Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dent Corn, Tree Tomato and Greens Seeds!

I had a brief moment of weakness and bought more seeds.  I decided it was time I tried growing Dent Corn.  Not sure if I ordered a good variety for my area because searching the internet didn't provide many answers, but figured I'd pick one and give it a go. Either way it will be a good experiment.  I also ordered some leafy vegetables which I hope will "grow like weeds" and another package of seeds that's been on my "wish list" for months - Tamarillo, or tree tomato!

Here's what I got:  Bedwell's Supreme White Dent Corn, He Shi Ko Bunching Onion (hoping these will spread), Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce, New Zealand Spinach, Mulukhiyah (another green that hopefully will grow like a weed) and Tamarillo (tree tomato).

Speaking of things growing like weeds and getting out of control, I've been meaning to write about my Sunchoke experience.  They did not "spread like crazy".  The three tubers I bought grew really well.  But I only found 4 tubers after they died off.  I fully expected new plants to sprout in the spring from any bits of tuber left in the ground, but I got nothing.  Nada.  Zilch. It was quite the disappointment.

My plan for the corn is to plant it on the side of the house where it gets full sun. I've never planted anything in this location before but I want to give it a try.  It will take a bit of work to turn up the soil in this area but it will be a great experiment.

While looking at the Bakers Creek seeds online I got to thinking that it would be nice to add more greens to the yard that might just become perennial "weeds". So that's why I ordered a few greens that perhaps (wishful thinking?) might get out of control, or at the very least grow well, similar to the longevity spinach.  It would make a nice addition to the salad greens I already have growing in the yard, all without much fuss - longevity spinach, sweet potato leaves, Roselle (hibiscus), amaranth,  prickly pear cactus and moringa.  Oh, and shepherds needle.  One can never forget that plant.  It never goes away!  I've learned to tolerate it now that I know its leaves are edible.

The first of September seems like a good time to plant the corn.  Crossing my fingers it will be successful!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hibiscus, Bird Pepper and a Sunday Drive

I've been wanting to add a specific variety of hibiscus to the garden but I had to do a bit of research to jog my memory as to what it's called.  I knew it had red leaves and pink flowers.  Someone had cuttings for sale a while back but we never did call to arrange to buy some, mainly because it was on Craigslist.  The plant is called False Roselle.  Not to be confused with Roselle (Sabdariffa hibiscus) which I'm already growing.  The lady who had them for sale did have a picture of the red leaved hibiscus but called it Florida Cranberry.  So that's where I got all confused.  Now that I've got that sorted out in my head, I've come to the conclusion that I definitely want some in the yard.  It will be a good way to bring in some color.

I searched the internet to find seeds and found a website that had all sorts of plants for zone 10 - ones you won't find at Home Depot or Lowe's, or even the local nursery! It was a very exciting find.

Here's a link to georgiavines.com.  Check it out!

I found not only the false roselle seeds, but several different hibiscus, as well as tons of other plants suitable for this region.  I ended up buying a packet of 20 "mixed hibiscus" seeds which does include the false roselle.  I couldn't resist giving these seeds a try.  What a great experiment it will be.  For $3.25 I figured I couldn't go wrong!  It was very hard to hold back on going on an all out buying spree!

Oh, if only money grew on trees!

I also found this bird pepper bush (Capsicum annum) at a native plant nursery.  

This was the best in the 6 or 8 plants available.  It's very small, and scraggly, but hopefully I can coax it into surviving in the back yard.  The tiny peppers are edible which is the reason I wanted to grow one.  And the peppers are adorable!

We took a leisurely drive out to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  We drove through Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge thinking we might see tons of birds. Nope. It was a bit disappointing.  This small alligator came out looking for sun.

While we were poking around, we saw a lot of Jamaican Caper bushes.  I never noticed these plants before but now I'm seeing them everywhere.  Strange.  I do have a few seeds so maybe I'll give them a go in the shady part of our back yard.

That's about it for excitement this hot and muggy Sunday.