Tag Archives: Gardening

Gardening | New Year, New Hopes

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

As I write in early December, thankfully both temperatures and humidity have mellowed, although we may still be in for warmer days since this is Florida. My vegetables are coming along nicely, with few insects to trouble them. Fruits of some of our berry-bearing trees and shrubs are still maturing, and will be ready for the birds through the winter, while acorns and hickory nuts are keeping the squirrels busy.

Gardening | Falling leaves and inclement weather

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale

In early November, the whole country experienced record lows after record highs, and some improvement in the drought — never a dull moment!

Gardening | Enough of the heat!   

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

In the first week of October we were still experiencing record-breaking temperatures, along with the rest of the south and east. In the first half of September we had adequate rains, but by the end of the month we were in a moderate drought; it does make a garden harder to manage when conditions are so out of the norm.

Gardening | I could always do better…  

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Having tried in spring to grow pole beans — Kentucky Wonder — with minimal success, I resolve to do better. As well as sowing the seeds a bit late in the season, one problem may have been that my yard had too few flowering plants to encourage the bumblebees that I’ve learned are largely responsible for fertilizing bean flowers. I discovered the connection when reading “Sting in the Tale” by a British entomologist, Dr. Dave Goulson. (Also by the same author, “A Buzz in the Meadow”; both books are available at the public library. They may be a little science-heavy at times, but are definitely informative, engaging, and humorously written.)  

Gardening | The cool season is on its way

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Although it feels daunting as I write in the throes of August heat, I am contemplating my fall garden. For early cool-season crops, I shall sow a variety of brassicas, such as purple sprouting broccoli and tatsoi, a compact Chinese leafy vegetable. Kohlrabi has a bulbous stem that is sweet and crunchy in salads, and is delicious steamed or braised. Kales are relatively easy to grow, as is the ubiquitous collard, but whatever I plant, my family has to enjoy it and unfortunately stronger tasting leafy vegetables aren’t very popular. Radishes, also a brassica, are a quick crop; they take just 20 to 30 days to harvest, and their peppery crunch really spices up a salad. Apparently the French eat them as a snack with a little butter and salt.