After quite a stormy night, I decided to go take a look at my many frugal gardening experiments this morning. With the extreme heat and/or rain storms we have had in South Florida for the past many weeks, I have not done much gardening so I was almost afraid of what I would find.
I let the boys go get their "old" clothes, because I had the feeling we would encounter both mud, water and lots of dirt outside today. The boys replanted their sunflower and tomato plants, and they also replanted our Royal Poinciana tree. They did not stay outside for long though, as Roshane attracts mosquitoes big time, and they soon started to eat him up.
On Monday I was able to buy four nice sized planters on clearance at CVS for 75 cents each, so these are now added to our frugal container garden. Since we live in a rented apartment, I do most of the gardening in containers. When we moved here in January, this turned out to be very handy. Other benefits of container gardening is being able to control weeds and bugs a bit better, and finally that I can move the planters around until I find the best amount of light for them. After 2 1/2 years in Florida, I am still trying to figure out growing things here, as it is very different from the climate where I grew up.
In the beginning of June the boys and I planted a seed from one of the neighborhood's beautiful Royal Poinciana trees. Below is the first one that appeared, and hopefully it too will one day shower us with beautiful bright red blooms.
In April the boys planted some organic lettuce seeds, that we had received in the mail from Earthbound Farms. Almost three months later the lettuce seeds are finally beginning to show progress, as they were on standstill for the entire month of June. I had almost given up on growing lettuce in South Florida, as it seems the heat is just too much. For the past week or so, we have had several rainstorms, which have lowered the temperatures a bit, and it sure looks like I'll soon be eating home-grown lettuce.
When we were on a short vacation I lost my best chili pepper plants, as it was raining by our house, and there were no drainage in the pot. I still have some chili plants though, as I make sure to plant the seeds once in a while, when I use a pepper for cooking.
Today I planted a bunch of seeds from a habanero pepper that my husband had eaten. My husband was born in Jamaica, and he loves the habanero/scotch bonnet peppers, which are supposed to be the hottest ones in the world. A month ago I convinced my Jamaican neighbor to plant one of his peppers, and he is very excited about his first attempt to grow anything edible.
About a month ago, I planted a few mango pits, from our great big mango tree. After 1 1/2 week the first mango tree appeared, and I now have three mango trees growing. All I have done is eat the delicious sweet mango, clean the pit as good as possible and put it in soil with plenty of moisture.
Another one of our frugal experiments is growing an avocado tree. My first attempt was done indoors, but due to insufficient light I was unsuccessful. The boys and I then made two more attempts, but this time we have done it outside in two small glasses. All I did was clean the avocado pits, and put three toothpicks into the sides of the pit, so that it could stay at the top of the glass. I make sure that the pits are half way submerged in the water, and I also change the water once in a while.
Below is an avocado pit that has been in water for a couple of months. Soon I have to plant it in soil. Notice how the pit has separated in two, and in the middle it is sprouting.
The tomato plants are not doing too well, and neither are all of my melon plants. They are all being attacked by caterpillars of all sizes, and I am afraid that this will be another summer without homegrown melons. I am gardening without any form of pesticides, and I am really finding that the Florida bugs are hard to get rid of the natural way.
The squash that I planted a month ago from seeds are growing very fast, and it is already producing beautiful blooms. I think it is about time that I start another batch. I was afraid that it would get too much heat, and since there is no drainage in the pot, I have left it under the roof, where it does get some sun, but only a little bit of rain.
In the back of the house I cleared a little spot for herbs. Today I decided to go look at the basil after having abandoned it for a while.
I think it might be dill growing behind the basil, can anyone confirm this?
Of course there were lots of weeds, but when I discovered that a spider had taken over, I decided to wait with the weeding.
I could not get a good shot of the spider or the web. However if you look at the photo below, you will see leaves floating in the air where the web is.
The red hibiscus bush is really enjoying all the rain we are getting, and it is now full of gorgeous red blooms. In the kitchen I have an experiment going with growing a peach colored hibiscus plant. I simply snatched off a branch from a beautiful bush I found on one of my walks, I then put it in a vase, and it actually seems to be making roots now. I cannot wait to plant it to see what will happen.
How is your garden coming along?
Do you plant from seeds?
Do you buy your plants and seeds, or do you try to start them on your own?