Friday, May 4, 2012


Oh My!

Lookout! It's the attack of the Fifty foot... Marigolds?
Pardon the horrid picture- It was raining and my phone is new. So I whipped my phone out, snapped the picture and didn't even gaze down at the phone to see if it came out. Apparently I was in too muc of a rush. But I couldn't NOT share this picture. These are the TOPS of the marigolds that I pulled out of the Tendergreen "bush" beans. Mine were not nearly bush beans. But, after their production I'm not complaining. I know to give them a few more stakes to climb next time.  They certainly gave me enough to harvest. In the 2 weeks I spent harvesting them I got over 3 pounds out of a 3'x2' plot. That is nothing to complain about! Especially seeing as how right at production time I went for a trip and came back to mildew on my plants. Bad gardener that I am I didn't treat it right away, either.

Mildew in Florida is one of the recurring nightmares here. It's one of the main reasons plants get pulled long before harvest or frost kills them. Mildew, massive bug infestation, rot, and molds are the major kickers. SO, in my garden there is very little tolerance for the white bloom. Once it got to where it had the chance to spread to other potential crops  (namely the newly planted sweet potatoes) the beans had to go. I have other beans waiting to replace these.

I have to say though. Normally I grow bush beans. I grow 2 types of them. Petite fillet and regular dwarf. I have always avoided these in between varieties. This particular variety grew about 4' tall. WAY to tall for me normally. But between flavor, productivity, ease of harvest, look of the plant, (yes it was a very handsome plant!) and viability this plant has earned the right to come back to my garden. Not many do that. I'm always trialing green beans to find my favorites. This one however will be one you will see time and again!

Next time though, I think I'll leave the marigolds to the tomato bed, and maybe the cabbages - I've just never seen a marigold go quite this crazy. Was is all the nutrients received from the beans? What was it exactly? Daphne - this is a single plant of your ground control seed you sent. Any of yours get like this? It was easily entwined with the entire bed of beans and had gotten into the eggplant next door and the blueberry bush next to it as well. Three foot tall and easily 4 foot wide. Amazing.

FWIW the section of the beans that was touching the marigolds at first seemed to exhibit a natural tendency to ward off the mildew for a while. Of course once the plant was covered in it - well that was too much.  Also to note that even though the bean plant was covered in mildew it was still both flowering AND putting on baby beans after the main harvest was completed. :-) Definitely a repeat for fall and future, even though it seems it may be susceptible to our Florida white creeping grudge. Then again - what isn't? Mushrooms... yup that's about it! Too bad I don't like them. :-P Oh, and this beauty - she likes the wetness. Canna's seem to do well. Too bad you can't eat them.
So, out with the Tendergreen, and the Petite Fillet as well. In went the Romano 14 - and hopefully this weekend the Soybeans will go in. The Okra is getting ready to bloom. I'm ready okra fritters will be on the menu again! I've kinda missed them. The first true spring tomatoes are well, late. Theya re small yet but on the vine and the onions just need pulled to go into those lovely golden fritters.

I broke down and ORDERED peanuts. I did. I couldn't help it. I have last years 'seed' But I wanted to try to get a heftier crop as my goal is to try to make some peanut butter this year. So I got a variety known for it's prolific harvests. We'll see. Anytime you can get 4-5 nuts in a shell rather than 2-3 you should automatically double harvest, right? I hope! It will be the first time I've paid for peanut seed. I do hope that doesn't make me a fool. Since I was ordering I also got some Soyu long cucumbers. I know they are supposed to do a lot better in our heat and be sweeter -so I'll keep you posted - Harvest Monday style. :-)
Speaking of sweet, hopefully I'll have a zucchini to share with you Monday - the first of many, many more to come. 3 plants this year 1 gray and 2 dark so hopefully I'll at least get enough to get sick of them before they start keeling over.

Tomorrow I'm off to go get the next generation of Benz that will hopefully grace my driveway for the next 15 years the way this one has. Wish me luck!

'Till next time!



  1. I'd love to know where you order your peanuts from. I think this summer I'm going to try peanuts in all my beds since I don't like any of the other things that can tolerate the summer heat. Peanuts certainly would be put to good use in our house!

  2. Kelly- 2 places. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (they specialize in seed for states in the South) and from farm stands. Yup. Farm stands. If I buy peanuts (raw) from around here I use those to replant if they are full, good and are more than 2 to a shell. :-) They ones I just planted were from SESE and were the Tennesse Red Valencia. Good luck! I'm with you, once it gets to about mid-July I'm at a loss. I don't eat a ton of okra but I do love sweet potatoes, so it is sweet potatoe vines and peanuts! :-D Oh, I do like the black crowders, they are like black beans -takes a lot of room- but good for the soil!