Blog,  Carrots,  Garden,  March

Florida Garden Ready for Spring

I was going to plant my whole garden last weekend. But I didn’t.

Things always take longer than I think. I guess I think I am superwoman on steroids! Not only can I do it, but I can also do it in record time!

Instead, I finished getting the garden ready for the planting. 

First, I took down the tomato plants that had survived the winter. (That’s never happened before.) They were loaded with varying stages of ripe and green tomatoes. I still haven’t done anything with the green ones. I double dug that row, so now it’s ready for the next veggie that will be grown there.

I also planted tomato plants that I had started from seed in early January. They got long and spindly, but still healthy. I should have potted them up a month before. But, you know. Life! Busy! To find out how to plant a tomato plant and what size to buy, read my post:https://seasonsofdevotion.com/how-to-plant-a-tomato/

This is my garden right now. I call it, “in-between”. Some plants have been left on purpose.

Viewing from left to right, this is what is still there:

  1. 2 wild plum trees with Seminole pumpkin vines underneath
  2. “Bunching onions” aka, green onions
  3. Carrots
  4. Celery
  5. Mustard greens
  6. 2 volunteer tomato plants (covered in netting)

I started the wild plums from dried plums I picked up at a local State Park. Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody! I am glad I did because the trees were taken down a couple of years later, leaving only one as far as I can tell. The trees are pretty. The plums are impossible to eat. They are bitter and sour. But. If you simmer them with lots of sugar, they make the house smell wonderful and make an amazing syrup that you can use for a glaze on meat.  I gave up one row of garden space for them. Our family is now a family of two, so reducing the garden was a much-needed reduction.

Seminole Pumpkin is an amazing plant. It can grow through the summer and have very few problems with pests or disease. Except when the ground is so soggy that you can’t walk on it. That’s how the garden was last year. A few of those vines made it until Fall. Then, they took off, rerooting themselves as they grew. I harvested about 15 pumpkins late Fall and throughout the mild winter. I am assuming the vines will take off again with the warm Spring weather. They are easily directed to the spot you want them to remain on. I plan on writing about this amazing “fruit” later. (You would not believe the beautiful color and delicious recipes!)

Carrots are so easy to grow. Next Fall, I will teach you how. They take longer to mature than my other preferred crops, so I am leaving them in the ground for another month or so. Some are mature enough to enjoy now. It’s so cool to pull a carrot out of the ground, be amazed at the beautiful orange color and then get to eat it! Just pulled, so fresh, so alive. You’ve never tasted a carrot so sweet!

Bunching onions were given to me from a fellow gardener several years ago. When she gave them to me, she told me I will never need to buy green onions again. She was right! They divide and continue to grow. I don’t know if the green onions you buy in the grocery store will do the same.

I tried celery for the first time last Fall. They did ok. They are bursting with flavor, but very fibrous. I am thinking they are fibrous because of the warm Winter and maybe I should have fertilized them. I didn’t. Not once. They are fine for cooking if I slice them really thin. I plan on leaving the two best ones so they can go to seed. I LOVE celery seed. Toss some in pink salt and “psycho blend” them in a mini blender until you have pulverized most of them. The new celery salt packs many times more flavor than the stuff you can buy.

I will be harvesting the rest of the mustard greens soon. Maybe by tomorrow, Saturday. I plan on leaving one plant for the seed. The seed is easy to harvest. The seed that the plant will release on its own, will reseed itself and I will see new self-sown plants next fall. I went several years not having to plant this tender, yet hearty, vegetable for years, allowing the plants to grow where they were.

Finally. The last tomato plants. They were volunteers that came up in the mulch pile. I will most likely cut it down this weekend.

The netting is an effort to keep the stink bugs and birds away. I’ll talk about the value of netting later, but I’ll mention right now, that you may want to start watching sales at your local fabric store. Get a coupon for 50% off one item. Buy a whole bolt of the strongest netting you can find. In other words, don’t get tulle-it’s not strong enough. The netting will last a few years if you take care of it. You will use it for squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Keeps the pests off!

That’s it. I better wrap it up and get going if I am going to get the garden planted!

Debbie

March is the time to plant. Get your Florida garden ready for Spring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *