Sunday, January 03, 2021

Raising the Stakes


The raised beds are up and I'm loving them! This was the view a couple of weeks ago. 

These are the 6' x 4' x 15" Deep Root Cedar Raised Beds from Gardener's Supply. Really great quality beds, easy to assemble and the price isn't bad, especially if you find a coupon code and/or take advantage of a free shipping opportunity (extra shipping charge does apply, however).

We've since gotten even further than the above photo indicates. There's now crushed limestone surrounding the beds, good soil filling them and the perimeter beds, and drip irrigation lines in each bed. We used the Rain Bird Drip Irrigation Conversion Kits to change two sprinkler heads into multi-drip lines. This has worked out really well, despite being one of the things I was most nervous about in this endeavor.

And yes, I did some fruit tree shopping and went a little hog wild! Big thanks to Leonardi's Nursery for taking great care of me and answering all my questions during my shopping trip.

I'm learning a lot about growing fruit, for sure. Most citrus these days are self-pollinating, so they don't necessarily need a partner to dance with. However, growers are encouraged to plant a second variety nearby to bolster production.

The perimeter garden will contain the following:

  • Pink Lemonade Blueberry
  • Blueberry 'Native Florida'
  • Satsuma Mandarin
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit (2)
  • Barbados Cherry (2)
  • Persian Lime
  • Key Lime
  • Variegated Lemon
  • Meyer Lemon

Honestly, I never even considered growing cherries until reading about how well Barbados Cherry does here. Coupled with the fact that it isn't a full-blown tree, but rather a large bush, and the decision became easy. It's said that three or four of these cherries contain a full day's worth of Vitamin C. I can't wait to try them; the larger of the two plants I have should actually produce this year and I'm beyond excited.

In addition to the rather large citrus trees listed above, I have two small potted "Buddha's Hand" citron plants that have been hunkered down on my lanai. These bear fascinating-looking fruit that are mainly used for their skin for flavoring dishes. Because they are so tender, I'm not sure that planting these outdoors is wise just yet; I may just pot them up and move them outside as temperatures warm. 

I also bought an olive tree (!) during my shopping trip and am really excited about that too, although it's staying in a pot for now as a I continue to deliberate where best to plant it. 

My partner in this adventure has been James Weston, a local lad who runs a garden consulting and composting business called Epic Compost. James is a knowledgeable gardener and very hard worker and I'm so glad I hired him. 

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