Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Rebuilding the Vegetable Plot and Making it Pretty!
The thought of starting over was not one that appealed to me. Not in the least. The thought of not starting over wasn't even an option.
In the last days of January construction crews and their trucks came rolling through my thriving fall vegetable garden in order to dig a water-well in the back garden. Most of my cool season veggies were compacted under those big tires right into that beautifully amended, hilled up soil I had worked so hard to cultivate only a few months prior.
The moment the crews were finished with the new well it was time to stop bemoaning the situation and get on with the work at hand.
Steps began immediately to put things back together again. New soil was hauled in one yard at a time and hilled up again~one wheelbarrow at a time.
Edging plants were added to the additional bed that was acquired out of the ordeal. Each of the curvy beds are bordered with either Tulbaghia violacea society garlic, Liriope muscari 'Variegata' or Bulbine frutescens 'Hallmark'. These perennial borders remain the same year-round and serve as foundations to the garden .
With the new additional bed that makes 6 beds of planting area all together now. 2 framed beds (which we began with in spring 2008) and 4 raised beds with the soil hilled-up. A perennial border frames the entire fenced-off garden.
Additional stone paths were laid for navigation between each bed. Typically two feet of space is what works best for me between the beds. Pine barch mulch was placed on all the pathways.
With an emphasis on creating an environment that naturally attracts beneficial insects, necessary for organic gardening ~ pots of annuals, herbs, and perennials are placed throughout.
When they aren't placed in pots they are planted in the ground right along side and in between the rows of vegetables.
Some of the crops from the fall garden that were living in the two raised beds (not affected by truck tires) are still hanging on nicely.
Tender lettuce lasting from seeds planted in November 2009 is an interesting turn of events due to the extra days of unseasonably cooler weather working their way right into March.
I continue my efforts at being more comfortable with mixing up the 'right' herbs, annual flowers and veggies that best support the principles of companion planting for my central Florida potager.
But I've stopped stressing over getting it just right and I'm learning to go with my instincts in the vegetable garden ... just like I always have in the landscape.
Seeds for the spring garden were planted a little earlier in February this year by at least a week. During an-all-things-being-equal season these things make a difference. :-)
Even so, it is easily noted when looking back at my journal and photos from last spring we were much further along in the growth rate than we are this year.
This spring garden looks very immature comparatively. It's worth noting the soil has not completely warmed to optimal growing temp due to our lingering chilly nights.
Vegetable gardening for the novice is, for certain, a hit and miss proposition.
But there can't be anything more rewarding than figuring a few things out each season even if it means some hiccups along the way. There will be hiccups.
There's no question a veggie garden requires some special attentions. It is fast growing and needs tending daily in some capacity. All the nurturing required for a veggie garden is invigorating and inspiring! Newness of life and changes by the day ~ even from morning to evening in some cases!
In my view... nothing says SPRING like walking out to my little potager first thing in the morning to inspect the tomatoes or thin the carrots or pull a weed trying to disguise itself among the herbs, or clipping a handful of lettuces and radishes for lunch. Hand watering each little seedling with just the right amount of liquid while the flutter of birds' wings and the buzzing of bees and insects are the only other sounds to keep me company.
No, it wasn't an option to let some unforeseen circumstances get in the way of the joy that comes from daily exhileration in the spring garden.
Happy spring and happy gardening to you all! Meems