August means it’s time to do a lot of things. It’s time to harvest saw palmetto berries. It’s time to harvest grapes. It’s time to rake the pond of the crazy amount of algae that grows there. It’s time to dream of much, much cooler weather while we’re doing all of this outdoor tasks. And it’s time to plan the fall garden.
We’ve been in our house for almost two years, but I keep finding new and exciting things around our property. At the end of spring, the blackberries were everywhere. We had so much fun finding their plants (which are not bushes here in Florida) and picking the berries. They were everywhere!
This year we planted popcorn. I have always wanted to plant popcorn and because of it’s location in the garden, the chickens left it alone….one of the only things they left alone. Last week we harvested the corn. We didn’t have many ears and they didn’t get very big, but that didn’t matter to us. It was exciting enough just to successfully grow popcorn!
It’s happening! The plants have grown. The flowers have come. And now, the veggies are following behind. Yay! This garden has been a very big undertaking. I wanted a large garden because it only makes sense for us. But the soil has been so difficult to figure out. And finally there lots of little signs that I’ve done it right! We’ve also been watering with the hose each morning and evening until a couple days ago when Scott was finally able to install sprinklers. And on top of all of that, when I had finally gotten the fertilizing right, the chickens dug up lots of my seeds and seedlings and devoured them. Those stinkers. I had to replant. So they’ve been in the coop for an entire month. They’re very grumpy about it too. And I don’t blame them.
I love this time of year! The windows and doors are kept open while the warm breeze blows gently through the house, bringing the sounds and sweet smells bustling in with it. And at the same time, the garden has been requiring attention because it’s planting season!
It’s planting time! I have been looking forward to this for such a long time. Every time I worked in my old tiny raised gardens. Every time I went to the grocery store to buy expensive, organic produce. Every time I drove 40 minutes to pick up produce from the coop…I thought about it. And dreamed about it. I can’t wait to have my garden abundantly producing what my family eats. Last week we began our planting. Our garden is about 15 feet x 100 feet. It took a while to get it ready to plant (and it would’ve been longer if not for the help of a friend with a tiller!).
Since our visit from Jack Frost, a lot of our plants have died–those who are true Southern plants that can’t hack the freezing temps. They always come back, but my real concern was the vegetable garden. Continue reading
I’m probably way to excited about my second raised garden being put in this past week. But for two reasons: 1. We have another fantastic place to grow some tasty, organic veggies. and 2. My wonderful husband did the entire thing without me even asking him to do it. He made time, got all the supplies, worked on the project, and included the girls. Color me impressed, Sir! Let me just reiterate, without me asking him to do it. And not one complaint came from him (in my direction anyway) and it was crazy hot and humid this week! What a sweetie pie.
Here is a super easy way to plant lettuce and get fast results! When you get a head of lettuce at the farmer’s market, grocery store, or wherever you get your lettuce, cut the lettuce leaves away from the stem. But rather than throwing that stem right into the composter, place it in a small bowl of water on your kitchen counter. Give it just a couple days and new leaves will begin to sprout (Did you know that Chloe means little green shoot? We like to point out all the Chloes we find). Let it sprout for a couple days and you should see it shoot up rather quickly. Make sure to change out the water so it doesn’t get mucky. After a few days, plant it in your garden. Ours grew six inches in just a few days. We go through a lot of lettuce, so this method has been great for us to get a lot more out of one head of lettuce. Happy sprouting!