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, February 25, 2013

Non-Stop Veggies

It's been a wonderful winter for growing veggies. The cold-season crops such as kale didn't seem to mind the milder temps, while the pepper plants, that won't tolerate a freeze, have kept producing peppers all winter long. 

 The raddichio (above) and the Red Sails lettuce (below) have been excellent in not bolting through some mid-80 temps.

Florida onions are coming along nicely in the background while the adorable little nasturtians are adding a happy note to the front of the  veggie beds.

Georgia collards are great for eating and for adding beauty to the border.

Swiss chard 'Bright Lights' is keeping company with the parsley beside it.

I've lost control of the arugula which long ago decided to spill over into the walkway. I've just recently read that this plant is a perennial. Not sure if that holds true for Florida, but I'll give it a haircut at some point and wait and see if it makes it through a Florida summer.

Broccoli 'Packman' was very prolific this winter but has since gone into bloom.

 One nice surprise has been fresh tomatoes all winter long due to temps remaining above freezing and no frost. This Early Girl was a bit of a disappointment. She was a prolific producer but the fruits took forever to redden and, I'm guessing, it's a meatier type which isn't juicy and remains firm. It was however, good for making fried-green tomatoes of which we made quite a few.

But the Black Cherry (above) and the Sungold (below) kept our salad bowls filled with sweet, juicy little tomatoes. This spring I'm planting only these two varieties. So easy and so delicious! 

The sweet little strawberries are ripening and fortunately the birds have not discovered them ... yet.

 We had a nice supply of Eureka lemons and ...

'Pink lemonade' lemons, too.

And, now that winter is ending the citrus is in full bloom and as you can see below, the cycle begins anew with tiny little lemons already setting beneath each spent blossom.

I definitely could get used to winters like this!

10 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh my gosh Susan ~ I am totally impressed with your wonderful vegetables and inspired, but I guess it is too late for this year for me to plant anything. It's sure been very warm and humid the past few days. Summer is here before spring.

Enjoy all of the delicious goodness.

FlowerLady

africanaussie said...

It is so nice to see what you have grown as we head into our winter, although I think you get colder weather than we do. I also grew kale last year with some success. All your veggies look so lovely and healthy.

ChrisC said...

I was a slacker when it came to the veggie garden this past fall.But the lettuce,collards,kale and Swiss Chard did well in spite of me.

Leslie said...

Wow, Susan, your vegetables are absolutely gorgeous--and your garden is so tidy. I really feel like I need to get out and weed now! (My garden is a total mess.) And I'm so hungry now too--all your veggies look so healthy and tempting. Your fruit looks delicious too. It's so neat that you can grow strawberries!

Well, I'm going to go back and look at all your pretty pictures again. This was really an inspiring post!

Rusty in Miami said...

Wow that’s very impressive. I am not as lucky

crybrug said...

Wow! Your soil must be amazing. How do you keep the veggies so big and beautiful?

daisy said...

What a wonderful bounty! What kind of soil do you use?

eli said...

I can't get past the collards! Wow - they are beautiful (and one of my favorite veggies).

Your winter garden is quite impressive!

Dawn said...

Susan, I also had no luck with Early Girl at all, it was my first year growing it/her. The Cherokee tomatoes are doing better in our "Winter/early Summer" temperatures. My Packman broccoli also bolted, but the definite upside was the Hummers were ga-ga over those lovely yellow flowers. It's a topsy-turvy year for us Florida veggie growers for sure!

charlotte said...

Wow, your veggies look great!

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