My three days off....

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I planned on making soap, but I didn't lol. Then I planned on cleaning, but I didn't LOL.

I ended up doing a lot of gardening this weekend. Mostly container stuff for now. It is so much different than I was used to in PA. It gets too hot for most stuff outside like tomatoes etc. But I'm doing it anyway...

The back of my house faces east, so by the time the really hot sun hits, it is a bit more shady out there in the afternoon because the sun gets blocked by the house. So I built a raised garden bed out there today...and by built, I mean I put together a modular-type raised bed that I got for pretty cheap from Lowes. Its stackable, so I might build it higher with another kit. Still trying to decide what to plant in it.

I also have four self watering raised-bed containers that sit on the concrete. with tomatoes, cucumbers, and my failing strawberries...see picture below LOL. Basil, thyme, mint, chocolate mint, and rosemary.

I planted a mango tree this weekend. It is still small, so will be a long time to get fruit from it. Eventually I am hoping it gives shade to my garden spot. I also planted two papayas that grew as volunteer plants out of my compost.

My back porch has become a nursery: tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes, EVERGLADES TOMATOES (look them up), lavender, lots of peppers of different varieties, various cucumbers, passion fruit, dragon fruit, and various flowers. I even started a couple of coffee plants. These are all from seed, so I don't have actual plants from these yet. Except the passion fruit...I have three of those plants that I started a few months ago.

Oddly, when I was at Lowes, I couldn't find an eggplant, or even any seeds for them in the seed section. Last year I grew eggplant successfully here. So I had to order seeds for them tonight. While I was at it, I found some heat-tolerant lettuce seeds and aruglua to grow.

I'm really proud of myself for finding true Everglades Tomato seeds. They are very large wild tomato plants that thrive in our heat here. They are found naturally in the Keys, I think. But they produce smaller than cherry tomatoes sized fruit. But A LOT of them. I think they are the only wild tomato plants.

Oh my gosh I love digging in the dirt. I was at work last week and had a splinter in my hand and a nurse was digging it out for me. He's like "how do you keep getting splinters in your hands?" "I think this one was from the flower garden mulch." The week before it was from my Bougainvilea thorn that he had to pull out of my thumb.

My harvest today lol... I ate it. It was quite sour.
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You are way ahead of me, @Catscankim! I do have lots of pots of lettuce, all doing famously because it's been a cooler spring. My tomatoes are recovering after we forgot to bring them in one night where the temps dropped to the high 30s. Half of the strawberries died that night, and the other half are slowly producing very small and very sweet berries. The basil squeaked through and is starting to leaf out. Of course, the rosemary and blueberry bushes are not fazed by anything.

I was hoping to plant more veggies, but want to get the drip system done before adding any more plants that will depending on me getting out there before work to water them.
 
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I have to keep cutting my basil because it is getting so big so quick. Unfortunately, the back part of my yard next to my house is going to be the only place I can grow stuff to eat because like I said, it gets some afternoon shade. I think rosemary is indestructible. Before I got to plant it, it dried out in the container and the soil was like sand and the plant was all healthy and vibrant still. Unfortunately I don't like rosemary all that much. I mainly planted it as a shade plant for some of low lying plants, like strawberries.

Blueberries don't do well down here. I found that out the hard way. Two or so years ago I bought a blueberry and it died almost instantly. So disappointing. I looked it up and the nursery online said to not plant them in FL. Shame on Lowes in Florida for selling stuff that doesn't survive florida. So now I am either looking things up while I am wandering around, or telling northeners to not buy certain stuff like petunias and geraniums that we look forward to up north, but will never live here. It was an expensive lesson when I bought the blueberries. I think it was a $35 plant in a big pot, only to have it die off from the heat. There are a few "florida friendly" ones, but Lowes doesn't sell them. Just run of the mill plants...that are only suited to having cold weather/hot weather cycles.

Like I said, tomatoes and stuff shouldn't be planted now down here...but I am prepared with an afternoon shade spot and raised beds. Yet Lowes had aisles of tomatoes for sale. This is really the wrong time to be planting them. Winter is best. You should be done with your harvest right now.

Stuff like the papayas, bananas, and mangos can just be planted in the native dirt (SAND!) and you never really have to give them another thought. My papayas just grew right out of a bucket of compost that I forgot about on the side of the house. It had no holes and was full of weeds. I had actual trees out of it. All because I ate a papaya last year and threw everything into compost when I was done. I might actually build an arbor over the veggie raised bed and put my climbing passion fruit there to give them more shade.

Last year somebody gave me two coconuts from their tree, and I just placed them in the yard. No planting or fanfare, just put them down where I wanted a tree. One took and the other didn't. The one that took is about 2' high now. I'm 50, so I'll probably be long gone before I get a coconut out of it LOL. The one that didn't take is still around, and the kids next door use it as a kick ball once in a while. I find it all over the place.

Corn grows down here. I didn't realize that. My FL gardening group on FB has a bunch of ppl bragging about their corn they are getting ready to harvest. Again, it takes creative planting, but I had no idea that corn could grow. I guess thats next years project, because I'm not dedicating a spot so big for something that I know isn't going to do well.
 

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