TTW20D1: Cheapass Gardening

I donated blood yesterday after waking up late, so there was not much in the way of exercise after that! I did do a little bit of gardening over the weekend however, and kept the eats pretty clean.

140.0 lbs this morning due to the cheat meal lunch I had at a local diner with friends. I’ll see if I can deflate back down to 138 territory tomorrow.

This morning’s workout was TT Phase 4 Workout B followed by a 20 minute outdoor interval sprint session. I haven’t performed that workout in over a week and was low on iron due to TOM and blood donation, but I found that I didn’t need to drop any of my weights, so all was good. I am just glad that all of that is out of the way already. I skipped the outdoor walk since it was $#$!@ hot outside and I had already gotten in my outdoor activity when the sun wasn’t blazing so enthusiastically overhead.

With my nutrition and exercise back on autopilot, I have been able to focus on some of my other hobbies. Last week was spent organizing my personal finances again, and this week is devoted to finding ways to have a decent flower and vegetable garden with a budget of, oh, $50 for the entire 2007 year.

I’ve been a very tardy gardener so far this year, barely doing anything besides a bit of weeding, removing exhausted plants from last season, and transplanting three or four purchased pepper plants into the dirt in my square foot garden plot. Heck, the only reason I even have a tomato plant and Thai giant peppers right now is because some unharvested fruits fell off of some plants last year, and the seeds came up all by themselves in my paved courtyard off the master bedroom. I currently have one or two monster tomatoes in there and five small hot pepper plants.

And weeds. Lots and lots of weeds.

The seed starting that should have been done around December/January finally got completed this Saturday with about 27 little homemade origami newspaper seedling pots (2007 cost: $0) being populated with a variety of eggplant, pepper, cherry tomato, malabar spinach, corkscrew vine and geranium seeds (2007 cost: $0 – Seeds were all acquired last year or before). I probably should have gone for something more heat tolerant than geraniums, but I figure that I can just get a flat of cheapo marigolds from Wal-Mart this weekend for under $4 and save myself the germination time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that winter will be mild again this year, because my little seeds aren’t going to have a lot of time to get going. As it stands, we’ll soon be in full-blown 98 degree/99% humidity Florida summer nastiness down here, and only the heat-loving veggies I listed above and a few other selections (okra, sweet potatoes, cucuzzi) will survive and produce anything under those conditions.

At least the fruit trees I planted in 2006 are doing well–a dwarf banana (that is rapidly approaching 6′ in height), two lychees, two mangos, and four types of figs. Florida may blow chunks when it comes to many types of veggies, but we are aces for fancy tropical fruit!

The strawberries I planted last year (and chose not to pull out) are starting to produce lots of small, sad berries now. I have to forage amongst the dense leaves every morning to catch the stunted little fruits before the local squirrels and bugs get them.

As far as other stragglers from 2006 go, I still have about half a dozen sweet potato vines I should probably dig up and somehow figure out how to propagate so I won’t have to purchase more slips. There is also a little Fairy Tale hybrid eggplant that is making a valiant comeback in the SF garden, a giant Brazilian orange eggplant that looks more like a decorative flowering shrub than a vegetable, a square of green onions, another square of chives, a pineapple, and two bell peppers that I really need to yank out. The non-veggie 2006 plantings are doing a lot better. We have three brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpets) that are taking off like crazy in the heat and over a dozen daylilies that are blooming their heads off already.

If I didn’t love fresh garden veggies so much, I could happily plant nothing but fruit trees and easy-care perennials.

Anyhow, with $32 of my $50 gardening budget already gone, I’ll be doing my best to start my own perennial flowers from my embarrassingly large collection of seeds instead of paying outrageously high prices from catalogs and local nurseries. It’s going to take a LONG time–the sago palm seedlings I started last year are still only 6″ tall for instance–but I think it will be worth it in the end.

Besides, I have to justify the cost of the seedling heating mat I bought last year somehow.



– TTfW Phase 4 Workout B (35 min)
Warm-up (8 min)

A1) DB Step-up (3×8 @ 40 lbs)
A2) DB Incline Press (3×6 @ 40 lbs)
B1) 1-Leg Hip Ext. plus 1-leg Stability Ball Curl (3×12 for each)
B2) Bodyweight Rows (subbed in for Wide-grip Seated Row) (3×8)

– Outdoor Interval Run (20 min)

1) 3 egg whites, 30 g raisins, 30 g oats
2) 1 small banana, 1 small apple
3) 4 oz. tilapia, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix, 1 medium pear
4) 1 T. ANPB, 2 unsalted rice cakes
5) 4 oz. coconut chicken breast, 3 c. spinach/lettuce salad, 2 T. light dressing
6) 1/2 oz. walnuts, 2 T. raisins, 4 oz. tilapia, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix

Supps: 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium 600+D, 3 fish oil caps, 1 serving l-glutamine

2 thoughts on “TTW20D1: Cheapass Gardening

  1. Maggie,
    I would like to be completely lazy and get your list of what actually grows well in Orlando.
    I don’t think I want to spend tons of $$$ buying supplies of things that fail miserably and eventually die after taking up all my time and loving care.
    So, what veggies and fruit trees do you have success with? And where did you get the dwarf banana? Is that one growing?

  2. MBJB – I think I scanned a big list of veggies, fruits, flowers, and bulbs that do well in Florida last year. I’ll dig around for it and post this week.

    Veggies that do well in the summer: eggplant, peppers, sweet potato, cherry/grape tomatoes

    I also keep chives and green onions growing all the time without much effort. They are handy to have around since storebought tends to go slimy on me before I use it all up.

    Veggies that are good for fall/winter: lettuce, mesclun greens of all kinds, pak choi, beans, radishes, carrots

    Just about any tropical fruit seems to thrive here: citrus, lychee, mango, papaya, guava, banana. Strawberries have been disappointing for me, and my blueberry bush is er…sad.

    I got my dwarf banana tree from Park Seed on sale for under $7. It is now close to 9-10′ tall (max height) and threatening to smother my emperor lychee, which, alas, I will soon have to move. I just had a dream last night that the banana had started to produce some cute baby nanners for me to eat, but alas, I was just hallucinating.

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