Welcome, Spring! ;-)

lavender

Yes, I am aware that it is October 1, and that the first official day of fall was over a week ago.

But, I live in central Florida.  The West Coast of the East Coast, you might say.  And it FINALLY dipped below 90 degrees, the humidity has abated for a few sweet days, and it is time for spring planting!  And by that I mean, all the vegetables that people in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Idaho, and New Hampshire were planting 5 or 6 months ago, I am finally able to get in the ground now.

tiny eggplant seeding (it's only 4 inches tall)

This is my first attempt at real gardening.  And real gardening in FL can be difficult because everything that you have seen, heard, thought, or dreamed about the bugs down here is 100% correct.  They are voracious, they are numerous, and they never die!  Well, they do, but I mean that we don’t have a hard enough freeze to kill them for an entire season, so they just keep on going.  Speaking of which, not that it is a garden pest, but I did kill a black widow spider yesterday.  I try not to bother the bugs if they are outside, but I do draw the line at obviously venomous creatures.  I swear, I am never going barefoot in this state again.  But I digress.

For health and envronmental reasons, I strongly believe in growing your own food, at least a little bit of it, and I am determined to at least give it my best shot.  To that end, I went to our locally owned nursery to get my plants and seeds.  They are very careful about only buying seeds that actually will turn into plants in our unique climate, and most of the little starts I got are actually from an organic nursery supply company a few hours south of us. 

starts and seeds from the local nursery

Eddy posing in the garden bed

We decided not to do a raised garden bed, as the garden is going in our front lawn in our new “flower” bed.  So I had to dig holes and rows out of the sand and add oraganic soil (Lambert brand, from Home Depot), Black Gold cow manure, and minerals.  Crossing my fingers that this is at least enough to get the veggies started.  Slug, snail, insect, and bird deterence will happen next week.

lemon balm

My garden plot is approximately 80 square feet; 90 if you count the herbs I already have going.  Here is a list of what I have planted for this season.

Herbs:
Sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and basil; all survived the summer and I transplanted them to the garden a month ago.  My basil has repropogated itself!
Catnip, sorrell, flat leaf parsley, and lemon balm I planted yesterday.
Comfrey, stevia, and mint I put in the ground 2 weeks ago.  The steve is doing great, the mint is struggling, and the comfrey is ok.  Lavender is down by the mailbox and thriving.
Aloe; I have an aloe plant in a pot and it is growing so well that I really need to find a place in the ground for it!

stevia

Veggies:
2 vining tomatoes: Brandwine and a yellow one; both are heirloom varieties
2 little itty bitty cherry tomato plants.  The insert says they will only get 8 inches tall!  Curious to see how well they do; but they were only $2 a piece, so it’s worth the experiement.
4 eggplant seedlings
1 row of heirloom bush beans
1 smaller row of romaine lettuce

heirloom brandywine tomato

I was going to do cucumber, but I decided that I didn’t want my garden completely over run by them.  I hope to add a small raised garden bed in the yard by next fall, so I can do some more vine plants, since I love zucchini and every other squash known to mankind.

So here it is, in all its planted glory.  Maybe it is just because I am 6 1/2 months pregnant, and Steve was not around to help, but that was a lot of work!  Hopefully it will be worth it 🙂

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