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!
A few years ago Ray got really into gardening. He researched, bought heirloom seeds, built a raised bed, used natural homemade pesticides, and took care of our vegetables. With Ray having multiple surgeries and feeling relatively awful for the past 9 months, we majorly scaled back on our outdoor garden this year. We only planted tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.
To unintentionally make up for our smaller garden this year, I think we’ve doubled (tripled?!) our indoor plants. I love having something alive and growing in our home. Ray lives like a vampire with all curtains closed all the time, which isn’t very conducive to growing house plants. Thankfully, we have a tiny sun room at the front of our house, too small for furniture but perfect for plants.
The other day I was playing around with macro lenses, not planning on posting or using these photos for anything. But guys, look how fun they turned out!
And now the best part! Teeny tiny cactus spikes! We had a cactus that was a little beat up by Black Cat. He usually doesn’t mess with our plants too much, but I guess he really liked this one. We moved the sad cactus outside in hopes of reviving it. After it didn’t improve, Ray cut it into strips and left them in the pot. Several weeks later we discovered teeny tiny baby cacti growing from the cuttings!!
It’s garden planting time! When I was growing up my dad always had a vegetable garden. And even though I was a kid and didn’t LOVE eating vegetables, I loved his garden. He would plant beans, tomatoes, okra, radishes, peppers, squash (I think), sunflowers, and maybe potatoes? It was a great garden until my parents had new drain lines put in and the plumbers dug right through the garden. RUDE!! I never thought I would be a garden person like my dad, but I guess I am! This will be our 3rd spring planting a garden at Big Brown. In 2013 Ray built a raised bed out of reclaimed pallet wood. We were super adventurous (way too adventurous) planting various tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and lots of herbs. Last year we scaled WAY back as Ray was just starting a new job and for the first 3 months had inconsistent and strange hours. This year our garden will be somewhere in the middle.
About a month and a half ago we visited our favorite nursery, Noble’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Live Oak. We bought 5 tomato varieties; Super Sweet 100 Cherry, Cherokee Purple, Great White, Lemon Boy, and Debaro Plumb. 3 varieties of mint; Mojito, Apple, and Spearmint. We also bought jalapeno and banana peppers. Then, our friend Kyle gave us Supersteak and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes he grew from seeds!
Here’s our garden map: Aside from what’s in our garden, we’re also growing lettuce, strawberries, thyme, basil (although we can never keep it alive), rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, and chives. Are you planting a garden this year? What will you be growing?