Looking for advise for a new garden
OK, first hello all. I have been stalking these forums for a few weeks now and just figured I would say hello. I am located in South Florida and more specifically Broward county well West of I-95. Just about zero chance of freeze and if we get one it might last 1-2 days. I haven't had any real vegetable garden of any size in about 12+years so going to be jumping in the deep water right off the bat. I have 2 kids, 8 and 4, who want to help out but really this is going to be me 99.9%.
I need some advise. Going to be making a raised garden for vegetables. Going to be growing a lot of stuff but the main ones will be tomatoes, peppers(hot and sweet), eggplant, root vegs.(carrots, radish, etc.) and herbs. This is not nearly a complete list but a start. Going to have at least 4-4'X8' raised beds. I am quite handy with tools and have been doing irrigation for well over 20 years for my family business that is 58+ yrs old.
OK thats the basics. My main question is about soil. I will be starting with 100% new soil. I have a pickup truck and can get truck loads full of soil from a bulk landscape place. What should I buy to start and what should I be adding to the soil to get a solid start.
Second starter question is starting plants from seeds. Seems a lot of people on this forum start seeds indoors. I this because of cool weather so they get a start before spring or a necessary step. I would rather start seeds in the beds and plant 4 times or more what I need and thin to what I want rather than bother with a grow light indoors.
The landscape beds will be (as of now unless someone tells me how wrong my idea is) 17 1/2" deep with 15+" of soil. Plan is to run micro irrigation with valves for each bed so I can micro manage the watering. These beds will also have full sunlight from about AM to PM (or more) and I am planing to build a removable shade screen for when the heat sets in.
Any ideas and/or help would be very much welcome.
Thanks in advance,