move them to a self-watering bin too but haven't done anything about it yet.
Nothing new with the raspberry canes. I think it's too hot for them and certainly too dry. But at least they haven't died.

The pole bean plants are getting bigger despite my not watering them for the past 3-4 days!

Some beans were faster to germinate than others, that are just starting now. I might have bad-mouthed the damn squirrels for nothing. Well, they're still damn squirrels in my eyes :)

I was going to plant more beans near the foot of this pole today since I hadn't seen anything growing there yet, but today I noticed 2 bean plants emerging so I didn't plant anything.

Yeah, I'm not getting any okra this year. I guess the seeds just weren't viable. I had harvested them from pods my neighbor had grown in his own garden.  Dollar Tree didn't sell any okra seeds. I might have to spring for some at Ace Hardware or something if we want okra.

Nothing was germinating in this bin where I had planted bush beans. I suspect the seeds might have
been too old, but also I know for a fact that the squirrels went digging it in.  I replanted newer seeds
today ("Top Crop", from Dollar Tree) and shuffled around some "tents" so I could place one over this bin to
protect it.
There!  The tent is going to be in my way as I stretch my watering hose (this is usually my "pass-through") but I really want to grow some bush beans too this year!  See how the edge of the bin is broken (bottom right of the bin)?!  The Florida sun is murder on plastic outside and all my bins that I bought last year are cracking and breaking with the slightest pressure.  Argh. I thought I was making an investment for a few years, not just a few months!

In this bin I had planted pepper seeds. Nothing is growing (the seeds were old) so today I planted green pepper seeds that I bought at Dollar Tree last week,. I probably planted too many for the one bin, but we'll see what grows. I might transplant some in-ground if they all germinate.

Yeah, no peanuts growing either. I had really wanted them to grow in the 2 plots where I planted them, not only because I thought it would be neat to grow peanuts, but also because it's a good ground cover that replenishes the nitrogen in the soil (I think?!). But the damn squirrels got in the way.  Maybe I'll just plant flowers next month if nothing grows between now and April.

No change with the tomatoes but I like taking pictures of the few vegetables that are actually growing without any of my help.  They're my favorite vegetables!  (and yes, I know that technically tomatoes are a fruit...)

So, on this theme, isn't my Bibb lettuce gorgeous?!  I need to start harvesting it soon.  No much progress on the little lettuce seedlings. I think I planted the seeds way to close together and I need to thin them but I'm going to wait until they're a little larger. They'll be micro greens.  I just love that those grew on their own.

This is why I haven't replanted anything in this bin or the next: they both contain lettuce that had replanted
itself but that went to seed almost right away. So I'm letting it flower and I'll collect the seeds once the flower heads are
Speaking of collecting seeds, I harvested those dry basil flower heads and will be collecting the seeds from them in the days to come.  My favorite way of growing basil is actually from cuttings but I like planting seeds too :) and speaking of basil, the next 4 or 5 pictures are of my basil plants.

Basil that reseeded itself (the same plant that I just harvested)

Well, I didn't harvest all of it since there's still a main branch that is in flowers at the moment.

More basil that had reseeded itself. It's loving the heat that we've had recently!  I need to pinch back the flower head if indeed that is one at the very top!

More basil that reseeded itself!  I see lots of caprese salads in my summer menus!  Or at least tomato salad with basil, if I'm to go back on a diet!

The basil cuttings that I had replanted are going OK after their encounter with a squirrel or two. They haven't grown but they haven't died either.  I think the tent helped.

However, that tent is now over my bush bean bin so now the basil is "protected" by this open-ended tent (I don't have enough screening material!)  I'm hoping the darn squirrel won't want to tempt getting trapped in there but I don't think they care, either).

These are my collard greens seedlings. They're doing ok but I'm not seeing any growth since the last time
I took photos.

I have another eggplant flower blooming but still no sign of baby eggplants. I think the blossoms are just dropping. It might be too hot?

Not sure if this one is getting ready to be an eggplant or just another flower. Probably just a flower.

I didn't think that anything was going on with my serrano pepper bush, but a closer look revealed a couple of tiny flowers. Hopefully those won't drop!

These are the kale seedlings. They look just like the collard greens seedlings. Again, I planted them too close. Those seeds are too tiny for my sausage fingers!

This weird, crooked thing that looks a little bit like the roller coaster from hell, is a Roma tomato plant from last year (last fall?) that is still producing flowers and fruit at its very tip so I'm leaving it alone.

Those are the zucchini seedlings that have emerged, after I watered them so they don't look too good.  We'll see if growing in a self-watering bin agrees with them.  I wish I had a tent over them though.

But much progress with the pineapples but they're slow growers anyway.

I watered them a lot today and then I'm hoping it'll rain tonight too.

A couple of mornings ago, I had been delighted to spot a flower about to blossom on my sweet potato vine...
But today the flower was gone :(

The roselle seedlings are doing OK. Only 3 seeds germinated though.  I'll need to order more from the same place.  And yes, I do need to transplant each seed in its own bin/pot.

My red canna is flowering again and you can see the new cane growing at the bottom.  This is truly a low maintenance plant and the flowers are beautiful but very ephemeral. I wonder how it would do if I planted it directly in the ground?  The edging in the background is the one that I bought last fall and that I still haven't installed!  I want to put it around the vegetable garden area to slow down the weeds. I really need to do this as the weeds have started invading the mulched area in between the pineapples!
My hibiscus was flowering a couple of mornings ago, always one flower at a time.  They make for the most gorgeous pictures, no?
Today it's back to bugs and lots of aphids (I took the photo after I crushed them). Ugh.

My thyme seedlings are starting to resemble real thyme!  These seeds were Dollar Tree seeds.   20 cents.

Whereas here on the left we have the thyme plant that I bought at Home Depot for... $4, I think, a month ago (big markup. no?!) and on the right we have the thyme plant that I had repotted a couple of years ago (also bought at Home Depot, I think) and that is starting to grow back after I cut it down last fall.

This is the sage that I grew from seed last year. It's still going on!  But I rarely use sage so I have a lot left in my jar and I'm not planning on replanting it anytime soon.

The mint is coming back!  I use it in my Minty Pineapple Cucumber salad.  Yum!

This is the other pot of mint that is coming back.

My green onions are still regrowing after... 3 or 4 years, I forget how old they are!  it's amazing how much money I have saved in green onions since I've been regrowing those!  And they were free to start with, even better!

The lizard is keeping an eye on the jasmine for me.  Still not flowering...  Never mind the ugly trash can in the background.

The rosemary is doing great. I love watering it because it smells so good (same as with the basil!)

Jasmine cutting still waiting for me to transplant it.  Arrgh.

My smallest rose bush (it never got as big as the other two) has 2 roses waiting to bloom: 

One will be pink (I color enhanced this photo because it looked all washed out because of the sunlight, but it'll be pink in reality)

And this one will be reddish.  It already smells good... if you put your nose on it1

The other two rose bushes are trying to come back after being cut back and then not watered!

This one has had some new growth (the reddish leaves) since I last watered it last week. Yay!

My little pine tree would be better off in a larger pot where it can be better watered.  Yet something else I need to transplant.  Arrgh!

I'm surprised that the rose cutting that I regrew last year is still pretty much the same size/  Maybe it needs a new pot too?  I read that burying banana peels helps fertilize roses so I need to remember to try that.
Moving indoors... a couple of days ago I lifted the Cling Wrap protecting my seed nursery and was greeted by spinach seedlings (foreground) and thyme seedlings (background).  So I took off the wrap and let them sit.
I want to transplant the spinach into a self-watering bin outside but I'm thinking it might be too hot for them now...  I'll wait until they're larger.

The zombie celery is doing extremely well and is now and its 2nd regrowth!

Look at those tiny white roots that it regrew. It's amazing.  I'll never get full size celery sticks (maybe if I fertilized it?) but I'm just happy to see it regrow.  Plus, celery is celery. The last one that I harvested, I used it in the crockpot.
I changed the water in the pineapple jars and used the old one to water the spinach and thyme seedlings.
 That's my garden tour for today.  I hope things are growing for you too!


  1. Looks like your garden is coming along well! Just have to watch out for those squirrels! I'm so happy to see all the new seedlings coming up.

    1. Me too! I think that I actually enjoy seeing things grow MORE than actually harvesting or consuming anything from my garden. It's just fascinating.

  2. Your lettuce is beautiful. When are you going to pick some? The basil, likewise, looks great. Things are really growing well for you right now. Did I mention that my crocuses are coming up?

    1. I'm very pleased with the lettuce, especially since I didn't even sow it myself, lol! It was the most stress-free "gardening" activity ever! I actually harvested the larger leaves yesterday and we had a nice side salad for dinner. Today I bought a head of lettuce from Aldi because I wasn't sure if the rest would grow enough this week for me to harvest it or not. I also harvested basil yesterday. It's been raining a lot, which is great... and we have more rain in store for the weekend, apparently. I don't mind it if it keeps the damn squirrels and bugs away and allows my plants to grow without having to pay for water! Remember how I said that I was NOT going to be gardening this season?! Lol.

      Ohhhh, crocuses! You're so lucky! I have like 3-4 flowers in my garden, that's it. I wish we could grow daffodils, crocuses, lilacs... but we can't :(

      When are you posting photos of your trip?


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