I’m finally settling back into my regular garden routine. It’s odd to me that while the rest of my gardening friends are sort of on a break (whether they want it or not), gardening season is kicking into FULL gear for me. I’m in Southwest Florida so our “good weather” season is when the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing winter.
It means regular watering and pruning. Constant checks for little things- do plants need to be pollinated? Is there dead growth that needs to be removed? Is more water, fertilizer, soil additives required?
I’m always surprised by the differences between summer gardening (it rains constantly and growth slows down so there’s not much to do besides monitor and prevent things from dying) and fall/winter/spring gardening (constant *actual* gardening). This is my third year going from summer to winter in the garden and it STILL surprises me.
– There are tomatoes growing on the establish tomato plant! Yay! And three of the other plants are growing steadily.
– Six eggplants steadily growing on the eggplant, and three almost ready for harvest, plus another eggplant (plant) getting steadily taller.
– Planted the blueberry plant (which is super tiny… guess it’s going to be a few years until we see anything from that.)
– Repotted a bunch of the biggest plants I have- they needed root trimming, fresh soil, and for some I went ahead switched containers and location. Container gardening gets tricky when you have a plant that outgrows the largest container possible. Sometimes you can trim the plant way down and it will just regenerate (I did that with my shrimp plant it was a great success). Sometimes I have to let the plant go and let it “graduate” to the front yard. Sometimes neither of those things are possibilities, so I have to figure out another way to make it work. One of my hibiscus is more or less a tree but it’s doing REALLY well in the container garden, so I’m letting it stay there. I just moved it into the largest container we have and will keep it trimmed way down.
– New seeds arrived yesterday so today I’ll begin figuring out which to plant and where they need to go. Always tricky, and I almost always change my mind AFTER I plant the seeds so there’s always a few seeds that get sacrificed in the process. I am getting better at garden planning though, because the more I garden, the more practical I become about it all.
The thing about winter gardening here in Southwest Florida is that it’s a constant work in progress. There’s really very few periods of time when I don’t have something on my potting bench needing attention, or that gardening projects don’t last days instead of just an afternoon. I’m leaving the potting bench and garden every day with things “in progress”- a plant temporarily stuck in a pot until I find a better container for it, a bunch of tiny pots half way filled with soil, ready for new seeds, bulbs scattered on the table, waiting for somewhere where I can plant them.
I like it, though. As much as I hate leaving projects unfinished, I’m learning to appreciate the PROCESS of things.