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May 20, 2012

May Activities in Florida Garden

Whew! Somebody aircondition Florida, please! It has been an extremely hot spring.

At the end of May we usually finish harvesting spring season vegetables and put our garden tools away till September, for the most part. Even harvesting becomes a chore because it is too hot to go to the garden and pick tomatoes. I let quite a bit of tomatoes to fall to the ground, luckily, chickens picked them up. I sometimes let the chickens into the garden at the end of the harvest season to clean up.

Now it's a good time to preserve the harvest. I usually just can crushed tomatoes. It's the easiest way and the end product is very versatile. Tomatoes are pretty easy to can. Because they are acidic, you can use water bath method, no pressure canning required.

If you planted tomatoes in succession, you might still have quite a bit of green tomatoes in the garden; these will continue to ripen till July. This year I want to try growing tomatoes over the summer, in complete shade. This might or might not work, time will tell, but it's a worthy experiment.

Other than that, cowpeas and okra are Florida gardener's best friend. They love heat and pretty non-demanding. Plus, both can be used as a great compost builder.

You might also like these posts:

Types of tomatoes: determinate or indeterminate?
How to replant tomato seedlings
Sturdy tomato cages, 10 Pack - free shipping


  1. Good idea on canning the tomatoes. I canned several quarts myself the last couple of weeks.

    I need to work more on succession planting but get a little carried away when I start out the season. Then I end up with way too much produce at once and no time to preserve it properly.

    The neighbors don't mind though.

  2. Tim, you did awesome on your quarts!
    This time (due to the lack of time) I did "lazy" canning, meaning, I crushed the tomatoes in the food processor, then brought them to a boil and ladled into the sterilized quarts. Then, as usual, I put sterilized lids on, but this time I did not process them in a water bath. I put these (5 quarts) into the refrigirator.

    We eat a lot of crushed tomatoes as pasta sauce or other tomato based sauce. So, I figured, these will be eaten pretty fast anyway.



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