2020 has been… stressful, to say the least. One of the things that kept our spirits up over the duration of the spring and summer was tending our garden. We’ve gardened in years past, but this year we went about it with more intention. Not to mention, with quarantining, we had much more time!
Well, our garden was doing great for a while… and then we kind of neglected it and it totally died. In June life got busy, we had some lawn woes, and it was 100 degrees on the daily. And to be honest, we just wanted to be lazy most of the time instead of tend to our garden.
It’s a complete jungle now! No tomatoes, no peppers – just small remnants of herbs and really tall weeds. I think the downfall was actually a combo of neglect and outrageously hot temperatures. I will say that when we were tending to the garden, we produced some pretty delicious tomatoes and peppers. We also have lots of garden herbs frozen in ice cubes in our freezer.(Ray standing in our raised bed that’s mostly full of weeds)
(Even among the weeds, our rosemary is still going strong) We’re thinking about a fall/winter garden, but that can be kind of tricky in Florida. It’s not unusual to have 90 degree weather in October, but it’s also not unusual to have 40 degree weather in October. If we start this month, I think we can do another round of tomatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic.
How did your garden do? We seem to do better with inside plants, but we’re going to keep trying!
For Valentines Day my mother-in-law gifted us a hydroponic lettuce growing station. I’m not sure what the proper name of it should be, but it’s essentially a tub holding water with a styrofoam piece floating on top. Small holes are drilled into the styrofoam where the plants are inserted. It’s so cool! As you can see in the top left photo, in February our lettuce plants were teeny tiny babies. We haven’t had the best of luck with gardening (see here) so we didn’t have super high hopes. To our surprise, our baby lettuce continued to grow and flourish, even though we literally did nothing to promote this. Yay for easy, am I right? A few weeks ago we were able to harvest our first lettuce heads!
We have several different varieties and I have no idea what they all are, but they’re really tasty!
What are you growing this season?
Okay guys, lets talk about a garden. So we wrote in the spring about how I was building a raised bed, and we were planting all kinds of heirloom tomatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers etc. I’m not sure if we mentioned this, but we also wanted to try and grow everything as organic as possible.
We are now reaping a few of the benefits of our first garden. So far, we’ve harvested about 50 small cherry tomatoes. All the other tomatoes (and almost everything else) were eaten alive by stinkbugs.
First they attacked our cucumbers, which up until that point were growing beautifully! Huge vines and giant leaves, tons of yellow buds, it was looking like we were gonna have cucumbers for months. Then, I started to notice some yellow and brown spots on the leaves. It took me a few weeks to figure out what was going on, and by that point the bugs had already taken over. They moved their way over to our peas and beans and a few of the tomato plants. Worms keep eating our bigger tomatoes, although our cherry tomatoes do seem to be thriving!
I’ve decided maybe for our fall garden and next years summer garden I’m going to grow some trap crops and then pesticide the mess out of those dirty bugs!
So any ideas on what to do for my fall crops? Or what kind of struggles I’m going to deal with then?