it’s time to plant, isn’t it?

We had been waiting, it seemed like forever,  for this extended rainy season to slow down enough to plant our CSA and market crops. We started our usual batch of heirloom tomato seedlings to sell (and to plant), and planned on having an expanded selection of other crops as well ready for our annual seedling sale. But the weather was not cooperating. The tomatoes did great, as did many of the hot peppers and some of the eggplant, revealing their tropical origin. Other crops like chard, kale, basil, cilantro refused to germinate well, between the extreme heat and humidity.

Now that the rains have stopped and the temperatures have cooled down, it’s like we’ve entered another world. Veggie plants are growing nicely, animals are frisky – and growing thicker coasts – have you noticed? Hmmmm…..

3 Responses to “it’s time to plant, isn’t it?”

  1. 1 Donna 8 November 12 at 8:48 pm

    Our heirloom tomato seedlings are doing well and, for the first time, we planted garlic. The shoots are up and quite tasty as a garlic chive. Any advice on the harvesting of garlic and people’s experience with growing it?

    • 2 Farmer Margie 8 November 12 at 9:02 pm

      Garlic requires cold weather. It generally doesn’t make cloves here. Folks a bit further up, where there is some significant frost every year, might have better success with elephant garlic. Enjoy the shoots like you would chives or scallions. The tropical alternative is garlic chives, also known as Chinese leeks, a perennial plant that is also quite decorative grown as a border. Do not confuse this with ‘Society garlic’, which has a very strong, almost unpleasant garlic aroma and small lavender flowers, but is not edible.

  2. 3 Carlos Pollo 15 November 12 at 10:14 pm

    We grew some beautiful garlic up here in North Central Florida last spring. It was planted in January in very rich, loose soil and mulched heavy with hay to keep the weeds at bay and the nutrients in. We purchased our cloves from We were skeptical ourselves since the garlic had never been grown down here, but to our surprise they all made bulbs and boy were they beautiful — even the hard-necks.

    Now, the weather in North Central Florida is quite a bit cooler than South Florida, but don’t let that discourage you. One thing I’ve learned about growing plants is you never know the limits until you push them yourself. With garlic, it’s supposed to take 3 years for the seeds to acclimate to your growing conditions. So, keep the garlic free of weeds, don’t over water it if you already have it mulched, and speak to it with words of encouragement. If you do manage to grow some cloves, save enough seed for next year!

    Best of luck!

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November 2012

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