Hurricane Ian’s Wrath On Smith Garden

Before I get into the damage that we had to our garden, I wanted to take the time to address the people who lost family, friends, their homes and cars.

The devastation that Hurricane Ian has left behind for so many people in the southwest part of Florida is heartbreaking. It is also extremely sad to drive around my area to see people’s furniture out at the street to be picked up. I cannot imagine having to do that. Physically, mentally and financially. You have people who have already suffered through a pandemic, loss of jobs, the rise of food and gas only to be hit by a hurricane of this magnitude to cause more suffering.

As for us, yes, we lost some of our garden from the 20 inches of rain that submerged our land, but we are very grateful that was the only thing that was damaged. Many didn’t make out as well as we did unfortunately.

Now on to our garden:

Hurricane Ian has come and gone and so has part of our garden. We had 3 days of torrential rains with 50mph winds and 70 – 90mph wind gusts in East Central Florida.

The garden was submerged by water and battered by winds. We watched the water as it got higher and higher to the point where we could no longer see the garden anymore. Lemmy The Lemon Tree, Jimmy The Lime Tree and Gloria The Plantain Tree were taking on water as well. There was nothing we could do but watch it happen and hope for the best at that point.

Wendy The Blood Orange tree is much taller than the other trees but we worried about it’s strength and if it would hold up with the flooding and wind. She did well but unfortunately lost the only orange that she was producing.

At one point we were no longer able to see Gloria as she had fallen over into the water. Lemmy & Jimmy were somewhat visible but we didn’t know for how long they would be able to hang on.

When the rain and wind subsided, Ron was able to rescue both Lemmy and Jimmy and pot them. Lemmy lost his lemons but the most important thing was being able to save the trees themselves.

As of right now, the ground is still somewhat wet but we’ve been able to get closer to the garden and we saw some tomatoes and peppers still hanging on! We were sure that nothing would be left but pleasantly surprised that we have some veggies surviving! I think that the next couple of days will answer our questions if the plants will continue to grow or if we will have to start over. Nonetheless, it is close to our winter garden season so we planned on planting a new crop soon and relocating the tomatoes and peppers.

The two blueberry bushes did well

Thank you to everyone who had reached out to us during this crazy storm to make sure we were okay.


Oh by the way, if you would like to donate to people who have lost everything because of Hurricane Ian, you can do so here

Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more up to date progress on Smith Garden

budget, garden, saving money, seeds

How to Score Seeds for your Garden on a Budget or for FREE

Buying seeds and creating a garden doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you would be surprised how easy and cheap it is! I’ve listed below 3 ways that you can start your garden without breaking the bank.

Using seeds from vegetables and fruit that you buy from the farmer’s market

A two-for-one way to plant seeds for your garden is to buy the actual fruit or vegetable, enjoy it and use the seeds to plant more in your garden. For example, we do this with peppers all the time. We keep the seeds, we dry them out for a few days on a paper towel and plant in our garden.

NOTE: Some vegetables do very well in the garden when you plant the vegetable itself. For example, we do this with potatoes. We cut a few that are small or not looking so great from the bag (I either make garlic potatoes or potato salad with the rest) and we cut them in half and plant. I cannot tell you how many hauls of potatoes that we have produced using this method! I highly recommend doing this and, on sale, you can usually get a bag of potatoes for $3.99. Worth every penny for us!

Garlic potatoes

Dollar Store Seeds

The Dollar Store seasonally sells seeds. You can purchase 4 for $1.00 or 2 for $1.00 (well, now 4 for $1.25 or 2 for $1.25 because, you know, inflation!), but, it’s very inexpensive to buy seeds from there. I’ll admit, we haven’t had the best of luck with the seeds we have bought from there but that doesn’t mean that they will not agree with the soil in your area! They are worth the try and very affordable.

Ask your neighbors, family and friends to save their seeds for you

Why not? They are only going to throw the seeds away, right? Why not ask them to save them for you, especially if they do not garden themselves? Free seeds? Yes, please!

Speaking of people who do not have gardens, I don’t think many realize how crucial it will be in the coming years that everyone have some kind of garden to grow their own food. If you do not have the room outside of your house, then there are plenty of ways to grow your own food inside your house or apartment. It’s not only crucial because of the rising price of food these days, but it’s also so much healthier for you and your family! You know exactly where your food is coming from and there’s a sense of relief in knowing that, at least for us.

Happy Gardening!