Thursday, October 20, 2011

Florida Botanical Gardens

The Florida Botanical Gardens is an hidden gem in Pinellas County and, fortunately for me, less than  a 10 minute drive from home. It's part of the Pinewood Cultural Park which includes the Pinellas County Extension Office, Heritage Village and formerly an art museum that has now been closed due to budget cuts.  The Botanical Gardens and the extension office together grow almost every type of plant that it is possible to grow here. Aside from being a place of peaceful tranquility and reflection in a world gone bad, the gardens are also very educational because they've labeled nearly every plant with its proper name. Come with me on a photographic tour.  All the pictures were taken today. I'm leaving a lot of great stuff out though, so you'll need to visit yourself :)


Monday, October 17, 2011


I'm growing three kinds of beans in my raised bed. I have very little previous experience growing beans, but I must learn by doing I guess. The varieties I am growing are: heirloom Dragon's Tongue, heirloom Royal Burgundy, and Tenderpick. They all have a nice fresh taste and don't seem to be bothered by any serious pests.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Citrus Insights and other Goings on in the yard

My yard is just starting to get the merest hint of the cool fall weather. Hurray and hurry up!

My  Centennial Kumquat is getting ripe. I finally figured out that if you want citrus to hold fruit sometime in the next 5 years you need to plant it in a pot. I was so frustrated when I saw people with young citrus up in Wisconsin harvesting oranges when my own Hamlin and Valencia trees took 7 years to start producing. If you plant them in the ground the plant's energy goes to producing root and growing in to large trees. In a pot citrus produces fruit at a younger age. Now the upside to growing in the ground is that my orange trees are now producing loads of fruit 10 years after planting, but for instant gratification you'll want to go the pot route. My tiny red Navel tree in a pot already has several fruit on it too.

My tomatoes are growing larger.
The heat is still causing problems with fruit set, but I've managed to get a few. This is Olive Hill tomato is the largest. It seems to do well with the heat.