Sunday, July 12, 2009

Probably the Last Update on the Homestead

Since I made the decision to give up my home, I've neglected my veggie badly. Just had to go out today and pull loads of crabgrass out of my small side garden.

These are some things I've learned about summer gardening in S. Florida:

1) Tomatoes that get afternoon shade will continue to bear. Not at the rate they do in cooler weather, but they will bear. Grape tomatoes bear the best. Some cherry tomatoes do well, but don't bear as well as in cool weather.
2) Blue Lake bush beans do not like hot weather at all, and mine faded and died pretty quickly when it got hot. They are touted as a bean that does well in the summer, but I think pole beans would be better.
3) Okra doesn't grow as quickly as it does in cool weather, despite being praised as a high producing veggie for summer gardens. Mine is pretty much at a standstill, and even the ones out in the compost pile aren't doing as well as they should. I've only gotten maybe 10 pieces of okra, and half the plants died.
4) Chaya grows like mad! I haven't eaten any, but my plants are big enough to start doing so.
5) Tomatoes grown in pots don't get the blight like ground planted tomatoes. Even mine that are planted in free compost from the city are doing better than the ones in the ground.
6) Eggplants don't bear as well as advertised in hot weather. My neighbor and I have the same eggplants. Both of our Ichibans died, and our Black Beauty's aren't doing well. She has one eggplant on hers, I have none. The eggplant I have growing in the pot is doing better than any of them.

Sickly Citrus

On another sour note, my best producing citrus, the Valencia, is dying from Citrus Greening disease. It's really sad. This was the only tree that gave me any fruit for years, now it's just dying quickly and the fruit won't ripen. I noticed this when leaves started dropping for no reason on an extremely healthy plant. Then the late fruit that was still on the tree, and was already orange, started turn back to green. Now I have no choice but to cut it down, and it's loaded with fruit. I'm hoping the other trees don't catch the disease, although the chances are high they will, since they're planted in the same yard. I'm telling you, citrus has been a total waste of time for me. I could have bought more citrus with what I've spent on trees and fertilizer than I ever got from these trees. In fact, most year I had to buy citrus, because even if they set fruit, it fell off.

Beautiful Bananas

Very sadly, the ice cream bananas are doing exceedingly well, as is the Dwarf Cavendish I brought up front. The Praying Hands is sort of stagnant, not dying, but not growing much either. It has a pup that hasn't had a new leaf in months. I hate to have to leave these behind, but bananas don't grow in Georgia.

Selling the Plants

I had my plants up for sale on a local Yahoo group, and had a couple of people come look. One bought $10 worth of plants, while her daughter just kept asking me for free stuff. I shouldn't have given her any free, but I did. I'm an idiot. The second person is someone I wouldn't want taking care of my plants. She was just obnoxious, you know? Very snotty, answered all my questions with another question, and told me to call her when I got the plants "more organized". She wanted to buy everything I didn't have for sale (of course) and was very upset I wouldn't dig them up for her, since she was in dress clothes.

So I AM getting them organized, and putting them back online, but I won't be calling her, that's for sure.

So much for my urban homestead. Actually, I'm thinking an apartment with nothing but a few African Violets is sounding very good right now. I'm so worn out from taking care of this yard!

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