I am so proud of my husband! For those of you that don’t know him, his go big or go home attitude has given us a beautiful garden. He first started with a single pepper plant, and from there has done endless research on what he can successfully grow in South Florida, which is not easy (Zone 10 gardening, he calls it) Here he is, enjoying the morning, looking at his little empire 🙂
Here is a sunflower he planted to attract bees to pollinate the other vegetables.
Here is a pepper plant, what started it all! From there he planted malabar spinach, an interesting vegetable called lemon cucumbers (which do not taste like lemon, are only shaped like them), everglades tomatoes (which are tinier than a cherry tomato.) They will grow all year in South Florida, and will keep reproducing, as long as you harvest the fruit as they grow. Basil (my favorite just to eat from the plant) Isis tomatoes (which is a cherry tomato, marble in color, yellow with red streaks) Fruit includes mysore raspberries and papaya (red lady, a dwarf plant, growing 5-8 feet tall, also self pollinating, not needing a male to pollinate) Oak leaf lettuce, collard greens ( which he says will taste delicious with ham hocks. ) Garden peas, called little marvel. He also randomly stuck in some garlic and onion in the pots. Mint is growing like crazy. The aromatics keep the aphids away from the garden. This is another organic way to keep the bugs away.
This one is ruby red swiss chard. People say the red stem tastes like celery and can be pickled or preserved and higher in antioxidants.
Here are seedlings he planted before growing season began.
Some tips from Steve:
- Keep an eye on the plants, look at them during different times (night and day) Look at the leaves for signs of pests.
- Use Neem oil to spray the plants with, and this will keep the bugs to a minimum. This is an organic way to control bugs.
- Use a fertilizer with calcium
- Use a good soil with a lot of different nutrients to make the vegetable taste better.
- Secure tomato plants with something they can grow on vertically so they don’t spread on the ground.
- Do not overwater. The soil should feel moist when you stick your finger into it, not muddy.
We don’t live or garden in a large space, we own a townhouse and all of our plants are grown in pots. Once everything is mature, this will save quite a bit on our grocery budget. I am so proud of the effort Steve puts into this garden to make it successful,and it is beautiful to look at.
If you want to check out more of Steve’s gardening tips check out his youtube channel here.
Would you grow your own food? Do you have any tips for us as we try to garden in the challenging South Florida area?