It has been a hot and humid summer in Central Florida. After my last big eggplant harvest, I pulled up all but one plant that still had flowers and threw in my gardening gloves. Three weeks ago I checked the sweet potatoes and have left them to grow on their own, surrounded by marigolds that flower in wild abandon. I was confident that the regular summer rains were enough to sustain them. When oh when will my potatoes start cracking the soil? I'm ready to harvest!
I'm wishing for freshly picked vegetables and tonight have begun planning for late September! Pull up the potatoes, compost the plants, compost what's left of the eggplant bush and then all vegetable plants will be removed. If I remove ALL of the marigolds, I can start fresh with a clean clear 4'x16' slate, ready to be turned under with additional composted soil and earthworm juice.
There is a stink bug problem at the vegetable garden co-op, and we are not supposed to use poisons/chemicals. According to the bug repellent list, petunias are what I need. Should I pull up every single nematode repelling marigold and replace them with petunias? I planted a few marigolds in early summer and they took over, but I suppose if me, a pretty flower lover, would stay on top of things and dead head the flowers, this would stop the prolific marigolds in their tracks. Currently I have a garden full of tall and mini marigolds in an ocean of of yellow, orange and reddish colors that are blooming their little hearts out and I am wondering how strong those roots will hang on when I start pulling? It's gotta happen, there is no room for vegetable gardening!
This a list of some vegetables I am considering in my late September planting (prone to change at a moment's notice): broccoli, spinach, peppery endive and variety lettuces, bok choy, kale, sweet peas, lima beans. They won't all fit, so I have to make some decisions, probably cutting the peas and beans, and possibly broccoli from my list.