AS THE GARDEN GROWS

      The sound of two Mantis tillers working beds to be planted sounds like a huge swarm of angry bees. It reminds me that plants ready from the greenhouse will soon have new homes. The situation is a bit touchy with the actual temperatures during this heat wave in the 100’s. It is very important to thoroughly water the seedlings before transplant so root systems are hydrated. Also important is to cool the air over transplants with sprinklers to keep the foliage from burning  in the sun.  Squash rows are very affected by excessive water conditions and require well drained soil conditions. Due to previous heavy rains the squash plants in our ground rows are not producing heavily. All squash planted from now on will be in raised beds where it can take the daily saturation from the sprinklers. We attempt to grow squash through the summer but as heat conditions worsen towards August the rotations tend to succumb and last shorter and shorter periods of time. The Zephyr squash has proven to be the most resistant to heat and will see us through to fall.

     Another three rows of okra are being planted today as the previous three are beginning to give us about a pound a day.  It won’t be long before buckets of okra will be harvested followed  by jars of pickled okra in the farm store. If you have canning plans for the summer check with us about buying canning squashes at $1.00 off per pound. We can save a bunch of squash and let you know when we have 10 lbs. or more for your canning day.

      If you wish to market your canning efforts, we have a certified kitchen for rent. That way, you can avoid the hassle which comes when you do not have a Florida certified kitchen. Check with us for details.

     We have green basil plants ready in the greenhouse for your purchase as many of you have asked for plants for your herb gardens. We are very happy with the Eleanor green basil as it is very resistant to grey leaf mold.  This is important for those who farm in the swamp. I look forward to seeing you this weekend on the farm.

 Lee Solomon, Chief Gardener

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