Sunday, August 25, 2013

Planning for the Fall Vegetable season

Is that time of the year once again, for South Florida gardeners to start planning our fall vegetable gardens.  Yesterday I cleared out all the weeds and pullout what was left from last year’s garden.  This year I will be expanding a couple of the beds and going high (Pictures to follow)

I am the ultimate optimist when it comes to my vegetable garden, every year I have mix results and every year I persist and hope the next season will be better.  The main reason for most of my failures can be attributed to “location, location, location”.  The long strip between my house and my neighbor's house is the only space I have available for the vegetable beds, unfortunate during the winter season this part of the garden gets limited sun exposure. 
Last year started all my plants from seeds, with limited success.  The carrots, peppers and salad greens did well.  The tomatoes, eggplants, broccoli and cucumbers perform poorly.  This year I’m planning to do 50/50, some I will grow from seeds and others I will purchase the seedlings from local nurseries, especially the tomatoes.
This yellow pepper plant survived the hot summer month and continues to bear fruits.  This is a first in my garden; usually these plants are all dead by early June.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I’m back

I posted on this blog on June 30 that I was going to be away from the garden during the months of July and August.  This weekend I decided that I been away long enough, I can’t stand my garden looking like an abandon ruin.   As you all know, I was away vacationing on Sanibel Island for two weeks, and during that time the place was on its own.  I have automatic sprinklers throughout the garden, but that was not sufficient to keep the plant casualty count low.  It turned out that we didn’t have much rain during those two weeks, and it affected many of my potted plants, but it didn’t put a dent on the aggressive growing vines or the weeds.
Yesterday I decided to tackle the front garden, three full garbage tanks of weeds and cuttings later and four hours of work, and I remembered why I was giving the garden a rest during July and August.    
What's blooming in the garden during the month of August
 Powderpuff Tree
 Bees love these flowers
 The native Orange Geiger Tree
  Summer Bromeliad blooms
 Wild white orchids
Finally these terracotta pots were the find of the year for me, a neighbor was having a garage sale and sold me all four pieces for $25
PS – Technically I kept my word not to visit any garden center during my absent from gardening, garage sales don’t count. (I know there are two weeks left in the month of August)

Friday, August 09, 2013

More Birds of Sanibel

Double crested Cormorant

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Great Blue Heron

Baby Osprey calling his for his mother
PS - My family complaints that I take too many pictures of birds, but I find them fascinating, specially see birds.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

My Big Year in Sanibel

I rented a movie this week “The Big Year” with Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson and I loved it.  This movie is smart, funny with a touch of an environmental message and if you are a bird watcher this is the movie for you.  I recommend it.
After watching the movie I decided to start my own big year by counting the birds of Sanibel (More like the big week) Unfortunate I picked the wrong week.  The Army Corps of Engineers in their ultimate wisdom decided that Lake Okeechobee, situated in the middle of the state is over flowing, and to relive the pressure on the levies, large amounts of fresh water is been release into the gulf.  These levies are old and in need of replacement, but like everything that involves the Federal government there are no funds available. 
The effect of so much fresh water in the Gulf of Mexico has been devastating on salt water fish and it has cause birds that depend on the fish to move on. 
Brown Pelican

 White Ibis
 Snowy Egret

Royal Tern
 Ruddy Turnstone
 Looks like a Night Heron
 Wilson Plover