FL tips on sq.ft. garden

Flamona(9A/BFla)August 20, 2005

Hi, just completed digging an 8x8ft garden plot. Now am working each 4x4 area with compost & manure. It's been very hot and only able to work early morning or evening. If anyone else on this list is from Florida that has done the Sq.Ft. gardening I would appreciate some tips. Thanks

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Ray_Scheel(z8b/SS31 E. TX)

I'd suggest switching - immediately - to a no till, smother (with cardboard / newspaper) and fill (with compost) approach to building new beds. I've done it both ways with no notable differnce in garden output, and the no till smother route is the only sane choice when building new beds in what is essentially an outdoor sauna.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 5:07PM
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Thanks Ray, But I already have the plot dug and completly weed clean. Read about the no till after I had already dug it out. I am waiting now for a little cooler weather. (outdoor sauna is a good discription of the weather lately)before I start to plant.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 10:00PM
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Flamona - If you're interested in timing, here's a post I placed regarding the timing of plantings...it may help you know what to do next. :)
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: FL Gardening Forum - September/October Planting

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 7:41PM
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I'm doing SFG in TX but I'm grew up in FL. I remember from gardening as a kid with my mom that nemotodes are a huge problem there. Try to get nemotode resistant plants esp for tomatoes. Plant lots of french marigolds and then turn them under for decent marigold control. The best method is actually covercropping with marigolds and then turning the crop over before planting tomatoes and then plant marigolds with tomatoes. It has to be the right kind of marigolds. Below is a link about texas seeding. Since we get as hot or hotter you could use the seeding times for the areas that meet your temps for your area. I gotta say, as hard as it is making a bed in FL, in TX clay gumbo soil it's 1000x harder. In florida you will also need to get lots of nutrients into your soil-so lots of compost. FL soils are lousy for nutrients and that affects flavor.

One thing that's better in TX is the humidity, FL air is like swimming through soup by august. That hurts some plants, some just can't take the humidity and are too succeptable to mildews. I wonder if you need to give a bit more room in FL in a SFG to account for the humidity by giving the plants better circulation. My MIL says that Black Kow compost is Spectacular.

As for what you can grow, I'm in a colder area than you and I'm still planting beets, turnips, radishes, lettuce, greens (get into the greens its so cool-I'm working on Kale, mustard, lettuce (red salad bowl, green salad bowl, delicato, oak leaf (red and green), black seeded simpson), claytonia, corn salad, arugula (two types), swiss chard (bright lights is georgious), spinach, endive, raddicchio. Most of the greens grow lousy in the summer cause of the heat so winter is the time for us. Herbs are great in FL-parsley, basil-in summer grows HUGE, texas tarragon (tagetes lucida-has a mil diff names but it's a tarragon knockoff that tastes great, grows pretty flowers, and grows good in FL)..most every herb works in FL but some lavendars have trouble.

Green beans grow great and are easy. My neighbor used to grow huge stands of snow peas the winterish time they were delicious. My MIL grows broccoli and brusselssprouts in the winter. I think now would be the time for you to plant strawberries-they have nemotode probs too.

Texas seeding by region

Oh and Floridata is an AWSOME online tool for you. I use it all the time.


Oh, for zucchini, I really couldn't do without this year, and had to devote 4 squares-I put it in the corner but It should have been a whole block for zucchini, and I really think that this would grow well in a pot with all of it's leaves spilling over the side ofthe container. That would have been more efficient. Or get the italian vining kind, I'm gonna try it next year.

Have fun, you'll find the hardest thing is what not to plant.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 11:25PM
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Hi Flamona, and the group.

Flamona, I hope this is not too late but I think you did good on digging out the floor of the bed. Root Knot Nematodes are such a problem for us in Florida that I feel it is well worth the trouble of digging out the floor of the bed when making a new bed. I hope you went with a raised bed? Digging out the floor, dumping the first 6 or 12 inches of RKN infested soil and replacing with compost and other OM should really help get the raised bed off to a great start.

I hope this helps, DC

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:05AM
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