Post last updated: August 13th, 2018
Ethyl, them Yukon taters done jumped up 4 and 5 inches in the last five days! Lawd, I don’t know what to think! I’ve got fourteen of them in the row and most are this size. It sure is fun.
I couldn’t resist trying that thar laundry basket method I told you about for growing some sweet taters when Cecelia gave me some sweet potatoes from South Carolina. Maybe get me enough taters to brag about. My first crop yielded 2 golf ball sized taters after 120 days. Can you believe? Now that’s embarrassin’. Next, I tried growing them in the fall/winter garden and the suckers froze. One or two of the frozen ones sprouted a new crop of leaves when spring arrived. They just messin’ with me. I was a little chinchy on the laundry basket. Didn’t want to pay more ‘n dollar. Well, lemme tell you. You don’t get much in the laundry basket department for a dollar. This hamper is 7 inches tall and 10 inches wide. If all them taters I planted in it was to get serious about growing, a fight would break out! Like I said, my luck’s been dismal with sweet potatoes so I’m not too worried.
Thought I didn’t have anything to worry about with the asparagus, either, after ya’ll told me I couldn’t grow asparagus in Florida because it doesn’t get cold enough for them to go dormant. I’d like you to tell that to my asparagus bed which is dotted with eight of these little “whips” just 2 weeks after planting. I did some more research, though, and it says that even with the two year old crowns I planted, one shouldn’t harvest for the first 2 years. What a relief to know I won’t have to eat trees.
Gloria’s been insisting that butter beans are bush rather than pole. Look at this butter bean reaching for the string and the string is 14 inches off the ground. I know these are the butter beans that I am after because they look like the large dried lima beans that cook up into the buttery, yellow beans I like.
I got regular Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans coming up, too. You see all that string? I had to stand there for hours installing that string. I’d rather mop the kitchen floor than string the vegetable garden.
Plus a few Provider Snap bush beans because the Extension Agent people gave us the seeds in one of the classes. The seeds were black and this will grow as a bush bean. Thank goodness there’s only a few of them. I’m not keen on “standing on my head” to pick them as Gloria calls it.
My Silver Queen Hybrid and Early Sunglow corn looks like blades of grass at 3 inches out of the ground. I have about four half-rows of it because corn must be grown in a block.
My experiment with growing shallots in the fall/winter was another dismal failure but in warmer soil they seem quite happy. Good thing I saved enough from last spring to experiment with in the fall/winter and start all over this spring. If you save enough shallots each year, you never have to buy them again.
I started a lot of tomato seeds in our seed starting class of January 21st that the Extension Agent wanted us to grow but I didn’t stop there. I had other tomato seeds I wanted to grow. Four of my cages are empty because the seedlings didn’t make it but I still have Celebrity, Cherokee Purple, Jubilee, Juliet, Purple Calabash, Reisentraube, Sweet Gold and Wild Fred. I like this Wild Fred Tomato from the Extension Agent because it is determinate and I never seem to grow determinate tomatoes.
Saw the first tomato blooms today on the Cherokee Purple Tomato.
This constitutes a partial tour of the garden. From the seed starting class, I initially had three varieties of eggplants, a total of fifteen plants. I gave most of them away as I’m not the least bit excited about eating eggplant but I did put a few of each in the garden. The Extension Agent also provided seeds for five Zephyr F1 squash, Diva cucumber and two kinds of peppers — Bounty and Revolution. I started my own seeds on three other kinds of peppers — Banana, Cubanelle and Jalapeno. I’m also growing another kind of cucumber and a half-dozen different types of melons.
Leftover from the fall, I have Extension Agent Vidalia onions which are bulbing nicely whereas onions I planted too deep before taking their onion class did not bulb. I also have four sprouts of grocery store garlic in the ground. I have no idea what the Florida heat will do to the garlic. Probably make it too hot to eat.
You probably noticed my T-shaped plant markers in these photos. I got the idea at Three Pea Permaculture’s blog when she wrote about buying versus making garden gifts where she included photos of some interesting plant markers. I proceeded to build one of Three Pea’s markers with Poppie’s assistance. I then painted the markers the same yellow as the trim on his house. Once he saw them in my garden, he announced that they looked like grave markers. Good thing I didn’t paint them white! I’m not quite as enthusiastic about my pretty yellow markers now that my spring veggie garden looks like a cemetery but I have to admit that the China Marker does not wash off the wood like Sharpie on bleach jug markers. Some of my bleach jug markers are already illegible after just one month in the garden.