First Garden

SWFloridanewbieFebruary 16, 2014

Hi , New to gardening here in North Port Florida . I have a couple questions as to soil , weeds,and seeds.
I am on a very tight budget for this.
What I plan on doing today plant seeds(Poblano-Cucumber-cantaloupe-green pepper-romaine lettuce and couple other things in egg cartons until seed grows a few inches tall. Then plant them in a garden .
My first question is i have had black plastic over the sand for few months to kill weeds/grass will that be enough to kill those until i can get plants a foot or so tall ?

I also plan on plantings the plants then running plastic in rows close to each plant like a check board to keep weeds down while putting a little mulch around each plant will this be ok ?

What is the best bug killer in general to keep them away any home solutions i can use ?

and lastly I live in FLA so it is very sandy should i put in some potting soil into hole or just put plants into the sand ?
Thanks for any suggestions again I have ZERO knowledge of growing anything this is my first attempt but really would like to get into growing my own veggies .

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Hi again ,
I also shouldve said that the garden in summer will get direct sunlight from sunrise to 2-3 pm so most of the day in summer . I also live in ZONE 9a I believe is what they're calling it .

The garden will be up against the house and a 4 foot tall flower bed box type thing . It also will be about 8 foot x 10 foot big . I am recently retired and do have a lot of spare time to take care of the garden but do not want to invest a lot of money if it dies or gets eaten by bugs . I hope i have provided enough info to get some type of advice/help .

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:23AM
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Uggh Sorry , I forgot to add that the Cucumber seeds,poblanos, green pepper seeds all came from store bought produce . How long does the seeds need to be dried for ?

I get ideas as I am eating the produce so i take out the seeds now LOL otherwise i would just buy the seeds like i have for the cantaloupe, broccoli , lettuce etc

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:25AM
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Well I will try to give some advice. First, I am not an expert on this, but when you take seeds from some plants and produce, if they are hybrids (specially bred), then the resulting plant you get may not be the same as the parent. So you might get a slightly different poblano pepper for example. It will still be a pepper, of course, but may not be the same color or flavor. Still it's worth a chance. The black plastic will kill things like existing grass and weeds but not the seeds that will sprout. I would definitely not use black plastic as mulch because it is too hot and will absorb heat. I would definitely use an organic mulch, like pine straw, old leaves, shredded bark. Even shredded newspaper. Why don't you do a little research on the subject called "lasagna gardening" and "square foot gardening" I think that will help you. As far as pest control, that is a big deal in Florida. I would put bird feeders out for sure and bird bath (you can homemade make these) because birds help tremendously. I do not use chemicals really except for fire ants, so I try to be organic. You could use a product called Preen and there are other names which keeps seeds from germinating, so if you sprinkle that around it will keep the weed seeds from germinating but your little plants that you put in will be ok. I know this is rambling but there is a lot more to this than this simple post can explain. It is do-able certainly. Take it slow and keep it small at first. you will be amazed how fast things grow and take up space.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Let me add that plants need organic matter, unless you are growing cactus or stuff that naturally will grow in mostly sand. So yes add organic matter to the whole planting area, or at least to the area you are putting your transplants in. I would add "humus" or "compost" or "composted manure" buy the cheapest bags. You can also do "sheet composting" or "trench composting" with plant matter that you are throwing away (don't use diseased plants, however). You can start a compost pile too. Also if you use organic mulch (pine straw etc) it will break down over time and improve your soil. Do a little reading about soil, compost and mulch, that is the foundation of a great garden. You may be able to find some of this free, if you are around pine trees, also grass clippings and raked leaves. These all make great compost/mulch. Maybe a kid in the neighborhood will get some of this for you.?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:27AM
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