Sunday, July 24, 2011

Killing the grass

This weekend I started the process of taking out the grass for my expanded vegetable garden.
I will be adding two 4 x 6 raised beds and containers along the wall. The containers will be for the herbs and small fruit trees, like the key lime tree in the picture.

I plan to enclose the vegetable garden with another gate like this one at the other end. As you can see the Mexican flame vine is already growing very nicely.

I took out most of the ferns from the back part of the garden,

and will be transplanting most of this coleuses and other plants from this bed to the back.

I want to add another raised bed on this spot. This area is going to be a challenge, during the winter months it has shade all day long. Any idea what will be the best choice for vegetables or herbs to grow here??

It is way too hot outside to work in the garden these days, so I am taking a few days off from the garden and the the blog. I will be working on a few indoor projects that I have been procrastinating on.

Stay cool, and I'll see you soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making room

I decided to move my collection of coleuses, currently located on the north side of the garden to the back corner of my back yard. Preparing this new location is going to be a lot work, my original plans for that plot was to let it go wild, and unfortunate it did with overgrown ferns, (not a favorite) so the wild idea is out the window. I also came to the conclusion that a wild area doesn’t fit in my small urban garden (sorry little critters you are about to be evicted by the mean old gardener).

This is all I could do today, only one hour’s worth of work. The heat and humidity was too much for my 58-year-old body. I’ll do some more tomorrow

The reason that I’m moving the coleuses out of this area of the garden is due to my plans to expand the vegetable garden. I’m thinking of getting rid of most of the grass and putting in five raised beds. It will be a long and ambitious project with a completion date of mid October. It will be close, the college football season starts September 1.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The new Pollinator

Last night my Dragon Fruit plant had the first flowers of the summer, this year I decided to pollinate the flowers myself. This flowers open at night and by morning they are done, so the chances that a moth or bat pollinates the flowers, is slim to none.

Over the years I had hundreds of flowers and only 3 fruits. This year while taking a back tour of the land exhibit at Epcot center I saw a dragon fruit plant with many fruits. The tour guide told me that Disney employees come out the night the flowers open and using Q-tips they pollinate each flower.

The dragon fruit plant is a native of the American southwest, a Hylocereus climbing cactus. The common name comes from the short green fins that grow on the bright, pinkish-red skin reminiscent of the scales of a dragon.

The fruit is consider a delicacy, sweet, low on calories and high in lycopene an antioxidant. The proper way to eat it is chilled and cut in half so the flesh may be spooned out.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Mangos of Hawaii

This weekend was the 19 annual International Mango Festival at Fairchild Gardens. This festival has become the main summer event for the garden, and one that all of us mango aficionados can’t wait for every summer. This year, they featured the mangos of Hawaii.
I came early, with the idea of buying a mango tree for my garden. I love all mangos, but my wife is a little particular with the mangos she buys, the most important thing for her is for the fruit not to have any fibers. After speaking to several experts we made our decision.
We decided on “Rosigold” a local selection of Southeast Asian heritage, this mango ripen early mid to late March. The flavor is rich, sweet and there are no fibers in the flesh. The tree is small and manageable perfect for my garden.

This is where my future mango tree will be planted

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Vote for my photo

CostaFarm is having a cacti and succulent photo contest for the month of July and my photo was selected. Go to Facebook at CostaFarms select the picture and Like.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy Forth of July

Happy Fourth of July to everyone, I hope you all have fun celebrating our nations birthday. I am planning to take it easy tomorrow (no work) and at night my family will be attending the fire works display at Coconut Grove on the bay.

Pictures from around the garden today, I am getting better with my new camera.

First flower from this plumeria tree in a pot.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Summer time and the plants are growing

With the rainy season comes what I call the South Florida warp drive-growing season. In a few days the garden goes from nice and neat to overgrown and messy.
I can’t stand looking at an overgrown garden; today I went out early and ready to do battle with the main offenders like the Rangoon Creeper, the Kings Mantle and many others.

I have a limit of three garbage tanks, that’s all that will fit in our city issued garbage container.

Next, I am pulling out all these ferns; they are taking over the back of my garden.

I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July