Now that I've finished preping the new raised beds.......

joewormOctober 23, 2011

What do I grow?!!!!

I'm in North Florida and this is my first attempt at a vegetable garden.

Need ideas on how and what to plant in the 4' x 8' raised beds for a Fall/Winter garden.


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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Here's a link to the Univ. of FL's veggie gardening guide - scroll down to Table 4 see the cool season planting dates for your area....

Here is a link that might be useful: Veg. Gardening Guide

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Any idea on how to plant those things in a raised bed?

What goes where?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 12:16PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Not as much expertise as others here, but here's what I can share:

I start almost everything in recycled seedling celpacks, using a soil-less seed starting mix. But you can also buy seed-starting kits @ most of the big box stores that come w/ the soil-less mix, celpacks & a covered tray. I recommend that for a beginner, as it's practically foolproof & that's what I did @ 1st. Just keep covered trays out of the sun & uncover & expose to sunlight when seedlings sprout.

& of course, you can buy transplants to get a head start, tho the varieties can be limited. & since it is sort of late, transplants for things like broccoli, peppers, tomatoes,eggplant, etc. will give you a head start before it gets too cold. Things like lettuces & other greens are fast growers & can still be started from seed.

Beans, root crops like carrots, beets & radishes (& dill) should be seeded directly in the ground - they are unsuited to transplanting, IME.

As far as placement, there are many sources on the Gardenweb (& elsewhere) about companion planting, square-foot gardening, etc. You might also check out the Vegetable Gardening forum here.

& 1 of the most common mistakes(& which I still seem to make occasionally) when starting out is planting things too close together, so check the recommended distances for each different type of plant.

Another thing that works great for me is to mulch veggies thickly w/ hay or straw - it seems to prevent a lot of diseases, discourages weeds & improves the soil.

Fertilizing is a whole 'nother story - I grow organically & prefer to avoid synthetic fertilizers & pesticides. Others here grow terrific gardens 'conventionally'. There is an organic gardening forum & soil & compost forum here @ Gardenweb - & our county agricultural extension agencies are a terrific resource for lots of free info & advice.

& some folks are very scientific about gardening, while others are not interested in science @ all. I think I'm somewhere near the middle, reading & learning the science, but also just sort of 'winging it' more often than not. Gardening is a learning process & I love learning new things.

Here's wishing you luck & happy gardening = )

Here is a link that might be useful: Find your county extension

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Thanks Carol,

Guess I'll buy transplants this year since it's a late start for me.

I'd also like to go strictly organic. No chemical fertilizers or pest control.

How do you fertilize your garden using organic fertilizers?

Do you grow plants that discourage insect problems?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 6:23PM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I use lots of bagged compost, since I cannot make enough to cover all my beds & mine is full of weed seeds. I use mine mostly to make 'tea' & amend planting holes.

The other fertilizers can vary, but my mainstays are composted chicken manure, alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow), bone meal, cornmeal, blood meal, seaweed extract & milk.

I heartily recommend Organic Gardening magazine for anybody starting out - lots of great info, & the website is a wealth of info too. That & the organic & soil forums here, taught me almost everything I know.

Here is a link that might be useful: OG magazine

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:54AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It's not to late to start collards or lettuce from seeds. If you can find some or have some used 4 packs or 6 packs or even a tray that plants came in you will save alot of money. Those seed growing things from the store are expensive. Plant the taller plants in the back of the garden, so you don't shade the smaller ones. Check out where the sun is during the day in relationship with how your garden is laid out.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 11:47AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Also we use dried grass clippings for mulch. It is softer than straw or hay and it's free! it really keeps the weeds down well.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Thanks Folks,

Any opinion on what varieties of vegetables are better.

I was thinking Romaine lettuce. What's a good eating collard, I like collards and other greens.
Any other ideas would be good too!!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 3:23PM
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My first year as well and I am in Southern FL. Sounds to me that you are off to a good start and Carol and Zach gave some great advice. I'm growing Green Salad Bowl Lettuce, Georgia Southern Collards. Got my seeds from a website called Victory Seed Co. They are all heirloom seeds so you can harvest the seeds to use for next year.

I use a Squarefoot Gardening method if you are looking for a way to begin you may want to look into a book called All New Squarefoot Gardening. Has tons of information and good whether you use this method or create you own.

As for fertilizer I just started using a fish & Seaweed emulsion, a solid compost and am looking into diluted ocean salts to a wide spectrum of minerals.

I just did an update on my garden check it out it may give you some ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Photo Update

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:46AM
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JY, garden looks good. I may give those heirloom seeds a try.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 12:56PM
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I've been gardening in north Florida for 30 years. You will find that lots of things will survive over the winter here but they will just poke along until February if started now. Collards (Georgia Collards are my favorite) should really be transplanted by early to mid September to get a really good winter crop. I would try transplants now and give them lots of fertilizer and keep them well watered to urge them on. They will grow during the cool weather and short days of winter but not very fast. The same goes for lettuce. You can still get a good crop of radishes if you plant now. You can plant carrot seed, mustard (Tendergreen for mild flavor, Giant Red for spicy), Red Russian Kale, and Detroit Dark Red Beets. They won't do much until late January or early Feburary but then they will grow like gangbusters.

Broccoli is iffy over the winter as a really hard freeze in the low 20's will kill most varieties. Some years you get lucky with fall planted broccoli but most years we have killing freezes. I usually set broccoli transplants out in mid February and cover them with straw if a hard freeze threatens. Green Sprouting is my favorite for flavor and it stands the spring heat well. Start your transplants under plain old fluorescent shop lights the first week in January and set them out in February as soon as the weather seems to be warming. And be sure to try Eclipse Green Peas. They are wonderful for this area started in early spring. Plant them at the same time you set out your broccoli. They take less cold than other varieties and more heat and are very sweet. When other peas have become bitter due to spring heat, these are still sweet and delicious. My best pea. Last year they were available from Vermont Bean Seed Company. Sugar Snap peas also do well in warmer weather.

Most farm stores sell seeds for far less money than catalogs and as a beginning gardener you may want to start there. The varieties are limited but you can get a huge amount of seed to play with for just a few dollars.

Make sure to plant your collards at least 2 feet apart in all directions as the plants will eventually get pretty large. Lettuce plants can usually go a foot apart, and beets and carrots can be planted about 6 inches apart. In the winter I plant my tallest plants to the north and the shortest to the south to take advantage of the winter sun.

I fertilize with chicken manure from my chicken pens and mulch with oat straw. Years ago, before I knew better, I mulched a garden with hay (bermuda) and ended up with a pasture when the seeds in the hay sprouted. Don't let anyone tell you that bermuda hay is a hybrid and the seeds won't sprout. As much as I hate to admit it, I had to use Round Up to get rid of all the bermuda grass. I always garden organically but I couldn't get rid of it any other way. Every little piece of root left in the ground sprouts. Good luck and just enjoy your garden. The only way to learn to garden is to experiment and that's part of the fun!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 10:42PM
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