LOTS of Garden Work...

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Oh the garden woes I have... For those of you who don't know, Florida gardening is completely bass ackwards from the rest of the world. We have to be careful with what we plant during the summer time because there are many varieties of veggies out there that cannot stand our extreme combination of high heat and high humidity. While the plants themselves may live, IF they flower in the heat, the humidity causes the pollen to be sticky and therefore the few flowers that are there, very rarely produce fruit. With that said, our main growing season is coming upon us down here very quickly!

More quickly than I care to admit...

I have managed to get some seeds started. I trayed up an entire flat (11 spaces across by 23 rows = 253 potential seedlings per tray) of Cherokee Purple Tomatoes about 3 weeks ago. They are looking good!

Good enough to plant in the garden!!! 

The problem? My garden... Let's see, to try to put this in perspective before I show you, I haven't weeded the garden area in, ummmm, let's say 3, maybe 4, MONTHS!?!

This is not a sight for the faint of heart. Or lover of all things organized and orderly. 

PST ~ There IS a reason why I have pretty silvery frames around the pictures. To hopefully distract you from the photos themselves...

Buried in the spent plants, weeds and dead tall grasses, on the left side of the photo, in front of the green poles, there are 5 baby fruit bushes. Hmmm. I wonder which ones I planted there?... Oh, and there are about 75 strawberry plants lining that inside edge of the bricks all the way to the left to the fence line. Yup, you guessed it! They're buried under all the spend plants also. *sigh*

That tall patch of green at the bottom left of the base of the palm tree, that's my patch of Asparagus that was planted in March of this year. So, come March, we will be having our first micro harvest of fresh asparagus. YUM!
Those green posts that you may be able to see on the left side of the photo, those held up my deer fencing that I used to keep the stupid, I mean dumb, big dog out. Well, I guess she finally figured out that she can just PLOW right through it, rip it to shreds, and pull the poles out of the ground by dragging it along with her as she strolls around! UGGGG!!!

You can see one of the Bee Hives sitting back there, ready for a new bee family come spring. :)
We already have a hive, if you look at the photo below closely, you can kinda see it behind the tree and next to the pot on the left side of the photo.

All of the basil was in that first bed right in the center on the right as well as that far bed lining the fence. If you look closely, you can see the browned dried stalks that are loaded with dried seed pods ready for me to gather up and replant. There were multiple varieties of Basil: Lime, Lemon, Thai, Sweet, Lettuce Leaf, Tiny Leaf and a couple of others... DANG! It's no fun getting old and forgetful!
Thank goodness I have everything written down with a diagram of which plants were where.
Now, if I could only find it...

The bed on the right against the wall of our shop storage room, well, that started out as a compost pile. Then I got a package in the mail with sweet potato starts that I completely forgotten I ordered... So ~ guess what's in that "bed"? Yup! Sweet potatoes.
They did wonderfully! Well, the vines did anyhooo. They sure were tasty. :) Yes, you can eat the leaves of a Sweet Potato vine. They are quite good! Specially tossed into a hot frying pan with a touch of olive oil and a couple heads of crushed/chopped garlic for a moment, just long enough to wilt. Then served up with a pat of butter. YUM!
Oh yea, the sweet potatoes themselves. Well, I haven't harvested them yet. I've been waiting, letting them grow bigger and fatter in the ground until we get a frost threat. ROFL!!! Hmmm, it maybe a couple of months before I can tell you how the sweet potatoes themselves are. I planted 12 starts and I'm really curious to know how well they performed.

For those of you who are wondering, the beds are a LOT deeper than they appear. They were dug down about a foot and half from the ground level. At first the beds were level with the ground. They become built up over time and I added the wood and bricks to keep the soil contained. It appears that I'm probably going to have to add another layer of wood or bricks soon. Maybe not this season, but before the next for sure.

I'm hoping to have time tomorrow to get out there (IF it's not like today was in reaching around 93*!!!) and finish pulling the spent plants in the middle bed that's in front of the asparagus bed, as well as the bed along the far back fence line so that I can add some more compost and the Cherokee Purple Tomato seedlings...

We'll see... :)