Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Freeze and a New Patch 'O Garden

We managed to sneak by without a frost or freeze last week.  What a relief. Another cold night might be in the forecast this week.  Definitely need to keep an eye on the weather still.

I didn't pick the rest of my grapefruit or the papaya the night it was supposed to reach the freezing point.  It was risky, but thankfully it worked out okay.



I discovered a mystery plant yesterday in one of my hugelkultur beds, next to where I grew the Okra.

Typical Crappy Picture
I thought it was comfrey, but the flower is all wrong. Hmmmm.  So after a bit of thought I realized it's Eggplant! You'd think I'd learn and mark what's what out there!

I also got a bit ambitious and worked the two old grow beds.  I still need to add compost, but it's a start.  This bed will be planted entirely with green beans.

You can see the outline of the old grow beds in this before picture:

Before
It's all smoothed out and ready for some compost.  Notice the brush pile has mostly disappeared!  Yay!  Still a few logs to cut up but for the most part it's under control finally.

After
That's my moringa tree on the left.  And I have a small tomatillo plant growing in the front right.  I still don't know what the plant in the middle is - it came out of a compost dump.  I apparently love a mystery!

Here's a good side view, tied in with the rest of the garden on this side of the yard.

Side View

I use the old boards from the grow beds as footpaths.  I've placed one in the middle of this garden since it's too large to reach the center from the sides.  


I got my moringa seeds yesterday so I planted 5 pots today using just top soil. I'm praying they'll germinate.  It's always risky business buying seeds from an unknown source.  But they were a really good price so I couldn't pass up the deal - 100 seeds for $6.50 which included shipping!  Woo hoo!  I'll plant more once I know these will grow.   

Glad I got to squeeze in a bit of gardening this weekend!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pigeon Peas and Moringa

I picked a bowl full of dried pigeon pea pods yesterday.


I'll let them sit a few more days before I shell them and store them in a jar.  This was about 1/3 of the crop.  There should be another round ready to harvest in a week or two.  There are still lots of flowers so they're still producing pods.

Have I mentioned how much I love pigeon peas???  They are no fuss plants which grow into bushes.  They'll live through several seasons, even in the awful heat and humidity we get here in SW FL.  You just set 'em and forget 'em (mostly).  I've found that if they reach a foot tall, they're good to go on their own.

After the harvest is in I'll give them a good haircut and use the clippings for mulch.

If I can just manage to have a weekend where I can actually get some gardening done I'll be planting a dozen more pigeon peas seeds around the yard!

I'll also be planting several moringa trees once the rainy season starts up.  My one good tree still hasn't produced seeds.  Harumph.  I'm going to do an experiement of sorts.  5 in pots, 5 in crappy, non amended soil (which is pretty darn horrible), and 5 in a "patch" of amended soil.  It will be interesting to see which, if any, trees produce seeds.

And speaking of Moringa, I just had an awesome late lunch smoothie - 2 tbls dried moringa, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, 2 tbls coconut water, 1/2 cup papaya, splash of apple juice and some water.  Marvelous.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Progress on the Stick Pile!

We finally replaced our old chipper shredder!  We spent a lot of money on a new motor for the old one, but then some major part broke and to replace it would have cost almost as much as a new one.  So, we decided to wait and just get a new one.


We got 20% off the price, which paid for a 2 year warranty.  If it decides to quit on us, we'll get a new one, no questions asked.  So we're told.

So far it's working quite well.

Check out the before and after pictures of the stick pile:

Before
Excuse the terrible pictures...I suppose that goes without saying on this blog...

After

We're nearly finished clearing out this space.  Very exciting!

While the hubby was playing with the chipper shredder, I vacuum/shredded up leaves:


That's about it for excitement around the yard.