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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Warm Rays of Spring Growing the Veggie Garden

The spring vegetable garden was planted out with mostly direct sown seeds. There were some potted flowers and herbs planted in January in preparation for the vegetables that were to follow.
With our most favorite eats in mind vegetable seeds were sown on February 23 with the exception of the tomatoes which had been started in smaller pots in January. On March 4, seeds of onions, zinnias, cosmos, nasturtiums and sunflowers were added.
The squash family bed includes:
Eightball Zucchini ~ Pinetree Garden Seeds
Goldbar Summer Squash ~ Pinetree Garden Seeds
Sweet Treat Carrots ~ Burpee
Little Gem Lettuce ~ Heirloom Seeds
Nasturtiums ~ American Meadows
Sunflowers ~ American Meadows

The bean family bed includes:
Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans ~ Pinetree Garden Seeds
Rattlesnake Pole Beans ~ Heirloom Seeds
Cherry Belle Radish ~ Pinetree Garden Seeds
Bush Blue Lake Bean ~ Burpee
Wando Garden Pea ~ Heirloom Seeds
Zinnia ~ American Meadows
Sunflower ~ American Meadows
Nasturtium ~ American Meadows

Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean tendrils beginning to wrap around the supports.

Cherry Belle Radish ready to harvest.

Bush Blue Lake green beans and Cherry Belle Radish
Beans and Radish from another view.
Tomatoes interplanted with parsley and sweet basil and bell pepper.
Floradade ~ Heirloom Seeds
Homestead ~ Heirloom Seeds
Morning sun ~ Heirloom Seeds
(2) Patio seedlings purchased in 4 " pots
(2) Fresh Market seedlings purchased in 4" pots
Tokyo long white bunching onions ~ Heirloom Seeds

To the left of the mixed container is another bed with:
Lancelot Leeks ~ Pinetree Gardens
Danvers Carrot ~ Heirloom Seeds
Petite Rouge Lettuce ~ Heirloom Seeds
Red Creole Onion ~ Heirloom Seeds
Little Gem Lettuce ~ Heirloom Seeds

Even further and closest to the fence are the blueberries.
Also not pictured:
Henderson Bush Lima Bean ~ Pinetree Seeds
Clemson Okra ~ Pinetree Seeds
Thai Long Purple Eggplant ~ Heirloom Seeds
Round Mauve Eggplant ~ Heirloom Seeds
Cubanelle Pepper ~ Pinetree Seeds
Big Bertha Pepper ~ Pinetree Seeds
Container pots with chocolate mint, cilantro, lavender, thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil, sage and oregano are tucked here and there in the garden.
Flowers bordering the vegetables include gazania, marigolds, angelonia, sweet alyssum, golden globe, blue eye asters, bacopa and society garlic.
The spring warmth and longer days are accelerating growth almost visibly.
Have a great weekend gardening!


  1. O My Goodness Meems. Your veggie garden is an inspiration. Plus you are so "in" with having a veggie garden. Everyone is wanting to do like the Pres wife and have a fashionistas veggie garden. However I can't see you outside with highheeeled boots digging. With your climate maybe some platform flip flops. tee hee...

  2. Meems,

    Not only are you growing a bountiful garden, it is a beautiful veggie garden! Your gardens looks so lush and happy all the time!


  3. Meems, I had no idea your garden was so large. For some reason I was thinking a couple medium sized raised beds. Guess I wasn't paying attention. Looks like everything is off to a good start.

  4. Meems your garden is inspirational! I can't believe that it is the same garden that suffered so badly just a few weeks ago with that freeze. It just shows how resilient mother nature is. I just love your Gazanias border. Very well done, I give you 100/100. I can really see the hard work that you have been putting into your garden.

  5. Good morning Meems! Your veggie garden is as beautiful as it is bountiful. Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. You have it going on girlie!! Looks wonderful and the veggies...mmmm!

  7. Meems, you really have gone big time this year. i remember last year's first trial veggie garden and your tenantiveness. Great going and everything looks so yummy. Hope all do well for you-you can't beat Blue Lake Bush Beans. That's the variety I planted 20 years ago!

  8. Oh wow! You have been busy !I keep wondering how your garden will look at harvest-time. Now just hope those peacocks dont start scrabbling around among those plants!

  9. Your vegetable garden is enchanting. Meems, might I ask what the plant is toward the top of your page with the Polka Dot plant - makes a really good combination in that pot.

  10. Dear Meems, What an impressive garden! From zero to 60! Are you sure this is only your second year with a vegetable garden!
    It's beautiful...and it seems that you have a magic touch, everything in your garden loves you! Just like we do! gail

  11. Meems - what a beautiful veggie garden you have. I'd love to see the wide-angle shot of all those wonderful plants and seedlings. The tendrils of the Kentucky wonder beans are great! I'm anxious about mine because we are supposed to get 39 this weekend...enough already, this is Texas!

  12. this is very inspiring meems,
    your garden looks absolutely amazing. i think gail is right you have a magical touch and your garden loves you much. it's obvious you love your garden in return. aren't you so glad you expanded.
    i think you will be needing to have veggie garden dinner parties with all your bounty. (oh how i wished we lived closer to one other to share our veggies.) of course other things too.
    we are planting some of the same things. my list will undoubtably follow on my blog in a bit after planting them.
    i am so happy for you that things are looking so wonderful and filling in all the open spaces just as it should be.
    happy spring day to you.
    hugs and love dear sister.

  13. Ay chi hua hua Meems! Are you going into the farming business? If so, sign me up at a customer! Your garden in incredible, beautiful and bountiful. Wasn't last year your first year growing veggies too? This is so impressive, words are inadequate! It all looks wonderful and sounds delicious. You and your family will be eating high on the hog! (Have fun with the little ones :-))

  14. How beautiful! I am putting in my first 'dedicated' veggie garden and I appreciate the inspiration!

  15. Our plants do bounce back quickly don't they? Your veggie garden looks great! Enjoy all those scrumptious and healthy veggies.

  16. Everything looks so beautiful, good luck with your vegetables

  17. I have not had lunch today and your photos are making me voracious! What time is dinner?

  18. Hi Meems....everything always looks so fresh in your garden......I feel like I want to jump on a plane and sit amongst the veggies and flowers....

    Have a good weekend.....

  19. Meems,

    Wow and wow again!!! your garden is stunning and so well thought out. Loved the blueberry photo too.

  20. Your vegetable garden looks wonderful!

  21. I'll bring the ham hocks to season with and the caloric dessert. Your garden looks healthy and the best you've ever had.

  22. Yours is one of the prettiest veggie gardens I've seen, Meems. Everything is looking very healthy and growing fast. Radishes already! Lucky you!
    Thanks for answering my question about the angelonia. It's gorgeous!

  23. Wow, what a lush, beautiful garden! I hope you are eating some of that lettuce.

  24. Your veggie garden IS awesome, Meems, and an inspiration. Now, of course we can't have anything outside yet, since we have snow still. And snow peas DON'T grow in snow, sadly enough or we'd have a bumper crop. :-)

  25. I am so impressed, Meems. Do you have to worry about rabbits where you are?

  26. Thank you all for stopping by and letting me know your thoughts on the veggie garden. I'm thinking the garden looks larger in the photos than it is based on some of your responses. It is approx. 213 sq ft of beds not counting the outside perimeter where some of the flowers are planted. I've also planted some veggies in with the flowers in the back yard... just for fun to see how they fare.

    Not highheels or platform flops... only the real deal here... nothing for show (or photo ops)... here its grimey garden clogs all the way.

    You know I only show you the good stuff.

    You are right. I started last year with two 4 x 8 raised beds -- this year I added on... tripled the size.

    The freeze took out my fall veggie garden or what was left of it... tomatoes, pole beans and limas. I plowed that one up late January at the same time I carved out the expansion and then planted this one out. Thank you for grading on the curve for beginners.

    I think the veggies really like this kind of weather. Cooler in the night and very warm and sunny in the day. The true test is when the night time stays hot and muggy... then all the bad buggies come out to play.

    We want to finish strong, too. Time will tell.

    Last year was SO intimidating. But still I knew it wasn't big enough when I was frustrated about what I 'couldn't plant'. This year I was hesitant again when it came time to sow the seeds (when, where,how much)- with the expansion and learning to mix up the veggies, herbs, and flowers has been a challenge. Now that its growing I can give a big AHHHHHHH... of relief. Now we just have to keep up with it. :-)

    It has been very intense in the garden since about the second week of January. The peacocks are down to 4 (2 have been successfully trapped). None have come in the veggie garden since I found the little portable fence to close off the only opening. It's working well.

    Thank you. The mix in that pot is Mezoo Trailing Red (the light green one) and Coral Reef Chinese Sedum is the darker one. Glad you like it.

    I do tend to go all the way with something if I ever get started. The veggie garden just wasn't big enough or pretty enough last year. We are working hard to remedy both issues.

    39 degrees this week? Oh my. I sure hope not. Next veggie post I'll try to do a wide angle - there is a wide angle from a couple of weeks ago a few posts down in the meantime.

    Yes, I'm so glad I expanded- room for more variety and quantity as well... although it IS double the work but hey- also double the food. I think I will need to be having "come help with the harvest parties" and maybe I'll feed you. :-) It does seem a shame at times we cannot share our bounties together. So glad you are getting a chance to get started now. I can't wait to see your plantings, too.

    I sure wish you could share some of that rain you're getting. sigh.
    Hugs to you.

    You are too funny AND you are making me nervous with such high expectations. It is our second year in the veggie garden but we learned a few things last year ... and hope to learn a few more this year.
    Had a blast with the little ones... thanks.

    Good for you. You are going to love the experience.

    Most of our plants do bounce back fast. Many of my damaged plants have a long way to go yet though. The veggie garden however was leveled and started over after the freezes. Hope yours are all coming along.

    Thank you. I'm going to need some of that luck.

    Grumpy Gardener,
    You'll have to wait a while for dinner if you are talking about food from this garden... HA.

    If you ever do... it would be a pleasure.

    Thanks. Not sure if the blueberries are doing what they should be at this point. I think they might not be getting enough sun. Live and learn right?

    Thank you.

    Gotta have those ham hocks to season with... I'll wait up for you!

    I'm so glad you like it. I'm beginning to think my photos might be better than my garden. :-) I planted more radishes today... I'm now tucking them in every open space. Thank you for your kind words.

    Took a break from gardening today to fix a fresh romaine lettuce salad. You just can't beat that!

    Thank you.
    Now you've got me wondering where the name came from????

    We are off to a good start but you might want to hold the applause until we get to the finish line... we've a long way to go. :-)
    No rabbit problems so far... for many years when we moved here I saw little brown rabbits everywhere... but not for a long time now... only armadillo, peacocks, and dogs have caused me problems in the veggie garden.

  27. I just looked at your gorgeous pics again, and was wondering if you could tell me what the plant with the red flowers and reddish leaves rimmed in green is?
    See screen cap: here.

  28. mmmmm on the chocolate mint Meems! That sounds yummy. I'll have to look for it in my greenhouse. Your garden is phenomenal. You will be eating from it very soon if you haven't been already. To have a home-grown tomato this early in the season would be bliss. I think your veggies are beautiful too!

  29. Hi SB158,
    Somehow your comment got thrown into my junk mail and I just read it... I apologize. The sweet little plant you are asking about is a scented geranium. My little nursery had no tag in it- I just loved it and picked it up to add to my container pot that greets me when I walk to the veggie garden. Here is a link with many varieties to read about if you want a place to begin a search of them.

    Thank you. We are only eating salads and herbs right now but it won't be long for a few more additions to the table.

  30. Have you had any problems with the mint being mixed with other plants? I recently read that if you plant mint with other plants it makes the other plants lose their flavor. If you plant different kinds of mint with each other they lose their different flavors also. Just to be on the safe side I took all my mint out of my garden and planted them in separate pot of each different kind. I just came across your blog and love it; I will become an avid reader.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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