Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heirloom Vegetables and Garden Results

The spring garden is officially over, caput, finito.   We’ve used the Back to Eden principals of gardening, which is basically laying down a thick layer of mulch, 4-6” and allow it to compost as you go.  Planting this first time was different than what was shown, but in time should become easier.

It definitely made walking around easier, no more mud bogs to suck off your rubber boots, and weeding was much easier; in the beginning.  Now they are creeping in, like most of the vegetation at The Compound with the recent rains.  We will need to either add cardboard or layers of newspaper then more mulch in the really bad areas.  Otherwise, I just need to spend a considerable amount of time pulling weeds to get things back in order.  I’ve just been too busy lately with other projects to really devote the time needed.
I really enjoyed the heirloom vegies the best.  They have a much fresher taste than the cheap seeds; they also germinated at a better rate.  Here’s a list of what we grew;

·         Tomatoes – cherry, Brandywine and Roma.  All heirloom, all germinated well, and the product was good. 

·         Cucumbers – heirloom, grew fast and provided great tasting produce

·         Lettuce – mescaline mix and romaine, both heirlooms.  Only issue was the heat, as soon as it got too hot the romaine bolted.

·         Carrots – not very good this time.  They never really grew.  They look like squashed wine corks.  I’m going to leave them alone and see what happens.

·         Strawberries – we’ve had these for 2 years now, and this year’s production was much better than last year, except when the critters beat me to them.

·         Squash – butternut, pumpkin and zucchini.  We got quite a few butternut, and only a couple of the zucchini, and 1 pumpkin.  I think it was too hot for them.  Heirloom varieties

·         Beans – bush and pole.  I will only plant pole beans.  Saves the back from bending over, and they were plentiful!  They tasted just as good to me as the bush beans.  Heirloom varieties.

·         Peppers – terrible, they grew, but no peppers.  Not sure what happened here. 

·         Watermelon and cantaloupe – heirloom varieties, the watermelon are huge, and taste awesome.  The cantaloupe, only a few grew, tasted delish, but unfortunately the bugs really liked them too.

·         Sweet corn – 3rd try for us, and again, no real success. 

·         Broccoli, cabbage – heirloom varieties.  Germinated great, but I think it was just too hot.  I was really experimenting this season, and it’s really not worth the effort.
We did actually get quite a bit of produce out of the garden, and were able to share some with family and friends.  I would have liked to have more, so I could do more canning, preserves, etc.  Maybe next season.

Other than the weeds, and the heat, it was bugs, bugs, more bugs and raccoons.   We'll get the weeds back in order, and will investigate some options for the bugs.  Raccoons will likely never end.  We’re going to try and put up some more shade screen, similar to what we have over our strawberry pyramid, to help keep the direct hot sun off of the plants.  I don’t think the books or articles about gardening really take in to account the type of direct sun we get here in central Florida.  I’ll keep you posted as I get ready to plant starter seeds in July for the Fall planting season.


  1. Broccoli is definitely a cool weather plant. I grew it last year and found that if they are accidently allowed to dry out at all they will bolt. I also covered mine from the get go with petticoat netting from the fabric store to keep the white butterflies from laying caterpillar eggs on them. Worked like a charm. I did a blog on it.

    1. I guess I was hoping that I would actually get some broccoli before the weather became too hot, silly me! I like the idea of petticoat netting. I think I'll try it on the others too; cabbage, cauliflower, etc.


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