Tag Archives: gardening in Florida

Backyard Garden Harvest!


In the Florida panhandle, we can garden all year long. I really enjoyed the kale(did you try my favorite kale recipe?) and collards from my winter garden, but I have really missed fresh green beans.

This last week was the start of the harvests from my spring garden.


I love fresh green beans! They are nothing like their commercially canned, mushy counterparts or the watery, commercially frozen beans.


I love fresh yellow squash too. So far I have harvested 6. If you are having trouble with your baby squash or cucumbers shriveling and dying, be sure to read my post on how to prevent wrinkly baby squash syndrome.


My cucumber plants are beginning to sprawl so I must put up a trellis for them ASAP. They are near a large privacy fence and I have a neat idea for a support. I plan to post pictures of this DIY cucumber trellis-the trellis will be quick to assemble and inexpensive to make!

I have many tiny green tomatoes and am looking forward to juicy BLTs and fresh salsa!

What are you harvesting?


Sometimes my Plants Mock Me


Sometimes I think that plants live just to spite me. Ever just toss a declining plant into an abandoned corner to die, only to see it recover and do better than when you were carefully tending it? Or chunk some seeds carelessly on the ground and watch them produce like mad?

Remember how I had to buy carrots at the Palafox Farmer’s Market? I have had a hard time growing carrots in North Florida.

So, last fall I carefully prepared a row,  planted seeds, and pampered them.

I got 2 seedlings. Pathetic. I really wanted fresh carrots too.

I was so frustrated that I hacked out a row mid-January, dumped the rest of my 3 varieties of carrot seeds in it, watered it, and challenged them to grow. Snow and frost came and I figured they were goners for sure.


Now they mock me. They grew so thick that I was forced to thin them! I had to pull up EXTRA CARROTS!! I hate thinning seedlings.

My peppers have a similar story.

I had such a hard time starting peppers from seed this year that I ended up buying a few plants. In the bare spots I tossed the remaining ‘California Wonder’ pepper seeds from Farmer’s Village in Pace.


Look at the pepper seedling forest! There is even a tomato volunteer from the compost.

Sigh. Sometimes I do all I can and plants die. Sometimes I challenge them to survive, and they thrive-just to spite me.

I’m not complaining, trust me. I don’t mind having to decide where to put 42,000 extra pepper plants. You know I’m not going out there with a pair of scissors and chopping their little heads off to thin them. They may be impertinent little sprouts, but I can respect those hardy little souls.

There are also some exciting happenings in the garden. My first tomato flower! This is from a ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomato plant that I started from seed in February.


I love my Jamberry nails! I seldom bother painting my nails because gardening is so hard on them, but these hold up pretty well for this gardener.


bush green beans

These are my first green beans of the year. This plant was actually started when I stuck a few random seeds in a houseplant this winter. Of course they sprouted and of course I had to transplant them outside when it was really too cold and of course a plant survived.

I think it was stuck outside in my flowerbed in February. I don’t recommend planting green beans in North Florida in February, unless your plants are obstinate. This one was, but if I had planted a whole row then I maybe would’ve gotten 3 plants. Go figure.

Have you ever had anything similar happen to you? Have you given up on a plant only to have it finally start growing? Tossed “worthless” seeds on the ground, only to be faced with the dilemma of too many plants? Maybe you can identify with my Potato Volunteering in my Compost story.

Do you have a gardener friend that may like to commiserate with this story? Feel free to share on Facebook!