At least for me it is.
With the fall garden crossing over into the spring garden we started strong this year. After rebuilding the beds with new, good soil, organics in place to use for fertilizing, correct timing in February to plant seeds and seedlings in the ground and most of all ~~ determination to learn some new things and improve the harvest of edibles this season ~~ we were off and running.
The harvest has not been a bad one. I just wouldn't say it's been great. I'm pretty sure I've thrown away almost as many tomatoes as in this basket due to nasty worms eating their way into the flesh.
The choice to abolish the use of pesticides is a true test of fortitude in Florida.
Summer has surely arrived early. The humidity and heat has come upon us like a blanket to smother even the most resolute soul. With it the bugs increase and flourish. The soil temperatures rise and the tomatoes don't like that too much.
Slices of yummy goodness from tomatoes (even though not as pretty as we'd prefer) are what keep us moving steadily onward with our goals. Hand picking worms and not stressing over the losses are our best defense.
The top of the tomato plants are still looking healthy, producing new flowers and amazingly setting new fruit. It's a guessing game when to water and how much to water as each day the forecast is for rain at some point in the day. That doesn't mean we'll see any rain ... there are just chances for rain. Some days it rains and others it misses us all together.
Towards the bottom of the plants things don't look so spry.
And this, my friends, is how it goes. I can't seem to conquer growing tomatoes on lively tomato plants from start to finish. And I can't seem to pinpoint what it is tht needs to be adjusted.
Admittedly, I've been harvesting good tomatoes prior to them fully ripening. Call it scared. Call it impatient. If they are almost ripe and they haven't been eaten by a worm they come off the vine to fully ripen safely on the kitchen sill.
Ah, the ups and downs of edibles. It certainly keeps us on our toes.
With the heat plus a couple of evenings of heavy rains the zucchini plants have succumbed to powdery mildew that is hopeless to control. But in the foreground (above) the 2 straight neck squash plants are still producing really tasty yellow fruit.
It is my hope they will hold out for a bit longer. Fresh goodness that is hard to beat!
The blanket flowers are cheery and don't mind sprawling all over the place to remind me why I mix up blooms and edibles. It's rewarding to have some easy, lasting successes to ease the consternation of the summer veggie season.
The blooming dill offers a bazillion tiny little flowers for the beneficial insects to nectar and rest. I'm sure they are working overtime on the feast of insects that are thriving here.
Pole beans on the trellis in the background have been a hardy lot. Green beans are still feeding us as well as onions.
My best little helper is old enough now to ask if he can pull the carrots and needs little to no instruction any more. He could give the garden tour and tell any one what's what in the garden and why we don't use chemicals on our food.
Overall every minute guessing what to do next or how to do a thing better next time is worth the effort. Hands-on experience works like a charm for me. We'll get this thing figured out eventually. In the meantime, lots of fresh yummy veggies have gone into our tummies. And some have gone into the compost pile. But rest assured, dear reader, we'll keep trying.
Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.