TT W7D4: Mmm…Veggies

It’s that time of year again–time to get going with another season of veggie gardening to supplement my heavy vegetable addiction. Actually, it’s BEEN that time of year since November when winter failed to turn up. My Brazilian oval orange eggplant which produced only one measly fruit all last year due to a persistent hornworm infestation of all my tomato, pepper, and eggplant plants is now covered by pendulous bright orange fruits the size of premium Christmas ornaments.

Yes, that’s right.

Eggplants in February.

I’m behind on my planning, but I learned a lot last year about veggie gardening in Florida–what works, what doesn’t, and just how much I LOATHE tomato hornworms.

This year I am nixing the decorative wall of moonflower and morning glory vines because, just imagine, gypsy moths (the mamas and papas of those nasty plant-destroying hornworms) are attracted to said flowers. UGH. No wonder all my nearby tomato and pepper plants were chewed down to stumps. My garden was like a Stop ‘N’ Go for hornworm breeding. I am also giving up on berries of any sort. They just don’t like the Florida summers, and I could use the space for things that DO thrive.

Here is what I plan to put in this year:
– Transplant second Emperor lychee tree (currently in large pot) in the ground after removing strawberries
– Papaya tree from seed
– Peppers: habenero, pimiento, Thai giant, jalapeno, Bulgarian carrot, red hot cherry, Thai nippon taka, early Sunsation, California Wonder, Beauty Bell, probably some others…
– Tomatoes: Green zebra, purple calabash, yellow pear, Roma
– Greens: pak choi, Malabar spinach, green onions, mesclun mix, loose leaf lettuce mix, Swiss chard
– Peas/Beans: Sugar snap peas, snow peas, and soy/edamame
– Eggplant: Fairy Tale hybrid, Pingtung long, Rosa Bianca
– Other: Sweetpotatoes…lots and lots. Nothing else survives in the summer.
– Transplant daylilies and angel’s trumpets currently in containers into the ground somewhere.


Chest/Back with Trainer
– BB Flat Bench Press (12 @ 95 lbs, 10 @ 105 lbs, 8 @ 105 lbs)
– BB Incline Bench Press (12 @ 65 lbs, 10 @ 75 lbs, 8 @ 80 lbs)
– DB Row (4×12 @ 25 lbs)
– Close Grip Seated Cable Row (4×12 @ 85, 70, 70 lbs)

TTW7 Workout A
A1) BB Romanian Deadlift (3×8 @ 95, 105, 115 lbs)
A2) DB Flat Chest Press (3×8 @ 35, 35, 40 lbs)
B1) DB Row (3×8 @ 30, 30, 35 lbs)
B2) Elevated (Kneeling) Push-ups (3×8 per side)

TTW7 Core A

– Cardio: Plyo X DVD after work

3 thoughts on “TT W7D4: Mmm…Veggies

  1. Back when I was about 13 years old my brothers and I turned our cat doo doo infested sandbox into a strawberry garden and it was a smashing success! They were tiny berries compared to the ones in the stores that get large doses of hormones but they were the absolute sweetest berries I’d ever tasted (apparently all that cat manure really helped fertilize the plants, lol). The only mistake we made is that we needed to put straw or something like that down over the dirt because any berries with droopy vines that touched the dirt started rotting instantly and became bug food. The ones higher up thrived and were bug free. We didn’t use any pesticides at all and we had pretty average Florida weather that year, though I do think that after our bountiful harvest we neglected to water the plants so they all died and we lost interest in the project.

    Anyway, just wanted to share all that to let you know that it is possible to grow strawberries here.

    Oh, and I’ve heard that marigolds are a great plant to have around veggie gardens; I forget why but I think there are certain bugs that are offended by their scent. Something like that. Here’s to a bountiful harvest this year! 🙂

  2. Another companion plant to try to keep pests away from your plants is basil. Insects don’t like the scent of the oil it gives off, so they’ll avoid plants that are grown near it. Spearmint and catnip are two more, however you have to be careful with those as they are kind of obnoxious in terms of taking over a garden and are nearly impossible to get rid off once they are planted.

    Do you allow wasps to reside near your garden? Wasps are natural predators of catapillers, which is basically what a hornworm is.

    If you’d prefer not to go with either of the above, there is always Neem Oil. The stuff smells bad, but it is easily applied and doesn’t kill beneficial insects such as lady bugs who are predators of aphids. Fish emulision is another, but it smells worse than the Neem Oil. The good thing is ( besides keeping bugs away) it can be used every two weeks as a fertilizer and is safe to use on plant leaves. Just keep in mind that alittle goes a very long way.

  3. I’m totally jealous of all the pepper plants you’ve grown. Do lychee trees grow well in pots? How long does it take before the tree needs to be transplanted in the garden?

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