Green thumb: spring gardening

beforeafterA few weeks ago I weeded my two raised planters (the extent of my gardening ambitions), and this weekend, I finally got my spring planting done.

I put in a few strawberry starters, a new adventure for me since I’ve never tried to raise fruit before. The Mister wanted me to try, so… I dedicated a single planter for the experiment.

In the other, I have jalapeños (a plant I’ve had a lot of success with) and a few herbs – Thai basil, and cilantro, along with a pot of chocolate mint. Not sure what I’ll do with the mint, but it smells wonderful.

Over the past several years, I’ve usually put in tomatoes, but this year I’m trying something different with them too.

My planters sit in the far southern corner of my backyard, where I suspect they don’t get a sufficient amount of direct sun – I have lovely plants, but they suffer from bloom drop. I’ve rarely had more than a half a dozen toms ripen to maturity.

This year, I’m trying to raise my toms in patio pots, which I can position on my… wait for it… patio, where they can get adequate light. I hope this works, because there is something magical about the taste of homegrown tomatoes eaten fresh from the vine.

I have a little more room in one planter, so I plan to get in some more gardening this week. I just need to decide what I want. Suggestions welcome, fruit or veggies – Northwest Florida, Hardiness Zone 8B.

You can click on any image to see a larger photo, or the series as a slideshow.

(Photos shot with a Nikon D60, using an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle, 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, Nikon CoolPix S205 and/or iPhone4)

For more photos, please visit my Flickr photostream.

Unknown Mami

Submitted to Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City

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18 replies »

  1. The word “Spring” always sets birds chirping in my mind along with imagery of different shades of green, mingled with a riot of multicolored flowers.

    I am now guiltily thinking of the okra recipes I promised. :-)

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  2. Have you ever tried the hanging, “topsy-turvy” type planters? My dad has had some luck with tomatoes in those. I want to plant a garden, but I fear that I would only be feeding the deer.

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    • I thought about trying that, but we have lots of squirrels… I hate squirrels. On the ground, in pots, hopefully the Labs will earn their keep and keep the tomatoes safe from vermin.

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  3. My husband and daughter came home with some plants this evening after a trip to the store.

    We grew jalapenos when we lived up in Northwest Florida, and I remember that they did very well. Good luck with yours!

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    • I didn’t pull up last year’s jalapenos until I weeded the planters this season and they actually put out peppers all year. We don’t get very cold weather, but did have a few nights that dipped into the freezing range. Jalapenos seem to be fairly hardy, you probably could grow them too.

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  4. I don’t have a green thumb so it’s nice to look what spring does to people – here in Finland people go nuts when they can start spending time in the garden.
    Your garden looks ready for the new season!

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  5. Love spending time in the garden! I have a garden buddy in NC who has a lot of luck with collards and beets. I suspect the climate is similar to yours. It’s still below freezing here so no planting for a little while.

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  6. It is not quite planting season here yet, and that is good because I am so behind on getting my raised bed ready. I am excited to though because like you I dearly Love the taste of fresh picked veggies!

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