I’m taking a short hiatus from writing this blog.
Be back soon!!
I’m taking a short hiatus from writing this blog.
Be back soon!!
The days are getting longer and longer yet I’m still focusing on growing rather than wandering. In addition to the Square Foot Gardening which I mentioned in my previous post, the concept of “Earth Barrels’ has snagged my attention. This appears to be a different take on the Earth Box which has been around for a while. Both are self-watering containers.
I was first introduced to the barrel version at a small local nursery and was immediately convinced it would work. I have a tendency to over-water or neglect to water anything and everything plant-like. That, along with the notoriously long, hot, dry weather here in Florida means disaster for any plant in my care. With tomatoes in particular being thirst driven plants, my luck at growing them would be non-existent without a little help.
The Earth Barrel is made out of a plastic barrel and a PVC pipe. You fill the container with soil (in my case, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost), then place the hose in the PVC pipe to fill up the reservoir.
When water starts to run out of the small spill hole drilled into the side of the barrel, you know the reservoir is full. Then plant your plant. It’s that simple. Just be sure to add water to the reservoir via the pipe on a regular basis.
Although we purchased these ready-made for $30, if you feel up to the challenge, the Instructables website has step-by-step directions to make your own. Or, for a simpler project, you can go the route of a Tomato Pail. Find out how at the Full Moon Native nursery website.
If you haven’t heard of Mel Bartholomew and his square foot gardening method, then you are missing out. Don’t think you can have a real garden here in sandy Florida? Think again. I am.
After reading his book, aptly titled Square Foot Gardening, I’m convinced that I too can grow my own salad and more. Mel has a real method that eliminates a lot of the guesswork and the requirement of having a green thumb (lucky for me!).
The method is based on 4’x4′ squares, and we have three of them all connected. So far the frame for the raised beds is built and filled with a special mix of vermiculite, peat moss and compost.
We start planting lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and more this weekend. A local nursery, Full Moon Natives, has great information on their website on what to plant when, and how. Perfect for our area here in north Florida. After that, we’ll complete the fence. With the ever elusive armadillo in our yard, and bunnies in the neighborhood, we have no choice.
I can’t wait for that first fresh salad, made from the day’s pickings.
I’m feeling somewhat uninspired so far this week, so I’m looking for something to capture my attention and maybe motivate me to plan my next Florida exploration. Fortunately there are many ideas out there. And many of them start from such lists as this one, compiled by the Fizber real estate agency.
50 INTERESTING FLORIDA FACTS
It’s pineapple season!
Usually I just see pineapples at the supermarket but last year I noticed they were growing on the grounds of the Jupiter Lighthouse. That made me curious. Can they really be grown here in Florida? Shortly afterwards, my Mom mentioned she had saved the top of a pineapple she bought at the grocery store, and potted it for me. I finally got around to planting it in the backyard this past weekend.
Each night now, I head into the backyard, flashlight in hand, to check on it, and make sure no nutcase squirrel, armadillo or mole has attacked it. And I’m kinda addicted to the thought of it.
Apparently pineapple plants adapt to the warmest areas of Florida, along the SE and SW coasts. But lucky for me they can also grow in protected locations/landscapes throughout Florida. The optimal temperature for growing pineapples is 68-86 degrees (F). Temperatures below 28 degrees (F) aren’t tolerated, and slow plant growth may occur as a result of temperatures below 60 degrees (F) and above 90 degrees (F).
How to Grow Your Own Pineapple
According to the FloridaGardener, it’s easy to grow pineapples from store-bought fruit. Simply:
Pineapples are slow-growing, but if you’re going to buy a pineapple to eat anyway, instead of throwing the top out, why not give this a try?
Wacky Weather is the only way to describe this February in Florida. One day it’s in the low 50s, the next it’s in the high-80s. Last Saturday was my parents last weekend in Florida before returning to the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. And what did the wacky Florida February weather do?
I think these photos say it all….
I can’t wait to see what March has in store for us.
An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-reliant), or without substantial assistance from outside resources (govt., etc.) in order to minimize the effects of that change on their current lifestyle.
This “change in normal circumstances or lifestyle” could be caused by a natural phenomenon such as an earthquake, or manmade as in an economic collapse. Maybe it will be in the form of a worldwide pandemic. A Jacksonville family portrayed on last night’s show, however, is prepping, and leaving the state, for another reason. They believe Florida will be under water soon, or at the very least, iced over. That is, the earth is due for a magnetic polar shift which will wreak havoc and change the landscape of Florida, and the world, forever.
I never call anything crazy until I know more about it.
And what I know so far is that this is not make-believe. Research apparently shows that the north magnetic pole is shifting towards Russia. But how or when it will affect us is another matter. Interestingly, though, back in January of 2011, closure of the Tampa airport was attributed to the magnetic polar shift. According to one article,
“The Earth’s poles are changing constantly, and when they change more than three degrees, that can affect runway numbering.”
Craziness or reality? You decide.
Prepping is a smart idea in this state simply because of the hurricane potential. And with the economy in such disarray, prepping is a smart idea for other reasons as well. For more on prepping in Florida, check out the Florida Preppers Network.
And to see how Hollywood would portray the polar shift scenario in Florida, check out the movie Absolute Zero. That’s what we’ll be watching this weekend.