What is more lovely than the scent of a flower? Eating a flower! Edible flowers add beauty and flavor to dishes and drinks. They’re sure to be a conversation piece at a party. When growing edible flowers, follow these simple tips.
Let’s face it – gardening in Florida can be tough. With our heat, humidity, rains, and poor soil, it seems like the deck is stacked against us. However, much of the Earth enjoys a tropical climate, even warmer than Florida. Yet native people have been living off the land and growing food in abundance for generations. Rain forests thrive too. There must be a way to garden despite all of these hurdles. Choosing the right type of plant for the growing season is so important to your garden’s success.
I was recently gifted 30 pounds of freshly picked but slightly over-grown pickling cucumbers. My family likes pickles but that is thirty pounds is A LOT of pickles, so I turned to google to find inspiration for alternatives.
Growing food doesn’t need to be hard or expensive. You don’t need a bunch of raised beds or expensive planter boxes. If you have an area in your yard about 30 feet long and 10 feet wide give or take, you can grow a pretty good amount of food for very little money and take care of it in an hour or two a week.
I’m determined to grow food. Not even the quick hands or stomping feet of a toddler can keep me down! I’ve revamped my yard, taking a little time to get myself ready for my toddler’s curiosity and energy to be helpful to his growth and my garden’s rather than utter destruction. Here are some ideas that have really helped me.
Most people start a garden with this vision of saving quite a lot of money at the grocery store. “Yes, the garden is an expense, but think of all the money we’ll save later,” I hear folks say all the time. As a farm girl from up north, I’ve been there. Here’s my advice for beginners.
I want to share a little about my favorite weed. Not THAT weed! Spanish needle, bidens alba. It goes by many names – beggar tick, shepard’s needle, and others.
Many people consider this plant to be the worst of all weeds and I do not disagree that those poky little seeds get stuck everywhere and are a pain to remove. BUT, considering all of the wonderful and beneficial aspects to this wildflower – yes I called it a wildflower – I’ll put up with the little sticky seeds.
One of my favorite and easiest plants to grow is longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens). It is a perennial in the Tampa Bay area unless there is a freeze, then it may die back to the roots and return in the spring. In areas with colder temperatures, it can be grown as an annual or brought inside during the winter. It does grow year round, but growth will slow during the cooler months.
Convincing butterflies to visit your yard and stay a while can be a challenge. You might see them flitting through the trees, soaring up and down, occasionally stopping for a bit of nectar before cruising on to…? Where are they going? They have to hang out somewhere, right?
To understand how to make a haven for butterflies in your yard, you first have to understand what they are looking for.
Birds don’t naturally eat from metal and glass tubes hanging from ornamental hooks. They really prefer to forage for insects, nuts, seeds and fruit. In fact, bird feeders can contribute to the spread of disease if not washed and dried regularly.
There is an alternative. You could attract birds to your yard with commonly available Florida native landscaping plants.