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Too late to plant veggies?

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 9, Lehigh Acres FL (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 24, 09 at 17:36

I live in southwest Florida, on the west coast.

I've been debating planting some vegetables from seed.
The vegetables I'm considering planting are cool weather for the most part: cabbage, romaine lettuce, and possibly beets.

I know it's almost April now. Is it too late to plant warm or cool weather vegetables?

By warm weather veggies I mean.....

*Tomatoes
*Green Beans
*Cucumbers
*Squash (zucchini, pumpkin, summer squash....)
*Eggplant
*Bell peppers
*Melons (cantaloupe, watermelon)
*Corn

By cool weather veggies I mean.....

*Onion
*scallions
*Broccoli
*Lettuce
*Cabbage
*Carrots
*Sugar snap peas
*Beets
*Spinach

Essentially what I'm asking is, is it too late to plant warm or cool weather veggies? I've been debating planting a few veggies using the method of container gardening.
However if it's going to be too hot for the veggies to cope regardless of what variety I plant, that they're going to up and die on me, I see it as a waste of my time, efforts, energy, and money.

Here is a link that gives a chart for when to plant what in Florida based upon what part of Florida you live in. Essentially I just need recommendations of whether I should go ahead with starting to plant stuff, or hold off and wait until it's a more suitable environment for stuff to grow and survive.

As stated previously, here are the links:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021

http://www.southernstates.com/promotions/vegetableseedguide/plantingchart.jsp

NOTE

the first link is exclusively for Florida. The 2nd link is much more general and gives general planting guidelines for the Southern United States, and not exclusively Florida.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

The first link you posted is the one I would have given you so you already have access to great information. The weather won't turn terribly hot until mid to late June so you've got time. The chart shows several veggies that can be planted in Central Florida in April. However, I think it's getting late for seeds, except maybe lettuce. Why not start off your first year with some plants from your local nursery and see how it goes? If you want, try some seeds too; you'll have the plants for backup in case the seeds don't do well.

I only recently planted tomatoes and peppers, so if you are too late, then so am I!

Good luck,
Kate


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

I think onions can survive heat. Can't they? If not, Egyptian Walking Onions are perennial, so they constantly live year after year, only dying after so many years of living, but they multiply from top little "bulblets", so your onion patch keeps growing year after year. Make plenty of room for these! Also, Egyptian Walking Onions are true onions, the same Allium Cepa species as all the other onions, plus, they can be dug up early of have the stems cut down for the same uses as green onions and scallions.

Plant your watermelon ASAP! You should be fine with those. Melons seem to thrive a little longer into the fall than watermelon, though, as watermelon can die if in too harsh weather.

Squash and cucumber are melons, so that rule applies as well. Be careful, though, as some may cross-pollinate and create hybrid seeds. The hybrid variety will probably be less in quality than the original(s).

Green beans can be started as late as August or September, but should be started soon, if you want your beans as soon as possible, of course.

I might classify tomatoes in the cool weather category, as they die off in hot weather. Try heat, disease tolerant varieties of tomatoes ASAP, if you want tomatoes. I would suggest an early bearing variety. They can bear in as little as 50 days, as I can recall.

Your lettuce cabbage may be planted, if they have rapid maturation cycles. Lettuce and cabbage can be grown inside in small glass cups, though, as the roots are small enough. Try it!

This is the perfect time to start corn!


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

you can still plant from seed (and this is not an exhaustive list): tomatoes (esp cherry, small-fruited), peppers (esp hot ones), okra, eggplant, pole beans (esp rattlesnake), crowders (my favorite is mississippi silver), sweet potatoes (slips), peanuts (green ones from the marker), cassava (from cuttings), sugar cane (from cuttings), seminole squash.

it's a bit late for tomatoes, but seeds planted now will produce in 70 days, giving you all of june and into july to enjoy them. make sure you plant tough, medium-sized ones like Jetsetter, Goose Creek, Tiffany (all from tomato growers supply).


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

The general consensus I am receiving is that it's too late to plant cool weather veggies from seed.

I see people advocating that I plant warm weather vegetables now. However the one thing I'm perplexed about is this.

With the warm weather veggies the recommendation is this for the following vegetables based on the chart I found:

Southern Florida Planting Guidelines:

Beans, bush Sept.-Apr.
Bell Peppers Aug-Mar.
Squash, Summer Jan-Mar and/or Sept-Oct
Eggplant Dec-Feb and/or Aug-Oct

The cool weather ones I want to plant.....

Lettuce Crisp, Butter-head,Leaf & Romaine Sept-Jan
Cabbage Sept-Jan

The thing I'm confused about is that cool weather and warm weather vegetable crops alike, it specifies that most of them should be grown starting in September. If I were to grow them now, would the weather be too cool for warm weather crops? One thing I'm really confused about is that the recommendation for growing eggplant is Dec-Feb. I know eggplant is a warm weather crop, and Dec-Feb in Florida are cool months. The same goes for summer squash with one of the recommended planting times, which is January-March. Again, to my knowledge summer squash is a warm weather crop and January-March are considered cooler months in
Florida. Only other question I have is this, and it's regarding summer squash; when it refers to summer squash for planting times, is it referring to both summer squash (the yellow variety) AND zucchini?

People recommended planting cabbage and lettuce now if they have a short maturing cycle. Well what constitutes as
a short maturing cycle (please specify in months or days please).


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Ignore the Southern Gardening charts and dates .
Florida is unique .
Stick to the advice from this forum - tested , tried and true .
Jump in and try things for yourself .
What's the worst thing that can happen ?
You'll learn a lot and feel more comfortable next season .


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

I seeded mesclun mix 3 weeks ago and am already cutting it. I also planted baby spinach, carrots, baby beets, and several herbs. I grow everything in a soiless mix inside my lanai cage. I have done this now for several years. I do tomatoes from both small plants and seeds for the heirlooms I like to grow. I seeded cilantro, the hot weather variety and can have it all summer as well as basil. The tomatoes give out in mid July, depending on how heavy the rains are and hot hot. I am trying yet again with pattypan squash. I have french haricot vert growing right now and also the tricolor beans (yellow, purple, and green). Seeds are cheap, I think it is always worth it to experiment. Everyone's yard is a different microclimate. I keep a fan running on my lanai year round so it is several degrees cooler in the summer and the screening also protects it. When is it cold, I remove the top from the spa and that keeps the air from getting too cold. Just my 2c.

FWIW, I use Renee's Garden Seeds as I think they are the best and allow you to have more interesting varieties.

Here is a link that might be useful: beautiful veggie seeds


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planting in Lehigh Acres

I noticed you are in Lehigh Acres. Have you been to Rabbit Run the hydroponic farm? It is amazing and you might get some ideas from her. I know she grows from seed but will shut down when the weather gets too hot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rabbit Run article


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

the problem with long-maturing brassicas like cabbage now is whiteflies and other buggies before they mature. cabbage takes a very long time to mature. you could absolutely plant pak choi, collards, asian broccoli, etc--things that you can harvest within the next 40-50 days. this time of the year i sow my lettuces in deep window boxes and move them into the shade when things get hot and dry and buggy.

in the end, it matters how much space and patience and water you have. march is a transition time--if you want your tomatoes and peppers and beans, you need them in the ground now. if you STILL have room for some ancillary cool-season crops like lettuces, and if you know that their quality will be diminished as the season grows hotter, then by all means, plant! (btw, three lettuces to consider for spring sowing: queensland (ECHO), red sails, and my current favorite, jericho (southern exposure).


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

"...what constitutes as a short maturing cycle (please specify in months or days...)"

Because the hottest weather doensn't happen until mid to late June (July, if we are lucky) anything that matures in 60-70 days should be OK. Check the maturation dates for several varieties and you'll see quite a variation. Then "short maturing cycle" will make more sense to you. Choose something that will produce before the hottest weather sets in.

Try not to make this too complicated or stressful. Try something and see if it works. If it doesn't, try something else next time. Gardening is supposed to be fun! It's science, but it's not hard science.

Keep in mind, too, that your area and your yard constitute several microclimates. Although you may be solidly in zone 9 and want to check growing charts for Central Florida, you may have a protected area with southern exposure and heat radiated off a light colored stucco wall that effectively turns a bed into zone 10. In a spot like that you may be able to get z10 plants to survive, but it may also burn up heat sensitive veggies. It takes a long time to figure out all of these little areas for a yard so 'trial and error' is what gardeners live with. The errors may not be enjoyable, but the whole process of discovery is fun.

Now, I think I've been inspired by this thread to go plant some mesclun!

Kate


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Kate you've been one of the most helpful regarding your advice and suggestions, and for this I thank you.

Just to clarify, I plan to do container gardening, and
not plant stuff in a plot. The main reason I'm somewhat
reluctant to try planting things now is that I'm on a very limited budget with planting things. Gardening is fun if it's successful and you reap the rewards when what you plant comes to fruition. If not, then to me it's a waste of time, energy, and effort.

I had questions regarding the potting mix I plan to use for container gardening. I plan to do a 1/3 of the Miracle grow potting mix, a 1/3 of topsoil, and a 1/3 of peat moss.
I don't know the exact amounts; this will be determined by
what I'm planting and how big the container is.

I was just planning on using storage containers to plant the stuff in; it specifies their size in quarts but I just convert it gallons. From this I'm able to figure out what quart size container I need based upon what I'm planting. Will this work or is this a disaster waiting to happen?

Also a question about the cabbage. I still don't know what is constituted as a short maturing cycle for it, as I've never planted it before. As a result, I'm in the dark about what is a short maturing cycle. Again please specify with the cabbage with what constitutes as a short maturing cycle ( in months or days please.....)

If I'm going to plant stuff, I'll probably end up planting cucumbers and bush green beans as well. However if I were to plant them now, would it be too early?


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

best thing to do is buy some plants already established would be like you started you plants already so the answer is no its not to late and as for others such as toms as long as the hot sun dont beat on them and burn them they will be fine my sister in lehigh had her peppers growing all summer long in the earth box and homemade e****box's


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

I'm debating planting bush green beans and cucumbers from seed; if I were to plant them from seed now, would it be too late to plant them? I'm aware that whether or not this is feasible is going to be determined by how long it takes for cucumber and bush type green beans to mature. What is a typical maturing cycle for bush green beans and cucumbers (please specify the information for both vegetables in days or months please). By comparison what is considered a fast maturing cycle for cucumbers and bush green beans (again please specify the information for both vegetables in months or days)

Also I'm debating planting cabbage. Somebody told me that if it has a fast maturing cycle I could plant it now; another person advised against it because cabbage tends to have a long maturing cycle. What is considered a typical maturing cycle for cabbage (please specify this in months or days) and by comparison what is considered a fast maturing cycle for cabbage (again please specify this information in months or days).

Earlier in this thread
I asked for information regarding cabbage, with how long it takes to mature and what is considered a fast maturing cycle by comparison. However, I've yet to receive a straight answer regarding these questions regarding the cabbage. If somebody could please give me answers regarding my questions about planting the cabbage I would greatly appreciate it.

I did receive answers about what is considered a fast maturing cycle for lettuce, however I've yet to receive any straight answers with planting cabbage.

I'm inquiring about cabbage because I've never planted it before, whether it be from planting it straight from seed
or starting it from plants. As a result, I have no information or experience to go by with planting cabbage since I've never grown it before. This is why I need help regarding planting cabbage.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

  • Posted by tomncath 9B(microclimate 10A) (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 26, 09 at 18:23

I'm debating planting bush green beans and cucumbers from seed; if I were to plant them from seed now, would it be too late to plant them?

We're in the "dry" season, but I'm sure you know that due to the watering restrictions...it's a really bad time to start most things. I'd stick with the pole beans, more bang for your buck - either the Rattlesnakes Ill-man suggested, or you could start yardlong beans, they'll do well in the heat and humidity when it finally does start raining. Definitely getting to be too late for cukes unless you want to try something untraditional like the Armenian cukes since they are really a melon eaten prematurely as a cuke.

Be careful a give this a lot of thought, from your earlier post it appears you'd not be happy with most results from starting things now since success is at the top of your list.

Tom


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

kawaiineko gardener ~ To address your cabbage question, it is too late to plant cabbage. The best time to plant cabbage is during the winter garden time, around October. Since you are new to gardening, it would be best if you buy some plants already started.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

KG - I understand that you want specific answers to your questions about maturing times, but I think part of what we are trying to tell you is to go look at the seed packages available now (or the catalogs if you are shopping that way) and see what it says for each variety of veggie you want to plant. It will be listed in days, not months. As I said in an earlier post, if it says it matures within 60-70 days you might be OK. Honestly, I don't know what the maturation times are for specific varieties, but it's listed on each seed package.

I just reread the post and realize you say you are planning to plant in storage containers. If they don't have drain holes, then 'yes' you are heading for disaster. Plants require good drainage. It should be easy to poke some holes in the bottom of plastic containers though. If the container is translucent or clear you'll also run the risk of burning the tender roots which are not usually exposed to sunlight at all. If your containers are not solid colored, you could paint them or cover them with something or even sink them into the ground. So you might want to think about these things when selecting your planter.

Veggies also require feeding to really perform well. Large beautiful harvests are usually fed often to get that way. I use an all purpose fertilizer on just about all of my garden. Only the roses and bananas get fert designed specifically for them. Follow the directions on the label of whatever fertilizer you choose to buy.

Small scale, growing veggies isn't really an inexpensive proposition because your yield may not balance out the costs. The more plants you have, the better the return on your initial costs. Many of us who only grow small plots of veggies and fruit do it mainly because the flavor of home grown is so superior to store bought.

I think you've received some sound advice about this first year: purchase a few veggie plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) to get started and plant them in your containers. To try seeds, why not use a couple of your containers for lettuce, beans, collards etc as Ill Man suggests? Feed and water as needed. If one site gets too much sun as we get closer to June, you'll be able to move your containers so they get some shade. See if it all works for you and you'll be ready to try more seeds, including cabbages, this fall.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

So basically the general consensus is that I shouldn't bother planting anything right now. The reasons suggested as to why I shouldn't plant stuff is that the climate would be too hot, and as a result anything would up and die on me that I did plant from seed.

Is my assumption correct based upon what people have told me throughout this thread? If such is the case, I figured as much. However if it's too late to plant stuff now, then when should I try planting things? I'm guessing in the fall?

Also I do have another question. I have a gardening chart for Florida. It breaks it up into three parts; each part designates a region of Florida (Northern, Central, and Southern).

People keep recommending to me that I should
use the recommended planting times for central Florida
as a guideline. However this makes no sense to me. I live in Lehigh Acres Florida. I used to live in Fort Myers Florida, which is about 20 minutes to an hour away from where I live now. Needless to say they're both within vicinity of each other. Now I'm not claiming to be a genius with the geography of Florida, but to my knowledge, Lehigh Acres is in Southern Florida. If it's in Southern Florida, then why do people keep recommending that I use the Central Florida recommended planting times as a guideline, when to my knowledge, I don't live in Central Florida?

Here is a map of Florida. It shows where Lehigh Acres is located. I don't know how accurate it is, but it's the only map of Florida I could find that has Lehigh Acres shown on the map.

NOTE ABOUT THE MAP:You'll have to copy and paste it manually into your web browser. Normally it would let you click on the link and then it would redirect you to the website via opening a new web page. However for some reason it won't let you do this in this case; why I don't know.

http://www.lehigh-acres-land.com/images/florida_map_.gif

Below is the link I mentioned earlier (the one that has the recommended planting times based upon the different regions of Florida).

NOTE REGARDING LINK:I don't know why but you can't just click on the link and then it will redirect to you that website via opening a new web page. You'll have to copy and paste it manually into your web browser; just press enter after you do that and it should take you to the site.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/VH021


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

That's not exactly what people said, but I have to say this is sounding pretty familiar...

Did you post here a few months ago using a different name? The questions and conclusions are so similar...

We were recommending Central FL planting info because in the original post, you have yourself identified as zone9.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

There is basically one thing I would like to know, and just a straight answer regarding the question I want to ask.
Some people have said it's not too late to plant some of the things I desire to plant (which are bush green beans, bush cucumber, and maybe lettuce). Others have recommended against planting stuff now, because eventually the weather will become so hot that whatever I plant now will eventually just up and die on me, because the weather will be too hot for whatever I plant to survive.

What I want to know is should I just hold off with planting stuff until this coming fall? I realize then that the conditions will be more favorable for growing things, and whatever I plant this coming fall will stand a much better chance of surviving.

Or if I plant the stuff I want to plant, (and do so now) and do so from seed will it survive if I plant it now? Or will the weather eventually become so hot that it will kill anything I plant now because the weather will be too hot for anything I plant to survive. Basically if I plant stuff now and it's just going to die eventually cause of lousy timing on my part by waiting until too late to plant stuff, I don't want to do it. I don't have much money to spend on gardening, so if I plant stuff and it dies, then this will be a waste of time, a waste of money, a waste of effort, and quite frankly a failure.

If it's best to just hold off and wait until fall when the conditions will be more favorable to plant stuff because the conditions will be more favorable, then please specify this.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

I believe there is always something that will grow at any specific time of the year. If it is the heat you are worrying about and you want vegetables in the summer you might want to expand your thinking a little - think asian. I currently have a whole buch of okra, yard long/asparagus bean, bittermelon, edible gourds, eggplants, moringa seedlings which will last throughout the summer if I take care of them. I remember having the bean being submerged over a day during the hurricanes and they did not die. Anyway I hope this helps. I would go crazy if there was nothing to tinker with in the garden.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Hold off until fall. Don't plant anything. OK?


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Coffeemom, you're probably right. Not everyone should garden. Is that what you are saying? If not, I think it is silly not to at least try.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

why hold off and plant nothing there are many types of plants you can grow. i know this much my sister used to live in leghigh and is get cooler there then here in ft myers i have tried planting in both areas and different times of the season. have lhad luck with something andn not others like i said inanother post kawaiineko_gardener
meet me at the farmers market on thursday if you can just let me know aroundabout time so i know to bethere the hot dog lady will point me out the guy who gave her organano plant


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Send me an email. I made an excel file with the planting schedule for central florida based on Tom MacCubbins recommendations. I recommend buying his book, it will save you money in the long run.

You should probably think about summer plantings: sweet potatoes, okra, yardlong beans, peppers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, amaranth, etc.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Never mind, I see your address in another post. You have email.

Good luck and happy planting.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Coffee mom, it is hard to tell whether you're being sarcastic or if you're telling me this because you have my best interest at heart. Which is it please? No I'm not trying to be rude, and if I come off that way I apologize as it's not my intent. However it's very difficult to tell how to interpret what you said. That's why I'm asking for clarification with what you said.

New2gardenFL, this next message is directed toward you.
You said plant vegetables that grow well in the summer.
Well I'm not a genius, but to my knowledge vegetables
that grow well in the summer are those that love sun and are categorized as "warm weather vegetables". I'm not a genius with gardening, FAR from it. However the reason I'm debating planting veggies from seed like cucumber and
green beans is because to my knowledge they ARE warm weather veggies that LIKE the sun and LIKE warm weather.

All I'm asking is that if I were to plant bush green beans and cukes from seed now is it too late? Or would they eventually up and die on me because eventually the weather will become so hot that it will be too hot for them to grow and survive and they'll die because the weather will eventually become too hot for them to survive.

I know part of this depends on how long it takes for them to germinate and how long it takes for them to complete their maturing cycle. I can't give an exact figure with this, but i know bush green beans take about 2 months from start to finish as an estimate.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Our Florida summers are not warm, they are HOT and HUMID. Any knowledge of summer gardening for the north needs to be modified. Get some books on planting in Florida and educate yourself.

We really have three planting seasons; spring, summer and fall.

Plant the beans. They are fast and you will harvest beans until the heat does them in.

Forget the cukes until fall, it's a bit iffy at this point.

Follow the planting guide that I emailed you. It is almost the end of the month, so follow April's planting guide.

There are no guarantees in gardening and no replacement for experience.


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

New2GardenFL, Thank you for sending me your planting chart for central Florida. I found the e-mail you sent me this afternoon and downloaded the planting chart onto my computer's desktop.

However I'm a little confused by how you have it set up; I have questions regarding it. I sent you an e-mail regarding your planting chart. PLEASE CHECK your e-mail's inbox and send me a response back about the chart as soon as you get the chance to do so.

Thank you,

Kawaiineko_gardener


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Heh, no one can say that gardenwebbers don't have hearts of gold!

Kawaiineko_gardener, fwiw I can guarantee you that you will have some success and you will also have some failures no matter what you do, it's the nature of mother nature and especially in florida where we get excessive rain, drought, hail, tornados hurricanes, freezes and heatwaves.

If you are going to spend the money on containers and soil anyways then a few packets of seeds probably are not going to make or break you in the long run.

Take the helpful advice you have been given and in the words of Yoda, "Do or do not... there is no try."


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RE: Too late to plant veggies?

Don't know if this will help...but im a first time gardner in Florida also. Coming from South Ms...this is way different but very simmilar. Im going to try all seeds this year since my kids want to help out. And we're planting all summer stuff. We figured that we waited too late to get into the cool weather stuff but that's always the next year. Plus my girls are going to get a raised bed going for some herbs. Now, i too live in Lehigh Acres. And the soil here is like most soil i've seen in all these areas...very sandy. However..after much consideration..we are also thinking about starting some peanuts, coffee, and a little tobacco just for the fun of it. I believe that gardening is a lost art, and what better way to learn something new than to learn it with your family. So i say...GO FOR IT....Plant away....Don't get nervous...Learn about it and take those first baby steps. go on and get your hands dirty. Even if nothing grows. Take notice of what happened..and learn from it. Make a journal and take notes. I'm not going to let some sandy ole soil get in the way...grow it and enjoy it.


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