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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Garden Bug

My Container Garden has come a long way since my areogarden and window sill attempts. Gardening has become very popular and I have learned so much especially from Lauren (and Gail) (jackpot containers), Gerry (raised rows), and my mom(squarefoot). In the past I learned and admired Elizabeth's garden in Georgia. All had wonderful gardens this past year making it look so easy, I knew what I wanted this year. I want greens and herbs easy to grow and  those that most of the plant is continuously edible through the growing season. I want greens I can clip and add to a salad. I want greens to clip and put in my blender.

My garden is close to my front door. I had several containers already going with basil, mint, aloe, sage, and oregeno. Over at Lauren's we had a lot of growing containers and I decided to bring some back to my house so I can access these types of greens easy (several times a day if all goes well). I have had a lot more fun doing this  than I would have thought. John has helped with hauling big loads and the younger boys like spraying the hose and getting dirty. Numerous garden systems would have worked, I decided to make use of my resources.

For the record I added a mixture of course vermiculite, peatmoss, and compost to all my containers. At the surface of each pot, I added lime and Ric's fertilizer (US 1 Fort Pierce).  I also mixed in a little coffee grinds. (Thanks to Dino). I am recording this so if it works or doesn't work, I can remember what to do or not to do next time.) I got started on this seasons plantings Sept 26 when I noticed it cool down  a little.  I got all my soil ready ahead of time before bringing plants home. I've done a little at a time.

Also I am going to use much of the greens as young plants, unless it grows fast. I have planted some of these plants before and then wait and wait for a mature plant only to be disappointed because I can't keep up with watering, bolting, then death. If Sam'sClub can sell Baby Spring Mix, I can grow and harvest it young!

This is what I got planted:

Arugula in center, Romaine (right), cilantro (top)

Kale - I loved having Kale available to me last growing season... salads... kale chips... stir fry ... pairs well with garbanzos in soups. Lauren suggested to me to have 16 plants at my house with as much as I liked it. So that's what I  planted yesterday. This kale is from Lowe's. Over at Lauren's, the kale is from a local specialty nursery. Kale is the most nutrient dense green. Period. My kids like it. If it grows well, I am eating it everyday.

Collards - Not my fav when mature., but it looked healthy, and I can add baby leaves to my smoothies for nutrient variety.

Spinach - We didn't have much luck growing this last year at L's... one more try...

Chard - I understand it grows like weeds around here. I like it in my smoothies and salads. Had a few seeds and a few starer plants. I mixed them into one 18 inch container.

Rosemary, Ginger, stevia (top),: parsly, red sails, chard, (bottom)
Cilantro - I have missed fresh cilantro over the summer to add to salads, beans, guacamole. I can't wait. This is growing from seed I had from my aerogarden, but decided to put it in soil instead.

Parsley - Used a starter plant this time and I want to get more into the habit of adding parsley to salads, etc... Love it with hummus.

Basil - This should be easy  for me to continue growing in containers.

Chives - My favorite batch is garlic chives that Jyl gave me. It grows despite me ignoring it. (I talk about people like everyone  knows everyone.) I have several varieties of chives continuously growing.

Red Sails (Lettuce) - A starter plant from Ric's Nursery. It is growing fast and I am clipping outer leaves.

Romaine ( ans misc lettuce varieties)- Looks like I will be enjoying baby Romaine and if it grows big, all the better. Also if I keep things young, I can fit more plants in one space.

Aloe - Aloe is a vegan source of B12.  I clip a small piece and add it to my smoothie.

Sage- I don't use this much, but it keeps growing despite little attention.

Cuban Oregano - started from a clipping from Irma, John's mother. It grows fast and easy.  I add it to anything "Italian." I am wondering if I can dry it and powder it. I have a lot and I think my boys would use it more if it didn't overwhelm them with a big leaf. If I clip it and leave it on my counter, I swear it grows. If you want a clipping just ask.

Purslane - This is an edible and nutritious weed, growing all around my house. I am going to keep a batch intentionally  for eating. It can go in smoothies. A google searched revealed that it mixes well with arugula and balsamic.

Cherry Tomato - I have never had luck with patio tomatoes. This is my biggest experiment. I am doing exactly what the nursery lady said to do (her name is Denise, too). Do you like my trellis? It is closet shelving from our remodel. My mother gave me this idea. This plant is growing fast. Cross your fingers!

Dill - for cucumbers! And matza balls!

Ginger - I have not harvested any. I have established plants from L's and the farmer's market.
Rosemary - You can't kill rosemary. I just wish I knew more to do with it.

Peppermint and chocolate mint- the mints go well with chocolate bliss and I cut the greens and toss in with some salads.

Bay Leaf -  I have a very small plant. Irma's grew huge. It's nice to have a fresh bay leaf.

Thyme  - I don't seem to use this much, but still I am glad to have it for when I need it.

Pepper - John picked banana pepper. We got starter plants from the nursery.

Arugula - from seed and was ready to harvest in 2 weeks. I like that it is so close to my front door.

Artichoke - another experiment. Perhaps I am just curious. If it survives, it won't be ready for months, unlike everything else here.

Stevia - Going to clip a leaf and add it to my smoothie. I like the variety in the green's I can put in my smoothies. Obvioulsy I don't intend to put every green in everyday. I like the variety.

garlic - I buried a few garlic cloves. We'll see what happens. The whole plant is edible and I can clip the top no matter what happens underground and use as chives.

Wow! That's a lot and that's not including my citrus trees. I caught the garden bug.

If the harvest is good, you can read more at raw on the river.

1 comment:

Orlando Realtor said...

Everything looks good. If you want coffee grounds, any of the coffee shops usually save them and will be happy to give you a big bag full. I use grounds on my Sago Palms and they do not get the scale. When you go to Ric's nursery ask if they ever get Everglade tomatoes. Those are the tiny ones I have and they are also easy to grow.

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