Return to the Florida Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Posted by buzzy 8PugetSound (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 14:30

Hi friends, We're thinking about moving away from our island outside of Seattle and retiring just south of Orlando. From 8b to 9b, not much change in low temp, but a world of difference in the garden!

Nematodes! Late freezes! Too hot, too cold, cockroaches! (We'll get chickens for that problem), but whew! reading this forum makes me realize that my 40 years of organic gardening in the northern tier states mean nothing, NOTHING!

Please help me out here. Can I grow cool veg like lettuce, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips, spinach? The low temps make me think I can't in the winter, too hot in the summer. I know you have spring and fall seasons, is that what we're talking about here?

And please define spring! fall!

There's a similar amount of rainfall, but Seattle drizzles it out over nine months and then presents us with a drought in July, August, Sept. But your rainfall looks like it's mostly in the summer and I'm wondering how hard it is - does it tear your plants to shreds?

Oh, yeah, and what about warm weather veg like tomatoes, eggplant, sweet potatoes, cukes. I read about having to tear out toms because of mildew, and here I was thinking I could finally grow them because our cool maritime climate in Puget Sound made me give up on those crops years ago. But can you grow them and when?

Well, I've got amillion questions but I'll stop here. Spring is coming for us. Do you have spring? Thanks!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 20:25

Hi Buzzy

Welcome to the Florida garden forum! there is another garden friend that comes from Seattle and is gardening in Florida now, maybe he can share his experience here.

All the crops that you listed above can be grown here at the proper time. Right now we are in transition harvesting cold crops and planting warm season crops.

This morning small harvest for lunch, the eggplants were planted last spring, I succession plant carrots, beets, radish.

 photo February2014_024_zpsce88526b.jpg

A bed planted with spinach, radishes and lettuce

 photo February2014_025_zps7a969696.jpg

 photo February2014_026_zpsc4c80493.jpg

 photo February2014_027_zps2329feb0.jpg

Tomatoes are ready to be planted in the garden now.

Silvia


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Wow, that IS a big change!

Lettuces and other greens grow well here over winter, as well as radishes and onions/garlic.

My tomatoes produced like gangbusters early. May through late August, but then I started seeing a lot of hornworms and my husband wanted to move the garden, so I tore them out. I'm sure they would have produced another two months had it not been for those two things. My bell and jalepeno peppers did well all summer. Cukes did beautifully until the rainy season hit in July and then they mildewed. We had an especially rainy summer here in northwest Florida. It can rain very hard, but I didn't have any problems with plants being torn up.
I'm abot 6 hours north of Orlando, so my experience does not directly translate, but generally you can grow all the things you mentioned, it just may have to be during a time you are not accustomed to.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

  • Posted by buzzy 8PugetSound (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 2:26

Thank you Floridians! I don't have to despair of my salads. The pix are gorgeous, healthy roots, beautiful colors, looks like a fabulous lunch!

So is it possible to have: a tropical garden with plumeria, bananas, mandevilla, jasmine, cherimoya, coffee, tea, etc.

in one corner of the acre, and: English cottage garden with roses, lilies, lavender, primroses, dianthus, daisies, campanula, hollyhocks, to name a few I see out the window in another corner, and...

Vegie garden with hots: peppers, toms, cukes, and...

Cools: lettuce, spinach, brassicas

whgille gave me proof of the latter.

So is it Florida or is it Heaven?


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Not sure about primroses and campanula growing here. I only see primroses for sale in the supermarkets. I too had to transition from upstate Pa to Philadelphia and then to Vero Beach, Fl and now SE Ga. Your gardening knowledge won't be wasted you just need to learn the seasons. Sometimes spring and fall go by quickly. Up here above Jacksonville we usually have a long spring and fall. I suggest you visit the local ag center to get some free gardening pamphlets and expert advice.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Central/north florida grows better brassicas than the rest of the east coast, excepting the very far north where winters are cold enough that cabbage moth does not exist; conversely cabbage moth cannot survive the very long hot summer of florida. I just cut a wonderful dense head of red cabbage yesterday, not a mark, a spot, a bite on it. Clean as a whistle without any control efforts whatsoever. At home I can't grow a head of cabbage, hardly.

The major change you will experience, and it is very major, is getting used to having essentially no octane in the soil. In addition to severely low nutrients florida sand - unamended - does not hold moisture. The solution to both of course is to add a lot of OM. As well it advisable to add some broad spectrum minerals, whether in synthetic form, organic or rock powder of some kind. Most patches of well-drained sand will benefit from lime initially for common garden crops.

A lot of gardeners in florida use containers with bought soils to avoid nematodes, and that more or less works, but it's expensive and considerably limits plant growth, plus fertility wears out quickly and ph goes up from the high irrigation requirement. We've had very good results in the last few years growing in the ground after considerable amendment, and using rainwater for irrigation to avoid driving up the ph (florida groundwater is alkaline) as well as avoiding the plant-unfriendly compounds in municipal water or even in lake water. We recently switched a garden from lake water to all rainwater and the improvement over six weeks has been marked.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Welcome, buzzy. You might find this older thread interesting:

Here is a link that might be useful: What doesn't grow here


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

  • Posted by L_in_FL 8B/9A Border, NW FL (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 11:32

Also, for planning purposes, check out the link below.

If you scroll down the document, you'll see a chart with recommended planting dates for vegetables in each section of the state: North, Central, and South. Orlando is in the Central section.

IFAS also publishes a lot of other articles for home gardeners, including articles recommending cultivars of fruit trees, bushes, and vines for each part of the state. (There is a lot of good reading at the IFAS site.)

You should also pay heed to posts by Silvia (whgille, who posted above). She has a terrific year-round Orlando vegetable garden, plus bananas, fruit trees, berry bushes, an avocado tree, and probably a bunch of other edibles I'm forgetting.

Here is a link that might be useful: UF/IFAS Vegetable Gardening Guide


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

  • Posted by whgille Oakland FL Zone 9B (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 18:33

Thank you Laura, the good thing about having an edible garden in Florida is the convenience to have fresh produce for our daily meals, there is always something ready for the picking, flavor and nutrition is the best!

Silvia


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

  • Posted by buzzy 8PugetSound (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 2:59

Thanks for all the good info. You are a kind and generous bunch.

I'm still a little concerned about the nematodes because they sound extremely difficult to eradicate, and I'm not crazy about growing in containers because I am hoping to grow a substantial amount of our food and just don't want to deal with that many containers.

What are good Florida sources of organic matter free or cheap? Or is that a closely guarded secret, like the good mushroom hunting grounds are up here?

Can you grow bananas, cherimoya, citrus, in St Cloud, just south of Orlando?

thanks again to everyone!


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Like other places the municipalities are the best bet for free OM. IME, nematodes are controlled by best practice, not eradicated. We have only had nematode problems when growing the same crop in the same ground several seasons running without substantial amendments. Crop rotation is the key.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Golden Guardian Marigolds are good companion plants to ward off Nematodes and crop rotation as already mentioned. . I also mulch heavily. I grew some ornamental and tasty types of basil: Siam Queen, Purple Ruffles, Cinnamon, and Red Rubin.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

You can grow a cover crop of marigolds and then till it it to prevent nematodes.


 o
RE: From Seattle to Orlando, gardening a whole new ballgame

Like other places the municipalities are the best bet for free OM. IME, nematodes are controlled by best practice, not eradicated. We have only had nematode problems when growing the same crop in the same ground several seasons running without substantial amendments. Crop rotation is the key.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Florida Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here