Hurricane Irma Survivors

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We had little structural damage from hurricane Irma, but some of our garden took a real beating as I posted here. In addition to the wind damage, our entire area was sadly afflicted by the salt water carried in the winds. Many of the trees and shrubs in our area look as though they are burned on their windward side.

Our little garden spot seems to have recovered well. My Meyer lemon was nearly stripped of leaves, so I pruned it back, removed a lot of the lemons, and gave it a couple of gallons of fish and seaweed fertilizer. It is making a spectacular comeback.

meyer

A closer look at the little new leaves:

new-leaves

Surprisingly, some of our annuals that I plant in my raised vegetable beds came through unscathed. They are putting on a fabulous fall show!

marigolds

This is a dwarf marigold that is supposed to only grow 10-12 inches tall. I think somebody forgot to tell it that.

linaria

The little purple linaria next to it was a rescue from a half off shelf in a nursery. It was nearly dead when I rescued it. Notice the volunteer zinnias in the upper right corner?They are from a dwarf zinnia that didn’t survive the storm but left some seeds behind. Right below those are some tiny tomato seedlings that I have started.

I have a terrible time growing tomatoes in Florida. So I have decided that every two or three weeks I will plant a few seeds to see if I can discover the perfect planting time. The real tomato issue I have is that my plants grow to maturity, set green fruit, then suddenly completely wilt overnight. I can’t find the reason for the issue. It doesn’t seem to be the variety (I have tried many types), or a virus because it affects virus protected types, or a particular insect, like the famous Florida nematode (I grow them in raised beds). I am sure it in’t a watering issue, my beds have ooze tubes for deep watering, and polymer crystals for water retention. Oh, and not to mention, I rotate my tomato plants between three different raised beds. So I have decided that it must be a timing issue. I hope this works! I have never had to work so hard just to get a homegrown tomato!

On the other hand, my pepper plant have not only weathered our blazing hot summer, I only lost two plants to Irma! The survivors are making a spectacular comeback:

chilies

I guess I can always buy tomatoes from our local produce stand like I do now. I am delighted to be able to grow my choice of peppers!

Do you have success growing tomatoes?

Until next time,

Toni

 

 

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