Female Flowers and Male Flowers

Female Flowers and Male Flowers

When my cucamelon vine failed to produce any fruit in the past season, I decided to take matters into my own hands and do some hand pollinating. As I was talking about this to a friend I could see the puzzled look come across her face. “How do you tell the female flowers from the male flowers?” she asked. Good question! Now not all plants will have separate female flower and male flowers. In fact it isn’t many at all, but the ones that do are important to us agriculturally.  All of the plants in the Cucurbit family will have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. This includes cucumbers, loofah vine (shown above), watermelons, squash, zucchini, and of course, my little cucamelon vine.  … Read Full Post
Loquat Recipes

Loquat Recipes

As I am sitting down to get this written I have to laugh at myself because, with the best intentions, I feel like I only got half of what I planned to do completed. Two weeks ago I said to Mike that we were going to try to make as many different loquat recipes as possible. Well, we only got two things completed and they both involved alcohol. Huh. Botanically, loquats are in the Pome family, along with roses, apples and pears. The scientific name for loquat is Eriobotryae japonica. Loquats are sometimes called Japanese Plums as well and in addition to producing these tasty little fruit they are a beautiful small tree for Florida. Loquat trees are one of my favorite elements to an edible landscape because the plant itself is quite attractive.… Read Full Post
Growing Starfruit

Growing Starfruit

Is there anything more satisfying than walking out to your yard picking something to eat? Growing starfruit may very well be one of the easiest fruits you can grow in Florida.  When friends ask for a fruit tree suggestion, this is always in my top three.  Now, there may be limited uses for the overwhelming harvests of fruit, but that is when you become the most popular coworker, friend and neighbor!   We planted our small tree in the spring of 2012 and after a little more than two years we are regular picking fruit and certainly have more than we could ever eat.  You can see in this comparison how quickly starfruit (also called Carambola) trees will grow.  Today our tree is about ten feet tall, so almost all of the fruit is still within reach when we really get on our tippy toes.  … Read Full Post
Growing Summer Vegetables in Florida

Growing Summer Vegetables in Florida

The extra hours of daylight can be a calling to many of us to spend a little more time outside, but the hot and humid weather can be difficult.  It isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult to grow summer vegetables in Florida.  If you are feeling the urge to spend time in your garden, take these tips to make your summer vegetable garden successful: Plant Selection:  The saying “right plant, right place” is just as important in your veggie garden as it is in the landscape.  Summer humidity is tough on plants, so only a few of our crops will be successful.  I would recommend sticking with sweet potatoes, okra, southern peas, collards, and cherry tomatoes.  Sounds like a traditional southern dinner!… Read Full Post
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