The time has come for the birth of my Florida Fall garden. I know this because my seeds are sprouting and there is swiss chard, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, chocolate bell peppers and beans on the horizon. I am also expecting a new shipment of seeds any day now. This year I am going to give pumpkins a try in the hopes they can provide decoration and pie for Thanksgiving. I am timidly confident that it will work out. It still seems unbearabley hot, humid and buggy to be in the garden for any extended length of time, but I have started most of my seedlings indoors this year and am doing my best to keep things weeded and aerated in the garden as well as letting the chickens roam free in there to contribute their fertilizer to the dirt. I will have to be very conscience of the chickens when all is planted and most likely create a temporary barrier to keep them from eating all of our spoils.
Flat Dutch Cabbage
Currently my seedlings are are under a 24 hour florescent light in my office. I am closely monitoring their water and growth to ensure they emerge from there wombs and are given a healthy start to life. That way when they are old enough to be placed in the garden they will be strong and ready to tackle the elements. As they grow over the next four to six weeks I will gradually taper off their light supply to allow them acclimation to a real sunlight schedule and then the last week before transplant they will be placed outside a little bit each day to get used to the heat. Last week I soaked and planted scarlet runner beans and edammame directly in the garden. A couple of weeks ago I planted white scallop squash, which seems to be thriving in the heat and moisture of the tail end of the Florida summer. It will be a challenge to keep the worms away from my squash and I hope the copious amounts of rain do not rot my bean seeds before the see the light of day.
Mini Sailor Cucumbers
I am excited about this garden season. I have a stronger confidence in what I am doing now with 3 years of experience now under my belt. While it is impossible to know what the Florida Fall, Winter and Spring will bring, I know that I can create something productive for our consumption. I hope that all of you will try to grow at least one thing you can eat this year!