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

18 Comments Add yours

  1. unknownmami says:

    Awesome. I agree about the homegrown tomatoes. They are better than candy.


  2. saintseester says:

    I love the small of chocolate mint, too. It makes a wonderful garnish for desserts.


  3. Suzy says:

    Good luck with your plants. I don’t have a green thumb but admire those who do. Dropping by from Sundays in my city.


  4. Vidya Sury says:

    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. :-)


  5. CyndyNewsome says:

    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.


    1. Tara R. says:

      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.


  6. territerri says:

    Good luck with all of your plants! It will be a while before we can plant ours, but I’m REALLY looking forward to those homegrown tomatoes too.


  7. Tracie says:

    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!


  8. lisleman says:

    I wonder if jalapeños would grow well up here. Nice pics of your hard work.


    1. Tara R. says:

      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.


  9. Keetha says:

    I did some “gardening” at my house today too. Hehehehehe
    Wait to you see how I did it on my SIMC post.


  10. BLOGitse says:

    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!


  11. Dorothy says:

    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.


  12. Molly says:

    No gardening here we are covered in a couple of inches of snow again….



    1. Holly says:

      More Snow?!? Geez! when is spring going to arrive? Hopefully it will be here soon.


  13. Holly says:

    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!


  14. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all the awesome photos…it’s been quite an inspiration to me as well as an encouragement to pull out my sketching book and pencils.


    1. Tara R. says:

      That is such a lovely compliment, thank you so much. I hope you do start drawing again, and share your artwork with us too.


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