Thursday, August 13, 2015

Papayas, Okra and getting ready for fall gardening

It's been a busy week getting ready for fall gardening.  First thing that needed to be done though was to transplant the papayas that my neighbor grew over to the bee farm.  There were many more papayas than anticipated though.  My nephew has been helping all week and we spent several days getting a few yards of topsoil and then transplanting the papayas into pots that we had available.  We had to prioritize this since all the rain of the last month loosened the roots of some of the papayas and laid them down.  If we didn't move them asap they would not survive.
Nephew Joey in charge of transporting the papayas to the Bee Farm

This whole papaya idea is not yet completely formed.  I really don't know where I'm going with these and what we'll do with 80,000 pounds of papayas come harvest season.  But it should look pretty cool and very tropical.

The Okra is going to town and we'll be frying up some Okra tonight.  I didn't realize how pretty the flowers were on the Okra plant.  Beautiful.
Okra with flower
It's been tough trying to source horse manure for the compost pile.  Some of my sources were flooded out during the rains and others are just not reliable sources.  Eventually it will happen and hopefully sooner than later so it can compost and be ready for the fall gardens.

Seeds were ordered for the fall garden include tomatoes, carrots, peppers, moringa, onions, pumpkins, zuccini, beans, Florida kale, lettuce and a couple others I can't remember.  This year I cross referenced a document the state of Florida puts out showing recommended planting dates for plants as well as recommended subspecies of plants that do well in Florida's climate.  That should make a difference.

The solar powered rain barrel irrigation system was also completely redone.  All the wiring was pulled out and a new switch was installed.  There was a problem with a screwball switch I originally installed that caused the pump to work irregularly.  The new wiring solved the problem and it's pumping water perfectly now.  The other significant modification made was we dug a trench and installed pvc pipe from the city freshwater supply to a junction in the rainbarrel system and added a checkvalve and manual valve to feed the irrigation system when the rainbarrels run dry.  I discovered that problem the hard way during a spell of draught in  the spring where I had to spend a few hours manually watering everything when the rainbarrels were empty. 

The next step in the irrigation system is to install timers and to finish adding other sections of soaker hose / sprinkler heads.  Not a big priority now but it will be needed soon enough.  The key is to make gardening as automated as possible giving you the time to attend to details like weeding and chasing varmits from the plants.  And most important, my afternoon Siesta.

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