Well here is a snippet pictoral summary of our gardening experiences thus far this year...as some of you have inquired how things are going, I hope you enjoy the pictorial tour.
The construction of new raised beds for this year...while listening to GA Henty ~ March 2010
We ventured to try red leaf lettuce this year with starter plants...to our delight, this yielded two beautiful LARGE heads that was enough to pick off of to make several family sized salads and share with my Mom ~ April 2010
Watermelon from starter plants ~ April 2010
Promising signs of upcoming watermelon with sprawling vines along the ground ~ June 2010
Pole beans started from seed and transplanted into our raised bed in April 2010
Now visions of beans happily nestled between herbs and our raspberry bushes (will need to be transplanted after the season to a new location) ~ June 2010
Yellow squash very thick and green growing along the ground of one raised bed...yellow flowers a promising sign of future vegetables ~ April 2010
Our first very healthy yellow squash...delightful! ~ June 2010
Grape and cherry tomato plants (didn't take a picture when we planted them in March), yellow pepper and red pepper plant (far left) ~ April 2010
The first tomatoes to begin growing on our plants ~ April 2010
To a plant that grew much larger than we ever anticipated, bearing MANY tomatoes that have GREAT sweet flavor ~ June 2010
Yummy grape tomatoes...June 2010
The first signs of future peppers ~ April 2010
Our yellow peppers now ~ June 2010
Our red pepper plant now ~ June 2010
Our first attempt at the "upside down" planter...it started with a pint sized tomato plant (did not take a picture of the beginning stage), then progressed to this stage in April 2010 with fruit thriving.
To bearing many juicy tomatoes now ~ June 2010
Other plants we have included in our garden this year are: herbs (parsley, rosemary...thriving, thyme, basil, oregano, cilantro...can't seem to keep this one growing healthy), raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries...though I heard it will take a couple years to bear fruit with these, grapes and kiwi. Tried climbing cucumbers this year, with a few cukes that grew, but I would not say these were a success...two on the whole vine, maybe another variation in our Florida weather will do better next year.
Although we are far from being able to feed our family on this garden, it has and will continue to be a great learning experience and does provide immediate access to organic fruits/veggies, thus saving some money. Over time, it is our goal to improve and have viable, fruitful raised beds which will provide a season of fresh organic fruits and veggies for our family.
Would love to hear your success stories in raised bed gardening in Florida and natural treatments for insects and worms. Leave a comment and share your knowledge and experience with me (and my readers).