We have been enjoying another mild Florida winter. Our backyard gardening efforts have been successful and our little garden has big plans in 2014!
I spent some time updating our website and renewing our url in January. I added a local Florida Seed Supplier page to our website, and I am working on a new Local Nurseries page this month! However, I am most excited to share the new photo collection on our (right) sidebar. I love the collection of photos available after years of posting here.
Early Spring in the Garden
We have had lots of fresh broccoli for dinners this first part of the year. Our cauliflower and red cabbage should be ready in a few weeks! The herbs all came inside for the winter, and I love having their smell in the house. One of the larger garden beds is getting new soil and getting ready for spring seeds, and we are still eating fresh lettuce and carrots from winter’s efforts!
Even though it has been a mild winter, we still have had some frost. I am surprised at the number of flowers still blooming in our backyard. They have been protected by the fence and house, so they have continued giving us a little bit of color all winter long!
My little gardeners think we have too many seeds… and they just might be correct! So here’s a seed giveaway to make room for more, and to support our Facebook page! Win some flower seeds for your garden! We will send three winners a variety pack of flower seeds, all organically grown in our backyard, and collected by our family! Let’s plant some flowers and make the bees and butterflies happy this spring!
Just click on Rafflecopter link below (if entry box is not appearing).
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway starts February 19th, 2014 at midnight and ends February 26th, 2014 at midnight. Good Luck!
This month has been great for gardening! Our favorite part… we’ve been eating yard beans outside in the sunshine.
Yard long beans, also called asparagus beans or chinese snake beans, are a vigorous climbing annual that begins to produce long pods, ranging from 14 to 30 inches, 60 days after sowing. These delicious beans are full of vitamin A, vitamin C and folates! My little gardeners enjoyed them last year at a community garden and asked me to get some seeds for our garden this season.
If the animals will leave them alone we might also have strawberries soon.
The peppers are coming along nicely this season.
The beach sunflowers, or dune sunflowers, are adding a nice color to our beds.
For the first time I am attempting to save some parsley seeds.
The basil has been delicious this month!
I am excited to see the first of our purslane blooms. I have missed them.
This is my avocado tree. We started it from a seed in 2011 (see it potted here)!
In the garden, we are also starting sweet potatoes and sunflowers for the summer months ahead. We hope you all have found time to play in the dirt as well!!
Thanks for stopping by, Bee
This post is for my Daytona Beach area followers… we’re participating in another great seed swap to start off the year!!!
Seed Swap Ormond Beach Library
Tuesday January 29th, 2013
10am -11 am Meeting room 4
Come see me and bring some seeds to trade!
Extra seeds will be available for those with no seeds to trade.
Come start your garden today!
For more info contact Cory from Aquarian Bath: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a great time at our Daytona Beach Seed Swap Event earlier this month. I was so excited to take part, and the weather was beautiful that morning.
Here’s a video clip of our Seed Freedom efforts…
And here’s a list of the seeds I came home with…so cool!
Wild Florida Sunflower (small)
and onion bulbs from one of our sponsors Green Winters Nursery!
They are already sprouting in the beds…
I have a renewed excitement for seed saving this fall and I am looking forward to the next swap in January. The next one will be held on National Seed Swap Day, which is held on the last Saturday in January every year.
Sign up to be notified of future Daytona area seed swaps!
Happy Gardening, Bee
“Vegetable gardening offers many benefits, including sun, fresh air, exercise, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings. Vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida if you pay attention to the appropriate planting dates.” Check out UF’s IFAS Extension for more gardening info.
Here’s what we’ve been doing in our garden for the last month…
In September we started seeds for the vegetable beds… beans, collards, radishes, carrots, onions, and lettuce.
My oldest wanted to start the seeds in the playhouse and pretend it was her greenhouse. I think the protection of the playhouse was great for the seedlings.
We have been getting lot of rain here in the past month. The preserve behind our home is turning into a swamp and the mosquitos have been fierce. However, there are beautiful mushrooms everywhere.
Monarch butterflies are back in the garden.
The aphids are back too…
Our pineapple crop survived the transplant and is looking healthy!
Our avocado tree we started from a seed, survived the fungus it got and is looking good and healthy again!
Fall is a great time for bulking up your compost. We’re feature on EcoEtsy discussing tips for fall composting! Check it out.
Happy Gardening, Bee
On Tuesday October 9th I will co-host a seed swap event with fellow gardeners SFG Gardens and Aquarian Bath. This is a free event open to the public. We are raising seed freedom awareness in Daytona Beach, Florida!
Please join us…
Daytona Beach Seed Freedom Swap
Tuesday October 9th 11 AM- 12 PM
Sunrise Park, LPGA & Riverside Drive in Daytona Beach
Why is our ‘Seed Freedom’ important?
Seeds weren’t inventions by man and shouldn’t have patents. Five corporations hold 75% of the worlds commercial seed supply. Laws are being passed that hurt farmers and the freedom of our seeds. Our seed swap is part of a larger Global Alliance Fortnight of Action taking part Oct. 2nd – Oct. 16th, 2012.
The public is welcomed to bring open-pollinated seeds to share and trade. My favorite part of this event… new gardeners with NO seeds are WELCOME! If you don’t have seeds to share or are just interested in gardening this is a great opportunity! Not only will a handful of experienced gardeners be there to answer your questions, some great organizations have sponsored our event!
Please join me in thanking our sponsors who have donated seeds for our Daytona Beach Seed Freedom event.
In order to have food freedom we must have seed freedom.
If you can’t join us, SAVE YOUR SEEDS! Hope to speak with you on Tuesday.
Thank you, Bee
We had to clear out some of our zinnia to make room for fall gardening in our little garden, so I put the little gardeners in charge of this task.
They used their own scissors to cut the fresh zinnia flowers, and then I pulled up the plants. As I saved some of the zinnia seeds for next year, the little gardeners pretended to play florist with the cut zinnia and this is what they made…
I was surprised how well the zinnia lasted in water. They become quite stinky as they sat in their “vases” but the flowers held their color and didn’t wilt for a few days. I would recommend having fresh-cut zinnia on a back porch or somewhere outside because of the smell.
The little gardeners really enjoyed their pretend play in the garden. They sold the vases to their dad and I, and we paid them in pretend garden money (leaves and acorns).
Since they played so well, I was able to create this path around one side of a garden box. First I weeded and transplanted some of the plants there were growing there. Then I simply used some broken stepping-stones and some dirty sandbox sand. I will be able to reach the backside of the box much better this fall!
We still have a lot of work to do. We have been cutting back and pruning all of our tropical landscape. ;) Florida summers grow thick in our backyard. We have replenished our soil and re-potted some of our container garden plants. Most of the Fall’s seeds have hit the dirt and we will have more updates soon!
Have a great weekend!
Our weather has been in the 80s here on the East Coast of Florida, making it a little unpredictable as to when to start Spring gardening this year. Since we are heading to the beaches and wearing tank tops, I went ahead and planted our spring seeds. If the weather turns cold in March then I will just have to cover the crops and hope for the best.
Today, I thought it would be fun to make a list of our gardening inventory. I saw another blogger do this once, and I really enjoyed reading it, so I wanted to share!
Our Backyard Edibles:
- John Baer Tomatoes, a few have already arrived.
- Carrots, long imperator
- Onions, evergreen long white bunching
- Green Ice lettuce, a few heads are still left from winter gardening.
- Celery, Apio
- Sugar cane
- Lemon grass
- Parsley, Italian
- Oregano, Greek
- Vicky plant
- Mint: spearmint, orange & pineapple. The mints are currently making their spring comeback. I have missed them.
- Banana trees
- Aloe Vera
- Seeds we are waiting to sprout: red & plum radishes, sweet peas, carrots
I could go on & on with a list of our trees, flowering plants, and native landscaping, but the sun is shining and it’s Friday so I’m going to go outside and play with my little gardeners.
Have a great weekend!
We have been enjoying the seed saving side of gardening and have collected more marigold and lettuce seeds than we could ever need. So, I decided to use old snail mail and send a few of my gardening girlfriends a little note and surprise pack of seeds in the mail!
Happy Spring Cards with Marigold Seed Packs
I used the following materials that were already on hand:
left over brown kraft paper,
my x-acto paper cutting board
stamps & ink
left over coin envelopes
leftover invitation envelopes
leftover shipping labels, that I craft punched and used as stickers
I cut & folded the kraft paper into 4″ x 5″ cards to fit my left over invitation envelopes. I hand stamped the front of the cards with my favorite…honey bees!
I packed marigold seeds into the leftover coin envelopes, and used old shipping labels to tell what was in side and growing information.
I put a little message in side, and I hope they have marigolds sprouts in their gardens soon!
Happy Spring Gardening!
We have been busy bees around the garden and backyard this week:
We had some non-native shrubs removed, and replaced them with some native ferns.
We cleared out a space for another raised gardening bed. I can’t wait until my husband has time to start building it!
I am learning about collecting milkweed seeds, since my plants are seeding.
I am also excited to report that I wrote my first gardening tutorial for EcoEtsy. Please check it out and leave me a comment. You could win a pack of organically grown marigold seeds!