Time for more backyard urban gardening

blog-planting-squareThere is a great way to ensure that you have access to fresh, locally grown produce – grow your own.  As I’ve shown you in the past, you don’t have to have a lot of space to grow your own vegetables.  Whether you’re a condo dweller or own a detached home, you have plenty of space to provide at least some of your weekly intake of vegetables.

February is the time to start your winter vegetable planting in Southwest Florida.  I have recently relocated my raised garden beds (that you all watched me build last year) closer to my back patio.  This will make them easier to tend.

Backyard urban gardening is always educational. I am having a carpenter ant issue in my garden, which I am painstakingly dealing with using boiling water.  (There’s nary an insect alive that it doesn’t kill.)  I am also experimenting with an idea I found online of sprinkling generous quantities of cornmeal near the ants.  The theory is that they eat it, drink water, become enlarged when the cornmeal expands and die.  Another website claims that diatomaceous earth will kill them.  I am anxious to see if one of these two natural methods will actually get rid of them.

I, as all of you, despise ants, and hope my non-toxic methods of eradication are successful.  (Although I did read one forum response from someone who feeds them breadcrumbs because she likes to watch them.)

For winter vegetables, it is my intention to plant lettuce, carrots, onions and turnips, all of which I can fit in one of my 3′ x 6′ beds.  I am using “square foot gardening” tips from Gardener’s Supply.  There is a wealth of knowledge on their website.

Last year, I only planted one of my garden beds, and this year, I will try for all three.  I can’t imagine the amount of vegetables I will be able to harvest.  There is nothing more satisfying than eating the vegetables you lovingly raised.

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