Tag Archives: Gardening

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.

Gardening | It’s a long hot summer!

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

After a very mild winter, summer came early — and with a vengeance. The seasons roll around with the usual regularity, but it seems increasingly clear to me that our climate is changing, whether it’s agreed or not that we are responsible. Levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have been increasing rapidly since pre-industrial times, which should be very concerning as this affects all life on earth (https://tinyurl.com/yy4p4w34). For example, in late June, Europe was sweltering in an unprecedented heatwave, with terrible repercussions (https://tinyurl.com/yywuu26k) and Alaska snow melt has been causing alarm: https://tinyurl.com/y3ymk6ar.

Gardening | Phew – Summer already!

By Master Gardener Volunteer Lesley Arrandale
mail@floridanewsline.com

Having suffered from temperatures in the mid- to upper-nineties with very little rain, at the end of May I checked the 30-day forecast from NOAA to see what might be heading our way (https://tinyurl.com/yxnrqevg). Apparently temperatures were to be higher than usual in June, and precipitation could either be average or more or less than usual. As always, rainfall predictions seem to be the least reliable.