Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Monday, January 24, 2011

Turtle Visit and Signs of Spring

Hello everyone,
I had a visitor yesterday in the back yard! I think she is what they call a Chicken Turtle. I know she came from the canal and up into the yard to dig holes and lay eggs. You can see she is digging a hole (in back). When I approached, she quit digging and pulled her head back a little bit but didn't hide in her shell completely. I left her to her Spring time chore, thinking, "Spring is here....almost!

Today I went to the garden center to start mygarden stash and I plan to start planting tomorrow. I need an almanac, though and find out the best planting days. Does anyone else plant by the almanac? My parents and grandparents did and they were very successful gardeners. For example, if the "signs" are not right for beans, then you would have nice plants and few beans! The almanac tells you the best time to plant most everything.
I bought some sweet onion bulbs. I hope they do well. The price seemed right---50 bulbs for $1.50

I got carried away with lettuce, buying Bibb, Romaine and Angula. Yum! I got a basil, 4 eggplants, a tomato and a pepper, some red cabbage and 2 marigolds. I will also start some marigolds from seed. I always plant them in with my veggies and it really deters bugs. I also got some seed packages--oregano and parsley and Zinnias, which I love to plant---just throw out the seeds and Zinnias will come up.

My Florida gardening book says that January is the beginning of Spring in Florida. Even though we had frost a couple of weeks ago, it is more like March or April in the North. It is time to put out veggies and flowers. My book recommends beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, collards, cucumbers, eggplants, endive, garden peas, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onion sets, parsley, potatoes, pumpkins radishes, romaine, rutabagas, spinach, squash, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips and watermelons. Wow! What a garden THAT would be!

I am still harvesting broccoli every few days! I have frozen many packages from my 8 plants and they are still producing. After the first "head"is cut, then little pieces just keep coming on. I have really enjoyed this broccoli, one of my favorite vegetables. And not a bug. Tomorrow I need to harvest some cabbages, too.

I picked about a bushel of Navel Oranges today. They are so sweet and juicy---just delicious! I have a meeting at church Thursday and will be decorating the dinner tables with some Plumosis fern that is growing on my fence out front and oranges laid among the fern. It is nice to walk outside and find something one can decorate with right in the yard!

I hope you, too, have some nice garden plans going. Growing things is so good for the soul!!


  1. Am I allowed to ask if you can make Chicken Turtle soup with a Chicken Turtle?
    The broccoli looks pretty good Egretta. How nice it must be to have so much of it that you have to freeze it. Your list of veggies is making me think about doing a "census" of the plants in may garden, maybe in the middle of Summer. I reckon I would find at least as many plants in my garden as on that list. There may not be vast quantities, but I think variety is more important than having a glut of just a few things.

  2. Your garden plans look good. I hope your onions turn out better than mine did.

  3. We ate fresh broccoli from our garden tonight. It was yummy! Thanks for the tip on how to harvest it. I made sure to leave the little side florets to keep growing.