Winter is coming…

Actually, it is FINALLY here in zone 9B and the greenery is fading away to dull and lifeless brown. It is chilly most of the day, and the few things I have growing right now are fairing okay. When I say few, I mean few!! It has been a stress induced busy season for us, and I only got around to planting a variety of peas, squashes, brassicas and greens. I did transplant a volunteer tomato plant I found hiding in the weed-infested beds I have towards the back, and to my surprise, it is doing quite well! I have no clue what tomato species it is, so it will be a mystery until it fruits! How fun is that?? Volunteers are the best!!

Winter comes with a mixed bag of emotions. From those I know or have spoken to that have lived up North, it kinda sucks up your joy. Yeah, the first snows can seem magical but then it is work to maintain walk ways and driveways. Streets become slippery and everything is just bland. Florida is different in the fact that it is 38 degrees Fahrenheit tonight as I type this, but my neighbor’s palm trees are still green as ever. My grass is dead, and well basically the same can be said for the rest of the county. It’s dying back with these low temps. Trees are just dropping leaves like crazy, and some species of trees are not even bothered. It is a true Florida winter, hah!!

I guess Winter for many regions differs from the next, and comes with it’s own set of qualms. How do you deal with the drabs of Winter in your area?? Gardening is not at my fore-front right now, but in this “interim” before spring, I see all these projects that need to be done. I think I am going to create a list for myself to get these things taken care of before the crazy growing jungle comes back to haunt me. I am also thinking of things I would like to add to the garden this year, and planning Spring’s garden layout so I can order seeds. This year I would love to find things to plant in my vertical planters saving valuable space in the garden for some more raised beds!! I also want to re-build our chicken coop and make it more user friendly while also building it with better materials. It needs to be able to weather our humidity and hold up to our summer storms.

I am leaning towards more sustainability in these uncertain times, so this year my list is a little different. In addition to incorporating vertical planting, adding more raised beds and making a better coop, I also want to add meat rabbits (rex’s) to our homestead, and possibly a chicken tractor for meat birds. I hope to have converted a majority of the back yard into a garden by the end of 2021! Let’s see how far we get!

Check out my Amazon Wish List for things we are looking forward to trying on our humble little urban homestead! If you are feeling like being a blessing, start here!

One thing I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about gardening is the opportunity to experiment with different methods, and do a little zone rule bending! I love challenging the ways things can grow and how you can conserve precious space in your garden. This year I want to utilize growing bags for pepper plants, nursery tree pots for corn and carrots grown in clusters VS row grids, and my salvaged vertical planters for things like herbs and bush beans!

Have you got any plans for your Spring garden yet? Share!!

Id also love to hear from folks with vertical planters. What have you grown with success in vertical planters??

Happy Gardening friends!

Published by FloridaGardenGirl

Hey Y'all! My name is Nicole, and I am a wife and mother just trying to make it through this thing called life and survive in one piece! I decided to start up gardening here in our home state of Florida (zone 9B) in 2018 dappling with one 4'x8' bed and I stuffed what I could in there. It was AMAZING! I had this giddy excitement inside me that was screaming for joy at my new found hobby, and it has grown so much more over the past year or so! Now we own laying hens, garden in 8 raised beds in our back yard almost year round, and we homeschool! I have learned so much from this experience and I would love to share it with you! This exciting adventure has encouraged me to start blogging about our experiences, successes and failures in hopes to inspire others to follow the desires of their heart and reach for their dreams. This is a space for lifting others up and freeing yourselves from the woes of the world! Relax and garden a little. You will be surprised how amazing it is and how rewarding it can be!

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  1. In order to maximize space, I grow lots of things on the 7 trellis made for the potager, plus along the fence as well: cucumbers, winter squashes, pumpkins, indeterminate tomatoes, lots of various melons, sweet peas, decorative gourds, climbing roses, and climbing beans of various sorts. Plus it creates some shady areas to grow salad greens during the hottest parts of the summer! I also grow grape tomatoes in the two pots by the front gate, and tie them to the arch posts (putting new soil in the pots each year to prevent diseases) and I’m thinking of growing something on the two posts that hold up the Lady Cottage “porch.” It’s a long time til spring here, but two new seed catalogs came today so the fun has already begun!

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