Build and Rebuild

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” ~ Dolly Parton

Hi.. Remember me? It has been awhile since I have blogged. We lost touch in May and June of this year but now it is July, (an odd season for Florida gardening I am learning) but I am back. For more on what happened in the “lost months” see the gardening log below:

May 2018

  • 17th: The rains began. At first I was excited – the garden needed water and I thought the rain was better than dragging the hose out to the garden to water it. Plus isn’t rain supposed to help the garden grow?
  • 19th: It is still raining. Three days and nights of rain, hard rain. Doesn’t this rain know that we are in Florida? There are supposed to be light sporadic afternoon showers, not continuous hurricane like rains in May! I hope it stops soon. It is all just so wet, I haven’t been able to check on the garden in days.
  • 20th: Finally, the rain has stopped but the entire yard is flooded. I have to put on rain boots and carry Lulu (our King Charles Cavalier) outside just to take her for a walk. The garden is FLOODED! Hopefully the water will recede quickly. How bad could it be?
  • 25th: The waters have “mostly” receded but it is all gone. Dead. Finite. Months of planning and working in the garden destroyed. I don’t even want to go out there any more….

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June 2018

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  • 2nd: I will focus my efforts on the herb garden in the front. The orange mint is a bit “wilty” but otherwise everything seems to be thriving after the rain. I better go out and start weeding it.
  • 4th: I can’t just avoid the backyard forever (mostly because small child keeps running out there). Let me go and look at the garden. Wow, the strawberry plants and peppers are ok and so is that new row of okra I had planted right before the flood. I can’t believe those baby plants survived. And the little blueberry bush plant seems to be ok.
  • 11th: I need to get the pumpkin seeds in the ground if I want pumpkins by October. Lets get these pumpkins planted in the watermelon bed. I will deal with the main garden later.
  • 20th: It is time. Time to plan. Time to rebuild. Time to clean out the dead plants, add lots and lots of dirt and start up the summer garden. Plus the nature’s care organic soil I like is on sale at Lowes.img_9731

Several hours later…… small child and I planted three different types of squash, two rows Β of sunflowers and a raspberry bush.

The garden is once again starting to come alive reminding me of a few things:

  1. Overwatering is real.
  2. My backyard floods.
  3. You can always start over.
  4. Some plants are like people, surprising and resilient.

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    July 5, 2018

I am reminded of stress theory. When a crisis occurs (in this case the flood) we have 3 options for the outcomes: Option 1 – give up and things will get worse. Option 2: Adapt and stay at the same place you were when the crisis occurred and Option 3: Rise to the occasion and end up better than you were before the crisis occurred. Some plants I thought would survive because they were big and beautiful before the storm like the tomatoes died. Some plants are the same now as they were before the storm like the blueberry bush. Other plants, like the okra seeds I had just planted before the storm hitΒ weathered it well and are now flourishing. If I were asked today “what kind of plant would you be if you had to be a plant” I would say confidently that I would be an okra plant.

Happy planting and eating!

~ The Gardening Dietitian

 

The Seedlings are Crawling

“You have to get up and plant the seedΒ and see if it grows, but you can’t just wait around, you have to water it and take care of it.” ~ Bootsy Collins

It has been about a month since we planted our Flamingo Garden. In some way taking care of a garden is like taking care of an infant or a puppy or maybe less intensive than that. Ok, so it is like taking care of a baby goldfish. Yes – I think that analogy works the best. Every day I go outside to the garden to check on its progress, water it and assess the situation for other things I need to do in the garden. Literally every day I am astounded by how different the garden looks and how much things have grown literally over night. Like a baby goldfish (or just a baby – the analogy has gotten away from me) I have been tracking the progress of the garden each week and documenting it via pictures. Again I am THAT mom (ahem – I mean goldfish owner or maybe gardener?)…


We had our first “harvest” from the garden about a week after planting. It was one lone strawberry. Yes, I admit – this was kinda a cheat harvest. When we purchased the strawberry plants, we bought one that already had a baby strawberry attached. Throughout the week that strawberry went from green to a beautiful red. I am not sure how it tasted but small child really seemed to enjoy it.

During week 2 the seedlings really started to sprout up from the ground. I quickly saw that I completely overseeded the carrots and the cucumber plants. In fact – the carrots looked like chia-pet hair there were so many of them! After much internal debate and discussions with my CSA farmers, I knew what I had to do. It was time to thin out my crops. It was completely heart wrenching to pull out baby carrots and cucumber plants and I complained the entire time I was doing it.

WeekΒ 3 was an exciting week in the garden. Things were really starting to pop up and look strong. My baby plants were starting to look like miniature versions of their grown up selves! In fact I had to tie up the tomato plants more because they were growing so fast and frantic and I even had one large tomato growing on the plants with many other plants starting to have flowers!

That takes me to now – approximately 4 weeks after planting. The garden looks completely different than when we started this operation. My baby plants are literally starting to crawl! In fact, I had to modify my trellis system for the beans this past weekend to make it easier for the green beans to climb!

I can’t wait to see what the next month brings to the garden. Until then ~

Happy planting and eating!

~ The Gardening Dietitian