First Garden

kikistreehouseDecember 7, 2011

Hello.I started my first Garden, I went to the Forestry to buy mulch and ended up buying seeds.So with grandchildren all excited the lady there said that you could plant anything ,anytime, here in Florida. Is this true?. The children and I started raddishes,beets,carrots,scallons,beans,cucumbers,cabbage,peas,tomatoes. We started them in seperate pots. (I really didnt think they would come up so fast).My husband is working on raised beds. Anything anyone can tell me would be greatly appreated. Do I put straw or haw after I move them to the beds.Iam really walking in the dark here. I also started strawberries , Bought 3 pots from Walmart and Ive have runners making new plants. The kids was excited to eat a few of the strawberries but when we picked them they had black spots on them? Any advice.. Thank you , To all. Jamie

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Iam sorry , I forgot a question?. This probley sounds stupid,Is there a such list or calender of when to plant? what vegetable? Here is Florida. Iam in Ft.myers. Thank you. Jamie

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 5:12PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

"you could plant anything ,anytime, here in Florida. Is this true?"

Sure..if you don't care if it dies:) She was wrong.....very very wrong.

Far as when to plant what try this and see if it helps

Here is a link that might be useful: EDIS planting schedule

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:07PM
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HA! Common myth that you can plant anything anytime in Florida. Just wait for the summer in Ft. Myers to see how untrue that is. You'll learn. Just come here and ask questions, and we'll help.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Hi Jamie,
This is my second year gardening, but I feel compelled to tell you a few things I've learned. I know what it's like just getting started.
I'm in zone 10B (Fort Lauderdale), so I'm sure there is a variation of what works here and when, but I will say that I thought the same thing as you last year. I thought everything grows here all year round, and the above posts are correct. That is far from what has worked for me. I think most of what you listed sounds good for winter. I'm growing much of the same and it is doing well. I did start my seeds much earlier, but I will say that most of them just started really taking off, like the peas, etc. Those things like cooler temps.
If you just started your tomatoes from seed, you may have some trouble as the weather begins to cool. I started tomatoes last November, and they came up but did not grow. I just left the darn things in the beds and would you believe that come February, they started to shoot up and I actually got lots of tomatoes! So this year, I started my tomatoes from seed back in mid July. They are producing like crazy, but not without lots of pest problems. I think I have read here that the spring tomatoes work out better. I'm going to do most of mine then and only a few grape and slicing in the fall from now on.
I checked out several library books (I still love to read books and look at pictures:)) on gardening. I recommend reading here and also getting some books at the library. If you find a good one, you can purchase it as a reference to keep at home. I found one that I like by Tom MacCubbin called Month-by-month gardening in Florida and I find it to be a good basic starter guide. He suggests when to plant certain things, but he also has recommendations for fertilizing, and pest control, etc.
Raised beds and pots work great here. Also, this is now a good time for herbs. I planted dill/parsley/cilantro in the summer - no dice. But now...yippee! Same with sage. Basil - not now, not really. It does really good in the summer here. Oregano - mine went strong all summer and is still going strong!
My strawberries last year were in the ground. I did amend the soil, but they still hardly produced. This year, I am late getting started (the plants I ordered should ship next week), but I'm using raised beds. Last year, I had just enough tiny ones to keep my grandson happy. I had trouble with the place on the fruit that lay on the ground. If I didn't get them almost instantly, the bugs and rot did.
I use coastal hay as a mulch, but found I needed it mostly during the hot months to retain moisture in the soil, though don't put it too close to the base of the plants. I don't have any around my plants in my beds right now. They seem fine without it so far.
Good luck with your gardening adventure!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Thank you so much . I did go to the site
Before I started planting. We started this journey in November. So far everything looks good except the starwberries. They have black spots? I do a little Gardening in the yard with plants. I dont have the heart to throu away seeds and off springs.. I have many Ive potted just to keep from throuing away.LOL I cant remember how to post pictures here ,, These people are great ,, I needed help with the canning and Now Iam more confident with it.. The timming and processing is so important . I admit I had a friend telling me how to do the old way. I have chossen not to go that direction. I'll stick to the Ball book.And the Food extension office. So do I use hay or straw? For the beds after the plants have been put in ? Whats the best ..Thank you jamie. Oh and why do you wait 3 weeks after tilling the ground to put plants in? Thank you again. Jamie

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:16PM
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Jamie, I always recommend Florida Gardening Magazine to all new Florida gardeners. It's published bi-monthly and is strictly about Florida gardening. Go to to subscribe. It's hard to find in stores. Cora

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 7:04AM
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I don't know why you wait 3 weeks after tilling to plant. That's new to me. Maybe someone else knows.
As for hay vs straw, I use coastal hay because that is all I can find here in So FL. It's more like grass. I buy it by the bale at a local feed store and keep it covered in my yard with a tarp and brick to hold down the tarp to keep it dry. It is usually a little "green" when I first get it but after while it browns up and dries out. I use it as mulch and as brown in my compost pile if I need it.
When I first started, I bought the "hay" that you can find around Halloween at the stores because that's all I could find. I'm quite embarrassed to admit that now. I used it and all I got was weeds! I had to hand pick it off the top of my beds because it was full of seeds so be careful!

Cora, thanks for the magazine suggestion. I will be subscribing to that!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 8:53AM
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The tilling thing is for colder climates, I thought, and it wasn't 3 weeks it was 3 months. In the late fall, right before first frost, you till to turn the insect larvae up onto the top of the soil so the cold will kill them during the winter. We don't have to do that here. You can till and plant the same day if you want.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 11:42PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Tilling is important down here too. I see lots of folks do it here. It helps kill the bugs that have overwintered and I think the soil needs to be airated. I would strongly suggest you visit your local ag. center. They have lots of free pamphlets and some one there that can answer your questions. They should also have classes (usually one hour or so) on various subjects. Welcome to Florida. I lived in Vero Beach, Fl for 16 years and now I live in Georgia about 8 miles from the border, so I still feel like a Floridian.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 2:46PM
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