Monday, February 21, 2011

A Lot Has Happened In a Month!

I can't believe that it has been a month since my last post. I intended to post several times over the lat 30 days, but I kept getting distracted. I was not distracted from the actual act of gardening, however. Everything has grown like weeds!

The only plants that have not sprouted are the pink bananas and the Thai red papayas. I still have hope for them though. The weather is getting much warmer (it's been highs of 80 degrees all weekend here in South Florida), and I hope that the balmy temps will trigger sprouting in my bashful seeds.

Marcus Aurelius (my polydamus butterfly) finally emerged from his chrysalis on Valentines day. I missed it because I was at work, but my roommate called me to give me the good news. He looked spectacular, and had an affinity for my mint plant.


I released him as soon as the wind died down so that he could go find better eats than my flowering eggplant and roses.

On one of my many trips to Lowes, I discovered Georgia Sweet onion seedlings and some Heirloom Beefsteak tomato plants that I could not pass up. (Yes, I do realize I need better impulse control.) I planted the onions and tomatoes in one of my recycled cat litter container earth buckets.

A NOTE ON EARTH BUCKETS: Earth buckets (aka global buckets) are a great way to reuse containers by creating a self-watering plant container. I am collecting my cat litter containers to use as earth buckets, but 5 gallon buckets are the more common option. I cover the tops of my earth buckets with plastic shopping bags that have holes cut in them for the plants to grow out of. The plastic cover helps to keep the soil from losing moisture. I won't go into how to make one here because there are many fantastic how-to videos on Youtube. 

Last weekend I got the new beefsteak tomatoes, onions, Swiss chard, mustard, cucumbers, melons, beans, and some of the peppers planted in their respective containers.  At this point, I began to worry about floor space on my balcony.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

 Swiss Chard

Mustard Greens

Cucumbers & Onions

Sleeping Beauty & Banana Melon Sprouts

Beans & Assorted Peppers
But I still had tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant seedlings to transplant into pots from the seed starter trays.

This weekend I returned to Lowes and purchased two 64 quart bags of MiracleGro Moisture Control potting soil, some peat pots, and some regular 8-12 inch clay pots. My seedlings were getting too big and too crowded in their starter tray, and I needed to get them planted quickly. However, I was shocked to see how many individual plants I actually had! Apparently, I accidentally planted more seeds than I realized, because I had a TON of tomato and pepper plants that I have absolutely no room for. Now, this is an astounding number, and I do realize how crazy it is, and no, I don't know how it happened, but after 6 hours of transplanting the seedlings to peat pots, I had 47 pots of EXTRA plants! 47 EXTRA!

One tray of my extra plants -- mostly tomato and pepper plants

Tray of extra tomato plants

Overwhelmed by the crazy amount of plants I had,  I immediately started making calls to give away mass quantities of tomato and pepper plants. I am becoming the Johnny Appleseed of tomato plants.

So, now my garden is all planted and pretty much all that is left is the growing. One of my favorite things to do after work is to go out on my balcony to see what has grown in the 24 hrs since the last time I have looked. There is always some minute but inspiring growth.

Beans and Peppers Growing
Black Cherry & Carbon Tomato Plants in an Earth Bucket

Wonderberry Plants

 Pots of  Black Cherry & Carbon Tomatoes

Tiny Ground Cherry Plants

Eggplant is Fruiting

Mint and Catnip is Overtaking the Shelves
So, that is the latest on my garden's progress. My next posts will be about a resource I've recently discovered on wild Florida plants, and some reviews on the canning and preserving books I've books I've reading.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting information but to me it looks like hard work...but I do have a lot of orchids on my balcony and they provide me with a lot of pleasure...if you are interested you can download a little eBook I produced one day when I was pretty tired of writing technical documentation...:-)

    All the best and take care

    An old fool living in paradise