Even with the smoldering days of August upon us in South Florida the garden still offers up some dividends.
This week I found that some of the Bromeliad pups that I had separated from their momma plant back last November are now starting to bloom.
Here is the link to the post back on November 16th 2009 where this guy and his momma were separated.
I still have three other plants of this Bromeliad all in various stages of getting their bloom. It is one of the attributes to the Bromeliad plants that they will give you many pups . Each will produce dividends for you in the form of more pups for free.
The harvested pups make great gifts or trade items for other plants from fellow gardeners.
The Bromeliads make great tropical or sub-tropical plants. They are for the most part Idiot proof. An important consideration here at the sandpit.
With a little patience these guys will add lots of new plants to your garden for Free. Also an important consideration here at the sandpit.
But the hot weather dividends are not exclusive to the Bromeliads. Back a couple of months ago I planted Sunflowers in a few of my raised beds here.
Besides the fact that I really like Sunflowers as a plant they also produce dividends for the good of the order here.
When it is just too hot to grow most vegetables here the Sunflowers seem to do fine in the broiling summer heat.
And in the best permaculture practice for South Florida I let the plant remain in the soil after it is spent.
The intense Sun here in several weeks time will dry the plant out as well as the Sunflower seed head. After it is dried out the seed head is clipped off and the plant stalk clipped at ground level leaving the plant roots in the soil to compost naturally.
The plant stalk goes in the compost bin and it is time to reap the dividends from the dried seed head.
And the dividends are of course free Sunflower seeds.
Note: Yes bare my feet are included in the above picture. Being in the tropics it is good permaculture practice to wear as little as possible. In fact in South Florida most folks only wear shoes for ceremonial occasions. Anyone seen with shoes on South of Ft Pierce is most likely a tourist from up North, a politician, or someone trying to sell you something.
Where was I . Oh yeah, Sunflower seeds.
Well these here Sun dried heads that I harvested today produced some delectable dividends.
After cleaning the seed heads of two dried Sunflowers I came away with almost two cups of seeds. That is after deducting all the seeds that I ate while cleaning out the seed heads.
These remaining Sunflower seeds are going to be mixed in with my birdseed for the benefit of the wild birds that visit the bird feeder in the garden.
There are quite a few more Sunflower plants left not yet ready to harvest so It looks like a good supply of Sunflower seeds will be available to feed the birds, feed me , and even replant another crop from the collected seeds.
As for some future dividends accumulating now in the garden during this oppressive heat and humidity I submit these Watermelon plants.
Here is the answer to what to grow in the worst heat. These Black Diamond Yellow Belly Strain Watermelon plants. So far they seem to be unstoppable by the heat and just keep on growing longer vines. It is to the point the vine tips have to be redirected every day just to keep them contained in my enclosed garden area.
Just two of these plants has turned the sandpit into a Watermelon Vine jungle.
And as to the plant in the picture that the arrows point to, can you guess what it is.
Well it is the mighty Neem tree that I started from seed several months back. That's right this is Neem #3 and it is almost three feet tall now. Neem#1 and Neem#2 are still in containers and need desperately to be planted out in the yard. I keep wavering back and forth as to where to put them.
These Neem trees will definitely have some dividends in the future for the Sandpit if they keep prospering. They love the hot weather and if they survive the Watermelon Vines trying to grow up them will be a asset to the Sandpit.
So really August hasn't been such a bad month for gardening and it has produced dividends with prospects of future dividends to come.
Now if this here baby melon keeps doing it's thing maybe I will get a fifty pounder out of the jungle of watermelon vines. In the meantime I have plenty of Sunflower seeds to munch on.