Friday, September 17, 2010

Veggie Beginnings

The fall vegetable garden had its beginnings way back in July when seeds were planted for tomatoes, greenbeans, and eggplant.  Those little seeds germinated and began to grow, sheltered by the screening of the back porch.  Morning sun provided just enough light and warmth.  

Bush 'Blue Lake' Green Beans Setting Flowers

The tender plants were moved to 4" pots and then, on Labor Day, placed into their final 5-7 gallon containers.

'Cherokee Purple' Tomato w/ Sweet Basil Seedlings

Several varieties of tomatoes were planted.  The 'Cherokee Purple' tomatoes are my favorite.  I love their sweet flavor and brick red color on my sandwiches.  Sometimes they are the sandwich filling  all by themselves.  They are open pollinated which means the seeds can be saved for future planting and the plants remain true to the original.  The fruit doesn't keep well so must be eaten quickly after ripening.  No problem here. 

Yellow Cherry Tomato 'Galinas' w/ Sweet Basil Seedlings

Another full-size tomato in the veggie bed is the Beefmaster VFN.  These are hybrid tomatoes and the seed cannot be saved and used next season.  They are very disease resistant and a good slicing tomato.  This has been a good reliable producer  for me in the past. 

Fresh cherry tomatoes are used in many ways in the kitchen here at My Garden Path.  Tossed in salads, tossed with pasta and snacked on straight from the garden are a few of the favorite ways to eat these delicious treats.  'Galinas' yellow cherries are so sweet they often don't make it into the house.  They are an heirloom tomato that seeds are saved from each year.  This year's seedlings seem especially vigorous.  I like all the colors of the cherries and so planted a black cherry heirloom. I saved the seeds from a purchase at the supermarket.  Hopefully, they will not disappoint.  'Husky Cherry Red' is a short patio type plant that has delicious red fruit.  All mixed together the different colors add interest to any dish.
Mesclun Salad Mix

Never having grown lettuce before, I am very excited to have the other necessary ingredient for a salad growing in my very own veggie bed.  I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to  growing lettuce.  I will be learning as it grows. 

Carrots were were first attempted last fall and were quite successful in containers.   They will be sown again in October.   Then, in November, sugar snap peas will be planted.  Both the carrots and the peas were amazing in their ability to take this past winter's cold weather and keep producing. 

Garlic Chives

 Herbs are so nice to have in a vegetable garden.  They provide flavorful accompaniment to meals and they are quite the attraction for pollinators if left to bloom.  The scents of rosemary, African Blue basil and chives greets me every morning as I brush past them in performing my watering chores.  The Sweet basil is grown as a mulch around the tomatoes in their containers and then harvested for pesto.  The pesto is frozen in ice-cube trays and then popped into baggies to be used with pasta, fish, chicken, even as a spread for sandwiches. 

African Blue Basil

The little fig tree purchased last September from a big box store is producing quite a few fruits!  I have no idea what kind of fig it is.  The label helpfully called it "edible fig."  In the spring the tree produced one fig which was promptly eaten by a squirrel before it ripened.  This time I have the tree wrapped in bird netting to hopefully preserve my harvest.  I don't know when fig season is, but now seems to be the time for this little tree. 

The bell peppers ,'Fat n' Sassy', were planted from seeds in January and planted into their containers around Valentine's Day.  They have produced lots of peppers only taking a break in the middle of summer.  More peppers are on the way so they are being kept for the fall garden.  A little refreshing of the potting mix and some chicken manure, bone meal, blood meal and dolomite lime added seems to be keeping them happy.

The pepper plants also have some garden pest defenders helping them stay healthy.

This small space garden has a good start on the season.  I'm looking forward to enjoying some fresh food hand picked from my garden.


  1. I am very impressed Nana. Your vegetables and herbs look healthy and delicious.


  2. I too am impressed. I always admire gardeners who can plant their seeds with intention of transplanting. I just stick them right in the ground. But then again, I'm no great veggie gardener, either. Those figs look so pretty!

  3. Hi Kay...You're garden is off and running, and it looks VERY healthy. That Galinas yellow cherry sounds very delicious. My fig tree is producing scrumptious figs right now. You've got to be attentive to beat the birds to them. Mine are Brown Turkey figs. Love those garlic chives...very pretty little flowers.

  4. NanaK: You are a very good planner. You even started seeds in summer! I keep saying I want to try the veggie planting, but nothing happened yet... I guess even I want to try, it will be too late to start seeds. Those figs look yummy. It is always wonderful to be able to harvest something from your own garden!

  5. I love your froggie and stromanthe photo. : )

  6. Nana, you'll find lots of info about growing figs in Fla at Yours is most likely a Celeste.

    And thanks for reminding me that I must get the veggie seeds going.

  7. FlowerLady - Thank you. Spring wasn't a good veggie season for me, hoping for better results this fall.

    Floridagirl - The tomatoes need a head start and so seedlings are pampered and shaded until September. Lettuce, carrots and sugar snaps are planted right in their final containers. I'm sure I would do more direct seeding if I had an in-ground garden.

    Susan - I can't wait to taste my figs. Publix has been having them on sale but I want my own! Since mine are still green, I can't match them up to any particular cultivar yet.

    Ami - If you like sugar snap peas they are easy and will grow like crazy. Your boys would probably like picking them. They can be planted from seeds in November. They just need something to climb. Mine are planted in a couple of 8" deep window box type pots. But you could grow them up a fence behind other plants :) Last year I planted three crops of them and they loved the freezing weather.

    Floridagirl - Thanks for noticing!

    Terra Mirabilis - I hope it's a Celeste. That would be a good one. When they ripen maybe I can compare some pics.

  8. What a great start to your veggie garden, Nana, and thanks so much for sharing the info on what does well and what tastes really good. It's such a crap shoot otherwise. I'll be giving Cherokee Purple a try for sure.
    Curious, how many beans and peas plants do you put in? I've tried them on and off for years, but apparently, I don't plant enough to get a good potful in a single harvest.

  9. Kay,
    Your veggie garden is well on its way. I started my tomato seeds a little later than you and they are not nearly as large. I hope I didn't wait too long. It's such a guessing game. This heat is still a lot for the beans that have pushed their way out of the ground.

    I keep meaning to try the blue basil. Have read it is very well-suited for our climate. I do love the way herbs integrate into the landscape and edible garden.

    Everything is coming along in your garden path. It should be an interesting season.

  10. I have a basil that produces blue/purple flower spikes, before setting multiple seeds, which seem to germinated happily. I just read that African blue is sterile, so I wonder what my basil is? The bees certainly love it. But I have several other varieties, so maybe it's the result of cross breeding.

    I found a nice list at


  11. Penlyn - I don't really know about the green beans as this is my first year to plant them. I have eight plants in my Earthbox. I think probably another eight would be perfect. I'll know for next year. The sugar snaps I plant in two, maybe 2feet long, window box type planters and they are sown about 1 inch apart. I sow more when the first batch looks like they're getting tired of producing. Really, I could eat a whole lot more but I just don't have room.

    Meems - It sure is a guessing game for me anyway. I try to follow the UF guide but I know other people who plant a lot earlier than I did and have great success.

    Terra (Penny) - I love the African Blue Basil. It just smells so good. But, mine is sterile. I tried to coddle a cutting through the winter this past year but it didn't make it. I had to buy another plant. I have made some cuttings of it though. Interesting about your blue blooming one with seeds. Maybe it will be named Wonderland Blue Basil:)

  12. Nana, I'd be happy to send you some seeds. Send your address to me at pennymccrea AT

  13. Keeps us posted on the veggies, Kay! I'd love to find the magic number. Like you, I don't have a lot of space for veggies, so I probably try too few of each. Sweet peas is another that I'd love, but I only get a palm-full at a time


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.