It smells so good outside. We have had days of rain – days, as in plural! – and I’m really trying to enjoy the scent of all this clean rain by opening the windows. It just figures that this kind of “spring renewal” would bring out not only the chattering squirrels and chirping birds, but also Crazy Rex. He is in his backyard at this moment banging around with some metal sheets and drums. Please, sometime in my life, can I live somewhere not also inhabited by a noisy, crazy, half-naked neighbor? Oh, he just broke out with a ground-rattling power drill…
Anyway, I am finally getting things done in the garden, or at least getting things started in order to get things done in the garden, and have decided on what will be going into the 4×4 raised beds. There is no guarantee that all of my selections will even fit, but I have researched enough to ensure that half of these seeds could even be successful if I planted them in pots. I looked through many websites that seemed to specialize in Florida planting as well as encourage beginners with certain varieties of seeds to work with.
The ability to thrive in full sun is the number one attribute I look for in anything that goes into my garden. I also have to expect poor drainage and roots fighting for nutrients in such a compact space. I have a trellis to help with the cucumbers and blue larkspur so I hope that opens up at least another foot to separate a few things.
THE FINALISTS ARE…
Cosmic Purple carrots – I knew all along these were going to be in the garden. What I didn’t know was if they could grow successfully here in Florida. It turns out they are very well-suited for humidity. Plus, they are my favorite color. That’s a good enough reason for me!
Australian Yellow loose-leaf lettuce – I read in numerous places that this type of lettuce is a sweet lettuce. After my surprising encounter with endive about a year ago, I fail to find the fun in trying new varieties of lettuce. Endive is the worst idea ever. Ick.
Ashley cucumbers – I wish I knew more about vegetables because as much as the names of such garden wares sound fanciful and pretty, I wonder if this is just your run-of-the-mill cucumber. It doesn’t really matter. I could eat cucumbers everyday.
Blue larkspur – I hope to put these next to the cucumbers so they can both utilize the trellis and have a supportive structure to rely on. I am not sure if the seeds I’ll be purchasing will be of the 12-inch tall variety or of the other, which tends to grow up, up, up! So it’s best to be prepared. This will also leave me with some more space ground-wise. Larkspur is said to be a favorite among gardeners as it is easy to grow and attracts bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds.
Nasturtium – another favorite of bees and butterflies, but this one also allows me to grow it in a contained space. If I run out of space in the 4×4, which I expect will happen, I can simply place the seeds in a large pot and be just as successful! It sounds like a no-fail kind of flower. Let’s hope so. Also, it’s edible!
All of my seeds are organic and GMO-free (some are also heirloom varieties) and I am purchasing them from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. This company is dedicated to encouraging and proactively involving itself in community-based self-reliance. Now that’s just a bit outside my sphere of self-confidence as I have never before taken on anything quite this daunting (oh, the blueberries from last year were enough to drive me mad), but then again, this is all new to me. I’m happy to have the support of a company with this much knowledge and experience, but no doubt I will be returning week after week to the Beaches Green Market to supplement my veggies and fruits with the goods from others’ gardens and farms.
My reward at the end? Let’s just say the combination of my carrots, loose-leaf lettuce, and cucumbers will be a fine example of a successful salad. And I will eat it with a smile on my face! And with nasturtium petals! And lots of pomegranate dressing!!
I’m ready to work with you, Mother Nature. Please go easy on me.