Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Veggie Bed Harvest

The first vegetables of the season were harvested this past weekend.  The lettuces needed to be thinned so these were pulled up roots and all.  The peppers were still on the small side but now that the weather is cooling they should be living up to their name, 'Fat n' Sassy.' 

Growing edibles is a an ever expanding venture at My Garden Path.  Tomatoes have been a mainstay of the garden here but some of the other vegetables are providing new experiences.

'Blue Lake' bush beans are a first time crop in the veggie bed.  This handful was used raw in a tossed salad with the lettuce and some of the bell peppers.  It is becoming obvious that more of these beans should have been planted.  They were small in number but big in tastiness.  Eight bush beans were planted in an Earthbox but only six made it through an onslaught of leaf rollers and cut worms.  The spring veggie bed will definitely have more of these planted in it.  Since the veggie bed is not very large, perhaps the pole bean form would provide a better yield for the space.   

Most of the tomatoes are beginning to flower.  Now that the evening temperature has cooled they should begin to set fruit.  The Cherokee Purples and the Galinas were the first to flower with Beefmaster right behind them.  The Husky Cherry Red and the Publix black cherry noid have yet to flower. 

The basil which was planted as a mulch around the tomatoes is growing well.  I love making pesto and freezing little cubes of it for sauces and spreads. 

A mix of lettuces was planted in the bottom portion of last year's turtle-shaped sandbox.  More seeds were planted just last week and are already sprouting between the older rows. 

The only pest management used in this garden is soapy water, Neem oil if needed and hand picking of obvious pests such as the leaf rollers on the green beans.  Fertilizer used at planting was a combination of bone and blood meal along with composted chicken manure and dolomite lime.   Every other week doses of fish emulsion is watered into each container.  This more organic approach is not only being used in the veggie bed here at The Path but also in the landscape plantings. 

Carrots were seeded in long window-box style planters just this past week-end and they are already beginning to sprout.  Sugar Snap peas will be planted in November to complete this fall's veggie bed. 

There are so many options of vegetables for Florida gardeners to plant in the fall.  With so little sunny space available for the veggie bed in this garden, choices are hard to make.  Hopefully, as experience is gained, the best choices for the best use of the space will become obvious.  Probably the variety within each season will have to be scaled back in favor of higher yields.  Between the two growing seasons available to us here in central Florida, even this small garden should be able to provide a good rotation of crops to keep an ample variety of vegetables on the table.

(You can read about the beginnings of this season's veggie bed here.)


  1. Your veggies are looking good, NanaK! It is always so exciting to see those first leaves pop out of the soil, isn't it? I'm afraid veggie growing at PITV takes a back seat to the flowers. Of course, it would be different if I had more space.

  2. Your veggie garden is looking great. It is hard to keep up with the leaf rollers and cutworms. I found little itty bitty worms on my bush beans and I gave them an old fashioned squeeze.

    Fortunately, this cooler weather will be good for the garden, too. I hope your black cherry tomatoes hurry up and bloom, too.

  3. I'm well-acquainted with cutworms (surprised you'd get those in an Earthbox!) but what are leaf rollers?
    It's great you're experimenting -- this is sure the time of year to do it. I just realized that, with the shift in the autumnal sun, my veggie bed (in my totally full-sun garden) is not getting 8 hours of sun. (!!)

  4. wow, your veggie look good, and grows fast!

  5. Sorry I haven't stopped by in a while! I've been so busy and follow way too many blogs out there. I really like your idea of freezing pesto cubes!

  6. Floridagirl - You should farm six-acres :) I enjoy watching the veggies come up and when they actually produce I am thrilled. My endeavors are not a reliable source of food though.

    Susan - Ewww to the leaf roller squeezing, but that's what I did too. I'm loving this weather and yes, I am hoping to see some black cherries soon.

    Penlyn - I think those cutworms can find any little opening to get into the soil. It's possible they were in the original containers I set the seed in. I used little collars, but they were devious little things. You know, I never noticed the sun shifting with the seasons before these last few years of being concerned about gardening.

    Ami - Thanks! The growing season is not all that long so it's always a race to see if the plants will set fruit before a freeze comes along. Of course, the carrots and snap peas love the frosty weather.

    RFG - I'm glad to have you stop by whenever you can. From reading your blog and facebook comments I can see you are busy, busy. I'm going to be looking for your pumpkin in the Tpa. Trib btw, that's my paper.


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.