Thursday, May 7, 2009


One of my favorite things

Spring 2011 - Sunday, April 17th-

Yippie! Spring has arrived and so have our increasing temperatures as well! It seems we in SoFlo jump from Winter to Summer. We don't have much of a Spring. Dry, drought weather which was very dry this Spring. We are finally receiving much needed rains in our area.

What's in the garden?
Well, our annual turtle is back. She's trying her best to find a spot to lay her eggs. She returns to the same location, as they all do each Spring. She heads for our herb garden patch! She has really made a mess of things, digging up mulch, plants, whatever is in her way. There really isn't enough dirt or mulch out there to bury her eggs. I haven't seen our iguana's yet this season, perhaps not warm enough for them yet.

My husband's mango tree is in full bloom and has many new primary mango's. His tree is loaded this year! I will keep my distance from it as I'm highly allergic to mango. I can eat the fruit. It's the sap from the fruit when picked. If you are allergic to poison ivy then I highly suggest you refrain from the mango! They are kissing cousins in the plant world.

Hot peppers and chili's are growing nicely. We have a few hot Thai Dragon plants.
Sage and dill weed are doing well. Our rosemary bush is in great need of pruning.

What's in your garden?


IF you can buy organic then do so.
Buy organic if and when you can. If you can't then try to grow some of your own fruits, vegetables and if you don't have space or the time to grow either of those then by all means grow HERBS!

Rosemary gone wild!
This is what happens to rosemary when you allow it to go to flower and seed.

You say you don't like herbs. How do you know? There are so many, I'm sure you could find a few to your liking and taste. I don't like them all. There are some I prefer over others. For some people the only herb they have seen has been the garnish on a dinner plate in a restaurant such as curly parsley. There is a very wide variety of herbs one can grow and cook with. Some you will like some you won't. Find the ones that appeal to your own taste and grow them. Some even regenerate themselves. You can dead-head some, and let one plant from your bunch go to flower and seed. Then you will have seeds from that herb for you next planting. You don't have to be a fancy gourmet chef to have an herb garden. All I really ask is just try them.

You can grow in medium to large pots if you live in a condo or apartment dwelling.
A garden doesn't have to be a huge area to maintain. It doesn't take much space to have a few select items from which you can maintain, grow organically and consume the benefits of your own harvest.

I wasn't raised on a farm but I did live on a farm and had quite a great garden. As did my father before me. He always had a vegetable, herb and flower garden and numerous fruit trees as well.
If you find that one season you have a bumper crop of one item, say cucumbers then make homemade canned pickles to store for later use. Take the rest of your cucumbers in to sell at a farmers market. Or you can share, give the rest you can not consume to your family and friends.

If space is a big problem for gardening for you, then ask a few of your neighbors to share in a
community garden. If their lot or
yard is larger have it at their location.

If you do not know much about gardening then have someone a friend or relative that knows teach you some gardening skills. Go to the library or do your own researching on the internet about gardening.

Mango tree from our back yard.

There maybe a club, group or country organization such as the one my husband and I joined some years ago, when we wanted to learn about the native fruits and vegetable of south Florida.

The Rare Fruits and Vegetable Council of Broward County.
This is a great organization with wonderful members to help, educate and guide growers.
My husband had never really grown anything or did any gardening before joining this group.
I on the other hand, coming from NE Indiana, we always had something growing, some type of a garden where I have lived.

If you do not have time to join a group of growers in your area then you can join a seed club.
I have also done this. Either online find some good seeders and hook up, or look for posting in back of gardening magazines. You don't have to have a computer or be computer savvy to do this. You can join a snail-mail group of seeders. It's fun to get a package in the mail! Again, great group of people to be associated with. Helpful and knowledgeable. Make a list of what seeds you have to be ready for exchanging with others.

Start small, start with something that you actually do enjoy eating and you'll also enjoy growing.
Tomatoes can be grown in smaller pots, as can strawberries. Learn what grows best in your state zone.

Grow according to your zone. Not everything can take the south Florida heat. I tried three different times to grow wonderful lavender, I love it, but it just does not do well in Florida. Or at least mine did not. If someone out there reading this has any good tips for growing lavender in south Florida I'd love to hear about them.

Get down and dirty!
Plant a seed and watch it grow!
...I never met a gardener I didn't like.


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