Thursday, January 31, 2013

And back to cold weather...

Winter harvest.
It's been warm recently and yesterday, it was in the mid 80s! My Lollo Rosso lettuce has bolted (flowered) and has become bitter--not so bitter that we don't still eat it, but it's certainly past its prime. On the other hand my sugar snap peas started blooming again and have produced a bunch of new pods.

My husband and I enjoyed a main course pear salad using all this lettuce and some of the come-again broccoli and peas. The next night we enjoyed a stir fry using the rest of the broccoli, peas and some wild garlic from the garden.  We love eating out of the garden.

This is the 5th or 6th round of small curds from the broccoli plants after the initial big florets. We like these better because they grow so quickly that they are sweeter. The plants are working so hard to produce seed and I keep interrupting them. Eventually, I'll allow them to flower when the next crop of broccoli starts to produce.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida is in the warehouse!

Melissa and I received the email from University Press of Florida today telling us that our book is in the warehouse and is ready to ship. Yay!

Melissa and I received our covers last week, but I didn't expect the book quite this early. If you've preordered your copy, you should have it soon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tomatoes & Peppers from Seed.

Last week my husband and I started our tomato and pepper seeds. We want the seedlings to have a good head start before setting them out in the garden--approximately two months from now. We hope to pot them up to larger pots at least a few weeks before we set them out in the garden.

On the right, a pot half full with mostly composted chips.
On the left, the pot has the seed starter mix on the top.

I'd purchased some organic seed starter soil so the seedlings would have the best chance for success.  This type of potting soil is sterilized to combat damping off and other fungi that sometimes damage new seedlings. We put mostly composted wood chips* in the bottom half of each pot and then added the sterile soil on top to about half and inch from the rim of the pots.

These pots have been used many times, but after each use I wash them with rain barrel water and a brush. Then they are thoroughly dried in the sun before storing them until the next season.