Garden Progress

Just thought I’d share a little progress note with you.

We are starting seeds for the new fall garden. I’m excited to be able to grow things now that wouldn’t grow during the hot summer here.

Lots of sprouting going on!

And we’ve been prepping our beds for some special seedlings. These are our Seminole Pumpkins! I’m so excited to be growing this Florida native in my garden this fall! If you look closely, there are nine little seedlings in that bed. We’ll be giving it some more mulch a little later on.

And I thought I’d share some of the ways we get things accomplished here at our house. I’m not able to go outside for hours, helping with all the gardening tasks. And there are SO many, you can be sure! When it’s cooler, I can sit and help outside, but it’s still just too hot for me to sit out there now.

So, this is how I help. We cover the floor with sheets and cardboard, set up a table, bring in dirt and pots and plants and I help get things done. These were our strawberries. They’ve grown and multiplied for several months in this wagon and needed to be separated in order to bloom in the fall and winter. It felt so good when that job was done. Doug rolled them back outside and brought in our other wagon to load up all the pots.

There would be no garden if Doug didn’t help. I am so thankful for him! He says I’m the brain and he’s the brawn…LoL! Not really, but it does sort of describe our strengths. I do all the planning, plotting, choosing seed, buying supplies, laying out the garden; and he supplies the brute strength. I’m so grateful the Lord put us together on the same team.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our day.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Hello August!

I’ve never really been a fan of August. As a youngster, it was always too hot to do much outside, and too boring inside. I was an only child until the age of 13, so no siblings to play with. I also had to start thinking about the upcoming school year, wardrobe, routine, pressures and supplies.

August marked the end of church Summer Camp weeks (my absolute favorite thing about summer!) and the lazy, unplanned mornings at home; and the calendar started filling up with lots of activities, some I enjoyed, but many that I didn’t.

Now, however, I’m finding the joy in August. Not only are some things started to really take off in my garden – despite the heat! – but now starts the time of planning and research and plotting out my new fall garden scheme.

I love researching what will grow here in my zone (9b) and learning which plants make good companions to others. Did you know that you should not plan onions and/or peppers near your beans? Yeah, neither did I, until I started studying.

And did you know that now is the time to start your seeds for all those things that wouldn’t grow here during our hot summer? That’s right – broccoli and carrots and lettuce will do well here during the fall when the heat diminishes and the hours get shorter.

There are also certain varieties of each veggie and fruit that do best here. We need onions and garlic that are short-hour varieties because our days are getting shorter now. We don’t have the 16-hours of sunshine a day needed for those long-day varieties.

And the Seminole Pumpkin does really well here in Florida because it’s a native variety. The Red and Yellow Roselle Hibiscus do well here too, and will soon have beautiful calyces to harvest for teas and preserves..

I’m also trying a tomato variety that is native to Florida, the Everglade Tomato. It is sooooo tiny, and the fruit will be very small, but it’s nice to have something that actually likes to grow here. 😉 And our course, a Mulberry tree is always happy in Florida. This one is “dwarf”. Yeah…I’m thinking it doesn’t know what that word means! Ha!

So, I’m finding plenty to be excited about in August. It’s not only a time of transition, but also a time of savoring…enjoying the still moments before the rush of our autumn routine pulls us away.

Enjoy what the last few weeks of crazy Florida heat is doing for your plants and soil, instead of wishing the hot weather away. Autumn will come, just like always. Let’s enjoy each day God gives us.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Planning a Productive Summer

As the temperatures rise and the activities of the school/college year wind down, we grab our coolest sunglasses and fix our eyes toward summer.

We head into this month of June with a huge list of To-dos, Must-sees and Can’t Misses. The 3 months stretch out before us uncluttered and full of promise.

The problem is that, usually somewhere around the middle of August, we realize that the To-dos didn’t get done, the Must-Sees weren’t viewed and the Can’t Misses were…well, missed.

With that in mind, I’ve created a cute little 90-day Summer Planner.

(The picture and title are clickable. Links may be affiliate links that provide us with a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It’s called “The Summer of Me” not to enforce a totally selfish mindset, but to remind us that WE only accomplish what WE plan to accomplish. No one else can set our goals for us. They must be something we’ve determined through prayer, Bible study, advice from trusted counselors and the Holy Spirit’s leading.

This little planner has 3 month calendar pages:

14 weekly pages:

Several pages for notes, summer activities and a look toward the Fall, and a Daily planner layout for each page of the Summer.

It has everything you need to plan a great Summer and actually succeed at having one!

When you pick one up, I’d love it if you left a review – pro or con – whether you like it or not. This is my first foray into self-publishing and I’d really like to know what you think!

Thanks so much for reading.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Life in the Garden

It’s a beautiful day in the garden today! Lots of life happening.

You have to pay close attention, so you don’t miss it.

God is the Master Gardener, at work in the soil of your heart today too.

Ask to see it all through His eyes, so you don’t miss out on the incredible growth He is bringing about in your life today.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

Busy Bees

We’ve been busy, busy, busy, getting seeds into the ground and setting up our garden. This will be another picture post, as I don’t have a lot of left-over energy for writing all the words that make the sentences that make the sense. 😉

Tomato and Pepper Seedlings sending up their little stems.

I’m trying to be patient and wait for the second set of leaves on these little guys before I transplant them!

And even though I didn’t get a picture of him, we’ve seen a little bumble bee buzzzzzzing around our blueberry plants. Yay for pollinators!!!

Coconut coir, vermiculite, perlite and compost

I’m becoming enamored with mixing my potting soil. It’s so satisfying to move the ingredients around until they thoroughly mixed and ready to go into the planters.

Bare root strawberries

These arrived in the mail on Monday. We soaked them and got them into the soil right away! Isaac’s old wagon makes a great planter. It even has pre-made drainage holes in the bed! The company I ordered from sent FOUR extra strawberry starts. I had to scramble and find another planter. They looked very healthy after their bath and I’m so excited to see how they do!

The company I ordered from was https://handpickednursery.com/ . They are a Veteran Owned Business.

Raised Container Garden

This represents about 1/3 of our garden so far. The drip irrigation was a new project for me, and I enjoyed it immensely. AND it was incredibly satisfying to turn the water on for the first time and get water dripping into EVERY plant and have no leaks or lines popping!

We still need to regulate the nozzles on the stakes, to be sure each plant is getting the right amount of water, but since some of these plants won’t be in this section, we’ll wait to do that when the final buckets are in place.

Urban trellis.

All of our climbing vegetables and fruits will be in front of the gate here, trailing up these sections of fencing. We’ll have a couple different kinds of melons, cucumbers, squash, zucchini and more.

The master list
The master plan

My plan is ambitious, I know! And I’m hoping it’s a success. But ultimately, I know that I will learn so many things, whether I have a successful garden or not. Then I can build on the knowledge I have, and the things I’ve learned, to make a more successful garden the next time.

Ultimately, I’m leaving the results up to the Heavenly Gardener! After all, He’s the Creator of each tiny little seed I planted. We’ll see what He wants to teach me as I garden this year.

In Him,

Alesha Kay

In the Garden

Onions just peeking through the soil.
Happy radishes!
Drip line irrigation for the spatially-challenged. 😆
These are going to smell sooo yummy!
Funky nasturtium seeds.

We’re staying busy in the garden. Waiting to transplant tomatoes & peppers as soon as they are ready.

Watching God work,

Alesha Kay

…And So It Begins

I know it’s not spring yet, but here in Florida, things tend to get a head start on everybody else. We’ve already had a couple of very warm days and next week we’ll be in the 80’s five out of seven days.

So, it’s time to get the seedlings started: tomatoes and peppers today. (You can click on each pic to see the whole subject.)

We’re starting with one determinate tomato and one indeterminate, since we don’t really know which will work best for us. We’ve got a yellow bell pepper, a sweet red pepper and a jalapeno.

We’ll be transplanting to buckets when the seedlings are big enough. We’d wanted to do raised garden bed planters, but the lumber was just SO expensive. We decided to go with buckets which are much cheaper and have the added benefit of being portable in case a hurricane heads our way this summer.

Other plants in our yard are getting started too: blueberries and bananas.

We also a few pineapples growing in another spot in the yard.

I’m very excited about our gardening this year. It’s the first time I’ve done the research on the plants, purchased heirloom seeds and planned things out with Doug. I’m hoping (and mostly praying) that it’ll be a huge success.

Are you gardening this year? I’d love to hear what you have planned! Leave a comment below and let me know what you’ve got growing.

In Him,

Alesha Kay