Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Harvest

While watering the garden, I discovered some green beans that were ready to be harvested. It seemed to early to check, so I was surprised at my discovery. I guess I better check my veggies a little closer from now on.

A few to eat with the promise of more to come.

The green onions and the leeks are progressing nicely.

Strawberries (on the left) planted last year are still looking good and are now producing babies. We're looking forward to some sweet berries in late winter. And, the sweet potato plant (on the right) continues to spread itself like a blanket across my limited garden space.

The delicate tendrils of the cucumbers are attaching themselves to their support, and climbing higher by the day.
I'm always amazed at how this process works.
But, there is a pesky little pest that is starting to make the pretty fuzzy leaves look like lace.
Does anyone have any tips on how to stop their destruction?

Herbs from early spring are still providing us with plenty of spice for our food, as well as some pretty flowers on the basil.

Soon I'll be eating summer squash....one of my favorites! 

More green onions...left over from early spring are still going strong. These onions are one of the easiest crops for me to grow. No pests attack them, and they even tolerate drying out in their container when I forget to water them. And, since the cooler weather has arrived...the tomato plant has ballooned in size and is beginning to set fruit. Can't wait for some yummy beefsteak tomatoes.

I hope all of your veggie gardens are growing well, and that your harvests will be plentiful!


Penlyn said...

I'm guessing you're talking about something more serious than leaf miners on your cucumbers, right Susan? They're a problem for me with lettuce, but I don't care if they mine my cukes.
Your veggies look beautiful, and I'm always interested in veggie tips. My big question of late is how many green bean plants I need to ensure I have enough at one harvest for dinner for two. Apparently, I'm not planting enough! (Or they're not beaning enough)

africanaussie said...

MMM Susan I think your veggies look lovely and healthy. the summer squash looks quite prolific.

daisy said...

Beautiful garden! Do you mind sharing how often/with what you fertilize? Thanks! daisy

FlowerLady said...

I am so impressed with your lush, healthy vegetables. What a treat to be able to pick your own food.


Antique ART Garden said...

Looks good, wish I could grow veggies, may try someday, thanks, Gina

Meems said...

Your garden is WAY ahead of mine. I held off planting due to the ridiculous heat in September but maybe I shouldn't have. (Kay has beans already too) Mine are just starting to form so I'll have them... but would love to have them now. Just planted another row of them yesterday to be sure to extend the harvest.

I DO love those tendrils and how they absolutely WILL find something to wrap around.

Did you start your onions from seed or sets? They are beautiful and so forgiving once they get started.

For some reason I've had a reluctance to trying strawberries... seems like they would be hard... you've got me rethinking...do you start with small plants or seeds?

Anyway~ I'm rambling... your garden is looking GREAT and it looks like you will have some great squash soon (mine is not getting enough sun I think... still small). Ack...I need to enlist more patience for this veggie thing. :-)


Susan said...

Hi Penlyn...I do have some leaf minor, but there is another pest doing more extensive damage. Don't know what it is, but they're buggin me...no pun intended. :-)

Three of us at this batch for dinner last night and we each had plenty. I planted seeds for 8 plants originally, and then another 8 seeds three weeks later to keep the harvest going for awhile. The first 8 produced this batch, and they still have smaller beans that weren't ready for harvest yet.

African Naussie...Yes, that summer squash is doing pretty well. It tastes great when it's fresh.

Hi Daisy...Thanks. I add lots of compost to the garden bed before planting, and then I planted them around the 1st of September and have given them two good doses of fish emulsion fertilizer since then.

FlowerLady...The treat is more in the eatin. I was surprised to discover how much better broccoli tastes when it's fresh from the garden...a BIG difference.

Hi Gina...Yes, give it a try someday. I started with tomatoes because homegrown is so much better.

Hi Meems...I start the onions from seeds. I have found them to be a very easy crop...one that extends through the summer, and they come in handy for cooking.

The strawberries were small plants I purchased from HD. I planted them in a pot this past February, not knowing if they would survive the summer. They produced a few berries in spring, and they continued to grow larger thru the summer. Now they've produced little baby plants (The way spider plants do) that have rooted into the ground, so we'll see what happens next February. Not sure how they'll do during the winter. I can bring the potted ones inside but not the ones in the gound.

My biggest problem right now is the pest that is making lace out of my squash leaves. I've used a little BT powder on them and then cut off some of the worse leaves. Do you ever have this problem, and if so, what do you do?

Floridagirl said...

Your green bean harvest looks beautiful! And don't you just love the beauty in a cucumber plant? Pretty tendrils and flowers, I think. I had that problem on my cukes last year, but I'm afraid the experience left me none the wiser. We have no veggies at all right now, as I am still reworking my tiny vegetable plot, that really was such an ugly space in the past. I want to be able to photograph that part of the garden some day. I do plan to pop in some cool-weather veggies like carrots, lettuce, and cabbages and maybe some turnips once I am done. I'm thinking it will be too late for beans and cucumbers.

NanaK said...

All your veggies look so good. Pretty impressive bean harvest you have there. I'm loving green beans from the garden. I definitely didn't plant enough of them though. Always something to learn in the garden.

Carol@KeepingUpWith said...

Wowsers, Susan! What zone are you in? You make me want to try those "summer" veg again in winter to see how they fare.

Dani said...

Looks great Susan! I wish I had a little luck with squash. Mine always end up getting mildew and pickle worms on them.

Meems said...

Haven't had the lacing problem on my squash ~~ just powdery mildew in summer.Sometimes my bean plants -in summer- get the lacey leaves and I don't think about it too much since it doesn't usually happen until the very end of the season. Maybe take a leaf to your extension ofc... then tell us what it was so we know too. :-)

ChrisC said...

Wow! Your veggies are way ahead of our's.But we should be having veggies soon.We have baby beans and tiny tomatoes,so far.But the rest should soon follow along.This weather has been great!

Susan said...

Hi FLoridaGirl...Hope you get a chance to plant a few veggies, and I look forward to seeing your new garden bed.

Hi Kay...Yes, every year is a learning experience, and some years are definitely better than others. It's a little discouraging when pesky pests arrive and spoil the fun.

Hey Carole...I'm in zone 9b (middle of the state). They grew pretty quickly and we were able to start harvesting within 2 months.

Dani...Thanks, you just identified my pests for me...pickle worms..YUK! I discovered the little critters yesterday and was busy squeezing them. :-)

Chris...Glad to hear your veggies are coming along nicely, too. The weather is definitely "the best!"

Susan said...

The pesky pest has been Identified by Dani as...PICKLE WORMS.

I discovered the small golden worm underneath the plants yesterday. The pupa stage is located under the rolled leaf edges. I squeezed both stages of them to eliminate them quickly, but there are a lot of leaves to cover.

Info. on found on GardenWeb from a Florida gardener said, "the moths, which are nocturnal, visit every night, led to the plants by pheromones from previous visits. once they've found you cuke patch, they'll visit often. that's why it's essential to bag daily, in the evening, after the flowers have been pollinated."

I'm not sure what "bag" them means. Do any of you?

BT (a naturally derived pesticide is recommended) but it needs to be applied underneath the leaf, too. Also, insecticidal soap works on the adult stage.

Apparently, if they get into the vegetable itself (which they have on some of my summer squash) the fruit will be unedible. Yikes! I better get aggressive quickly.

More information can be found here:

Orlando Realtor said...

Your garden looks wonderful as usual. You mentioned how different broccoli right off the vine actually tastes. My biggest surprise was watching, picking and finally eating brussel sprouts, not everyone's favorite, right off the plant. It will actually make a person like them.

Rusty in Miami said...

In my 10B zone I am starting my winter vegi garden and a few miles north you are harvesting.

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