Here in the panhandle of Florida, it’s been a crazy summer. If the heat hasn’t gotten to your garden, then the rain probably has. Over this Fourth of July holiday, here at my house, I have had over 8″ of rain, but I know others on the panhandle have had more then that. Hopefully, we are going to be drying up this next week and I will be watching the garden for signs of wilt and fungus.
June was a tough months for the garden, I spent a lot of time picking caterpillars off the tomatoes. After a two week onslaught, the tomatoes survived, but were no longer the pretty plants they once were. But even with that, I was able to can and dehydrate lots of tomatoes. I will be using the dehydrated ones in stews and soup come winter. The tomatoes are now coming to their end. I read the other day that tomatoes quit producing blooms when night temperatures are above 75 degrees. This is the first time I had heard this and it makes sense, but I will do more research. A quick run down of the rest of the gardens goes like this. Green beans, for me are a great veggie. They taste great, freeze well, and best of all are easy to grow. I grew both bush and vining varieties, planting them weeks apart, so some of my vining ones are just beginning to produce as the bush ones are ending. I have lots of beans in the freezer. Peppers have also been good this year. They have nice thick walls, which I think is due to the fact we have had a lot of rain. I chipped up and froze 30 or more peppers, and am hoping the plants survive this wet week so they can continue to produce until winter. The eggplants have just recently begun to produce. I am not sure why they have been so late, but I’m happy to have them as other things are slowing down. Cucumbers are done, I got an okay crop but they were all on the small side. I think that bed needs the soil reworked, more compost please! After a bumper crop of zucchini to start June off, I lost almost all of them to vine borers. I need to find a fix for that next season. Failures were tomatillos and onions. I’m not sure exactly what happened with either, but I will try grow onions again next year, but I think I am done with tomatillos. A few of the other things growing are, carrots, kale (not sure how this is holding on but the ducks are happy), okra, and lima beans. The okra and lima beans were planted mid June and are still small. My package of lima beans was marked as bush limas but guess what, they are the vining type. I had two choices, dig them up and plant something else or construct some makeshift trellises. I can’t bring myself to dig up good plants, so I looked around and used what I had and made trellises. Then I had to transplant some of the limas, as spacing for pole varieties is much different from bush varieties. This was one time I was happy for it being cloudy and rainy. I think they will all survive the move. This wraps up how the garden is growing. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I am growing asparagus for the first time. I always thought I lived too far south to grow asparagus, but learned it can be grown all the way to zone 9. I bought larger root stock in hopes to be able to get a few next year. Crossing my fingers on this one, as I love asparagus!
Here are a few pictures of the garden.